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KFO says overall outcome of the Fisheries Council was positive

KFO says overall outcome of the Fisheries Council was positive

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KFO said the overall outcome of the Fisheries Council that finished at 2am this morning was positive with significant increases in three pelagic stocks mackerel +14%, blue whiting +85% and Atlanto Scandia herring +104%.  There were also very welcome increases in nephrops and in a number of important whitefish species but the reductions in haddock in the North West and megrim in Celtic Sea are disappointing. The expected 50% increase in the percentage share of blue whiting was also endorsed by Council. KFO is satisfied that Minister Creed has for the most part delivered on our call prior to the Council to ensure that the Commission’s proposed cuts for key Irish stocks are reversed at the Fisheries Council.
Sean O Donoghue CEO said after the Council finished in Brussels;
“The outcome for the pelagic sector was mostly positive.  Our quotas for certain pelagic stocks were know in advance of the Council and the increases in quotas for mackerel our most important economic fishery, blue whiting and Atlanto Scandia herring for next year are welcomed. The proposed 17% cut in our monitoring herring quota in the North West has been eliminated. We did expect that there would be cuts in our horse mackerel and boarfish quotas given the very large uncertainties in the scientific assessments for both of these stocks which we will be actively addressing during next year. We also welcome the increases in whitefish quotas in the North West, monkfish + 20%, megrim + 9%, Rockall haddock +16% and saithe +13 % and much needed 9 % scientifically justified increase in nephrops. However the 20% reduction in haddock in the North West is not warranted as the reduction is due to scientific error and changing the fishing mortality rate. It is likely that this reduction will cause problems with possible early closures of fisheries during next year in the North West as haddock is under the landing obligation. There were significant increases in Celtic Sea namely haddock +7%, whiting +21%, and a rollover of the monkfish. The major proposed reduction of 68% in cod was significantly reduced to 15% and the hake quota in both areas was increased by 9%.”
He added; “The Hague Preferences which sees Ireland and the UK getting elevated quotas for a number of key species when reductions are proposed, were delivered but only after a major battle and I must recognise the trojan work done by Minister Creed to resist the attempts by a number of Member States to try to get them removed. Without the Hague Preference for example we would have taken a cut of 38% in the Celtic Sea cod instead of the 15% the cut”
Mr. O Donoghue concluded by saying: “ I wish to recognise that Minister Creed and his officials worked very closely with the industry both before and during the Council and took on board our well founded concerns and advice and delivered  a sustainable and economically viable fishing opportunities package for 2017”
14th December 2016
Contact Details:-
Sean O’Donoghue, CEO Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation       Mob: 087 4196535