KFO Chief, Sean O’Donoghue says that he is broadly pleased with outcome of AGRIFISH Council talks. Photo: Michael McBride
The AGRIFISH Council meeting in Brussels concluded last night with the announcement of a provisional deal put in place for the start of 2021.
As a transition measure due to the ongoing Brexit situation, the Council has decided to proportionally roll over the TACs for 2020 into the first 3 months of 2021, with several limited exceptions where the Council felt scientific advice could not be ignored. Most stock will see a roll-over of 25% with the exemption of mackerel, horse mackerel and blue whiting which are generally fished in the early quarter of the year. These stocks have received a 65% roll-over on their 2020 TACs.
Commenting on the conclusion of last night’s EU Council of Fisheries Ministers meeting, Chief Executive of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation, Seán O’Donoghue said he was broadly pleased with the outcome of the talks.
“Given that this Council played out against the looming backdrop of Brexit, it was always going to be incredibly difficult since we were for all intents and purposes, negotiating in the dark.
“Overall, it was the best deal which could be done and I would like to acknowledge the effort and endeavour of Minister McConalogue as well as his officials. Movement was achieved on the pelagics and there is a commitment to re-examine the prawn fishery on the Porcupine.
As the Minister said, the issue was to put arrangements in place to allow us to open our fisheries in January when a high proportion of some fisheries are at their peak in the first quarter of the year such as with migratory stocks like mackerel, blue whiting and horse mackerel. We are at 73%, 85% and 68% for these three species, respectively.”
A further Council will be held in early January to finalise the TACs for the remainder of 2021. This will follow consultations with the UK and Norway on shared stocks.
Source: Press Release