Senator Says European Commission Fish Quota Proposals Disastrous for North West

Ó Domhnaill Raises Concerns with Marine Minister

Fianna Fail Seanad Spokesperson on Agriculture, Food and the Marine Brian Ó Domhnaill has slammed the EU Commission proposals which recommend a significant decrease in quotas for the Irish fishing fleet which includes a 24% drop in volume for the Irish Whitefish Sector and a cut of over 80% for pelagic quotas.

“It is estimated that the proposals as it currently stands will see a net reduction in fishing opportunities (quotas) for the Irish white fish sector of -24% by volume (tonnes). In financial terms this amounts to a direct  income reduction of €10.5m (19%) on 2013. And while pelagic quotas will rise, due in large part in increases in boar fish quota and the celtic sea herring fishery, the overall impact will be a reduction of €3.1, (-6%) on 2013. Overall this amounts to a loss in direct income to the catching sector of €13.7million.However it must be stressed that these figures do not take account of the massive implications of the proposed cut in the Nephrops  quota in the Irish Sea and the Celtic sea which were only released last Friday.”

“Taken cumulatively the North West (Donegal) demersal fishing fleet would face a 19% reduction in fishing opportunities, or €0.9 million. This will directly impact the ports of Greencastle and Killybegs.”

“In-additional to the indirect losses to the fleet, income is also lost from the processing sector as a direct result of reduced catches and in a number of ancillary industries (net making, chandlery, engineering, refrigeration etc.). Based on the total turnover per tonne of fish landed BIM estimate the full costs (direct and indirect) of the proposed quota reduction are in the order of approx. €48m.”

“If the Commission proposals were however to be implemented in their current form then the proposed overall quota reductions are in the order of €70million, which BIM estimates could impact on between 400-500 jobs in coastal areas around the Country.”

“I have raised the very serious concerns of the Donegal Fishing Industry directly with the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine  at this week’s Oireachtas Agriculture Committee meeting. I have called on the Minister to take a very strong & determent position over the next couple of weeks ahead of the EU Fisheries Council meeting on 16th and 17th December when the Council of Minister will agree the 2014 quotas. These challenges must be surmounted in the upcoming negotiations.”

“The Commission proposals cannot be entertained as to do so would be devastating to the North West Fishing industry.”

 

“Minister Coveney must argue against the EU Proposals and protect the interest of the Irish Fishing Fleet which is now clearly under threat.” Concluded  Ó Domhnaill

Posted: Nov 27, 2013     |     Categories: Uncategorized