Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed TD has announced the outcome of the international fisheries negotiations which concluded London on Wednesday. These negotiations, between the European Union, Norway, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland were focused on the sustainable management of the €1billion annual mackerel fishery in the North East Atlantic.
Minister Creed said
“Mackerel is our most valuable fishery and allied to the fact that we are the second largest EU quota holder, these negotiations are always of crucial importance to the Irish fishing industry. There was new scientific advice this year which showed that, while the stock is in good shape, a precautionary approach for long term sustainability was necessary, with a significant reduction in quota recommended. Accordingly, following careful consideration of scientific advice of the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) and discussions with the Marine Institute and industry stakeholders, I supported a reduction, in line with the agreed Long Term Management Strategy, in the quota for 2018.”
The new mackerel quota for Irish fishermen for 2018 will be just under 70,000 tonnes (69,143 tonnes) with a landing value of €70 million.
The current sharing arrangement for mackerel was agreed in 2014 between three parties only – EU, Faeroes and Norway. An amount is held in reserve to accommodate the other parties. This agreement is due to expire at the end 2018 and it is expected that intensive negotiations on a new agreement will take place throughout 2018.
The Minister added that
“The quotas agreed for 2018 are consistent with the Long Term Management Strategy which aims to provide sustainability and stability in this hugely valuable fishery in line with the scientific advice. In terms of the negotiations to come these are likely to be further complicated by Brexit. I remain dissatisfied with the 2014 agreement and will be working for a more equitable sharing arrangement that also protects the ongoing long term sustainability of the mackerel stock.”