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KFO calls on Minister Coveney to ensure that the Commission’s proposed cuts for key Irish stocks are reversed at the Fisheries Council next week

KFO calls on Minister Coveney to ensure that the Commission’s proposed cuts for key Irish stocks are reversed at the Fisheries Council next week

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Up to 325 Jobs could be lost if Commission’s proposals are agreed
Next Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th of December the Council of Fisheries Ministers meets in Brussels to decide on the TACs and Quotas for 2016.   The KFO is calling on Minister Coveney to ensure that  the Commission’s proposed cuts for certain key stocks are reversed or phased in over a period time up to 2020 as provided for in the new Common Fisheries Policy.   These cuts if adopted next week by the Council of Fisheries Ministers could result in up to 325 fulltime and part-time jobs losses in the fisheries sector and ancillaries services. The resulting direct and indirect financial losses are approximately €23.5 million and this does not include the 15% reduction in the TAC for mackerel already agreed with Norway and Faros.
Sean O Donoghue CEO said:
“I very concerned about the outcome of this year’s Fisheries Council particularly for certain pelagic (blue whiting and herring) and demersal (nephrops, cod, haddock and whiting) stocks of interest to Ireland.   As the blue whiting negotiations that have taken place since October have yielded no result I am calling on Minister Coveney to ensure that the EU percentage share of blue whiting is significantly increased to reflect the reality that the blue whiting fishery is mainly caught in the waters off the west coasts of Ireland and Scotland.  The zero TAC for herring in the North West that was in place this year which does not reflect the large shoals of herring that our fishermen are experiencing cannot be accepted to continue for next year.”
He added:  “There is a large amount of uncertainty about the Commission’s proposals this year with 25 stocks (45%) of interest to Ireland where the Commission has not yet made its proposals and the quota uplifts that are to apply to species coming under the landing obligation from the 1st January 2015 have not have been included.  The quota uplifts are extremely important for nephrops and whiting.    Furthermore the Commission’s proposals fail to recognise that the new CFP allows for the phasing in of maximum sustainable yield (MSY) up to 2020.   If this had been done the proposed cuts in some our key stocks would almost be eliminated or significantly reduced and I expect Minister Coveney to take full account of this phasing.   I recognise that when the state of the stock requires it there must be reductions in the fishing opportunities for particular stocks.   However it is my contention in relation to a number of the reductions proposed on our key stocks are both unjustifiable and unacceptable.”
The KFO expects as in previous years after the usual battles with other Member States that the Hague Preferences which sees Ireland and the UK getting elevated quotas for a number of key species when reductions are proposed, will be delivered.
The KFO with other Producer Organisations will be meeting Minister Coveney and his advisers in Brussels on Sunday night next and on a regular basis during the Fisheries Council next week to support his endeavours to deliver for Ireland the best deal possible in terms of fishing Opportunities for 2016.
Contact Details:-
Sean O’Donoghue, CEO Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation    087 – 4196535 or 074 97 31089