A new Seafood Sector Taskforce has been established to report to the Marine Minister on the impacts of Brexit.
The Taskforce will make recommendations to Minister Charlie McConalogue on measures to mitigate the impacts of the fish quota share reductions on the Irish Fishing industry and on coastal communities.
Announcing the Taskforce, Minister McConalogue said, “The Trade & Cooperation Agreement between the EU and UK will see significant reductions in Ireland’s quotas for some key stocks, most notably mackerel and prawns, as part of the agreed transfer of quotas to the UK.
“These quota reductions will begin in 2021 and on a phased basis will result in a loss to Ireland of stocks worth €43 million per annum by 2026 or a 15% reduction overall in Irish fish quotas. The effects are immediate, with 60% of those reductions to take effect from April.”
“The outcome of Brexit could have been much worse for the Irish Fishing industry in a no-deal scenario, with lack of access to UK waters for one third of our fish catches that occur in UK waters, or increased displacement of the Irish and other EU fleets into our waters. Nevertheless, the agreed EU/UK outcome will still have a significant impact for our fishing fleet and the coastal communities built around it. Government is committed to providing financial supports to those most affected to help our seafood sector and coastal communities adjust to this blow.
“I am establishing a Seafood Sector Taskforce under the chair of Aidan Cotter, a distinguished and highly experienced figure in our food industry, to examine the impacts on our fishing fleet and coastal communities and report back to me with recommendations on how best to mitigate these.”
The Taskforce will be chaired by Aidan Cotter, barrister and former CEO of Bord Bia. Mr Cotter will be assisted by a steering group comprised of Margaret Daly – Deputy CEO of seafood processor Errigal Bay Ltd and Mícheal Ó Cinnéide, former Deputy CEO of the EPA and former Director in the Marine Institute and presently on the board of the Aquaculture Licensing Appeals Board.