Minister for the Marine, Charlie McConalogue has promised that he will pursue an Irish quota for Atlantic bluefin tuna at the AGRIFISH Council
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, has promised Irish fishermen that he will bring the issue of a quota for Atlantic bluefin tuna to the table at the AGRIFISH Council on the 11 and 12 December.
In a statement today the Minister said:
“A new Bluefin Tuna management plan was adopted at the recent International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) meeting, which will see an increase for all contracting parties with a share of the Bluefin Tuna Total Allowable Catch, including the EU. Following discussions on this new management plan, the UK was granted an additional 15 tonne of Bluefin Quota and now has a quota of 63 tonnes of Bluefin Tuna for 2023-2025.
“I wish to assure the Deputy that Ireland made clear to EU Member States and the European Commission at EU internal meetings that Ireland considers that there is a case for an allocation of part of the increase in the Bluefin Tuna quota to be made available to Ireland for a targeted fishery. Given the prevalence of Bluefin Tuna in Ireland’s EEZ, this is a request that we wish to be considered at Council.
“I have therefore requested the opening of discussions at EU level to progress our case and I will be making a formal statement to this effect at next week’s December Agrifish Council. “
The Irish fishing industry has been pressing the Minister to seek some quota for the stock that has now again become plentiful in Irish waters. The European Union has denied Ireland quota in the past because they will not accept that Ireland has a track record of catching the species.
In recent years, Irish fishermen around the coast have experienced vast numbers of the highly valuable fish who spend the summer into late autumn feeding in Irish waters before they begin their migration out of the Irish EEZ. Whereas Irish fishermen have been unable to fish the stock, large number of Japanese and Korean fishing vessels travel across the globe to sit outside the Irish 200 nautical mile limit catching the tuna to freeze and bring home.
Recently, Norway and the UK have received bluefin tuna quotas, and Spain with other countries have received an increase in the quotas for 2023 to 2025.