Fisheries organisations are urging Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, to negotiate hard on their behalf.
The calls come as fishing quotas for 2024 are finalised at the December EU Fisheries Council meeting in Brussels.
The two-day meeting, which began yesterday, and will conclude this evening, looks to agree on the total allowable catches for each species in EU member states under the Common Fisheries Policy.
Minister McConalogue flew to Brussels from Dubai where he was attending the final days of COP28.
Speaking this morning from the Belgian city, Minister McConalogue told RTÉ News significant progress has been made on key fish quotas for Ireland.
“My objective, as always, is for TACs (Total Allowable Catches) to be set in line with scientific advice so that our stocks can be sustainably fished and provide a secure future for our fishing fleet and the coastal communities dependent on it,” he said.
“I have invoked Ireland’s Hague preferences to ensure Ireland’s quota entitlements are maximised.
“I am satisfied, following the work done over recent days, that we will deliver sustainable quotas and, where necessary, take steps to protect vulnerable stocks. Over the coming days, I will continue to engage with Commissioner Sinkevičius to ensure that Ireland’s priorities are protected.”
The Hague Preferences give Ireland an increased share of traditional stocks such as cod, whiting, haddock sole and plaice when TACs reduce below a specified level.
CEO of the Irish Fish Producers Organisation, Donegal man Aodh O’Donnell, who is in Brussels for the council, said Ireland needs to be very vocal about its needs.
“Ireland needs to push really hard to defend its fishing rights and we have a poor track record on doing that. We have had significant engagement with the minister but we need to be more vocal.”