Irish pelagic fishermen have been given a timely and welcome boost with negotiations around next year’s mackerel catch providing for a 41% increase in quota for 2020.
The development has been welcomed by Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation CEO, Seán O’Donoghue, who said at the conclusion of this week’s coastal states meeting in London has resulted in a very satisfactory tripartite agreement reached between the EU, Norway and the Faroe Islands.
The Irish quota for 2020 is 78,054 tonnes which represents an increase of 22,740 on this year’s quota of 55,314 tonnes.
Mr O’Donoghue said: “Last year, I was extremely critical of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea or ICES and its scientific advice. That criticism was proven 100% accurate since an ICES review on May 15th last provided for an overall figure of 770,358 tonnes for 2019 instead of 318,403 tonnes and now a further increase for 2020 to 922,064 tonnes, a figure which is an incredible increase of almost 190% on the advice it had offered in September of 2018.
“I’m extremely pleased that the Coastal States have taken on board the concerns of the KFO and others, which I have expressed regularly in numerous fora regarding the lack of quality assurance in the ICES assessment process by including a specific written reference to this in the final document.”
The KFO CEO said he fully agreed with the criticism levelled at the meeting by the EU, Norway and the Faroes at Iceland, Russia and Greenland for their decisions to increase its unilateral quotas for mackerel for 2019.
Mr O’Donoghue concluded by acknowledging the pivotal role played by Minister Michael Creed and his officials in delivering this favourable outcome.Tags: