Minister Charlie McConalogue has welcomed the 89% increase in Irish Blue Whiting fishery.
He was speaking after the conclusion, yesterday, of the prolonged negotiations between the European Union and Norway, resulting in a bilateral fisheries agreement for 2023.
“For Ireland, I am satisfied that the final outcome is the strongest possible one for our fishers. They now have a quota of 53,776 tonnes for 2023 worth in excess of €13m,” Minister McConalogue said.
“I am particularly satisfied that, in relation to Blue Whiting, Ireland was able to secure a 33% reduction in the traditional level of Norwegian access to EU waters from 68% to 45% and their complete exclusion from the Blue Whiting fishery in the Irish Box off the North West Coast of Ireland.”
The Minster noted that, in terms of quota transfers, he was able to maintain the principle that Ireland’s contribution to the EU quota transfer to Norway would be capped at 4%.
“And, as importantly, I established for the first time that Ireland would be directly compensated with additional quota by other Member States for transfers and access provisions. In this regard I was able to secure an additional 4,820 tonnes of blue whiting for the Irish fleets.”
The Minister remarked that scientific advice tells us that the Blue whiting stock is in good shape and expanding rapidly and this, coupled with the agreement secured, bodes well for the sustainability of this fishery for Irish fishers going forward.
Minister McConalogue concluded by thanking Irish Fishing industry representatives, Aodh O’Donnell (IFPO), Sean O’Donoghue (KFO), Patrick Murphy (ISEFPO) and Brendan Byrne (IFPEA) “for the close cooperation throughout the process and their active campaigning in Europe that helped to secure this strong outcome for Irish fishers”.