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Future Fishing Opportunities Discussed With Industry

by the Fish Site Editor
28 October 2011, at 1:00am

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - Fisheries Minister Michelle ONeill has met with representatives of the fish catching and processing sectors to discuss priorities ahead of this Autumns vital fisheries councils.

Speaking after the meeting, the Minister said: We had a very useful and full discussion about the European Commissions proposals for fishing opportunities next year, and have agreed the main areas we need to work together on."

"Nephrops is clearly our top priority. There is no need for the proposed quota cut of 19% and we can point to the long term sustainability of this stock at the current level of activity as a clear justification for retaining the current quota.

The Minister said in discussions on Irish Sea herring there was unanimous support for a strong case to be made for an increase in the quota rather than the proposed cut of 25 per cent. She said: There is abundant DARD and European funded science that clearly shows the herring stock is increasing and at its highest level for many years.

Commenting on the Commissions proposals for a zero cod quota for the Irish Sea, the Minister added: The proposal for a zero quota has serious implications for the few remaining vessels that target this species. We are expecting shortly further proposals from the Commission on additional technical cod conservation measures and need to analyse these and their impacts before finalising our position. In the meantime, our scientists are working with the industry to examine how to improve the scientific data on cod stocks in the event that this proposal is adopted."

There is much to be done in the coming months and I, and my officials, will work closely with the local fishing industry, to present scientific and sustainable arguments against quota cuts that cannot be justified.

the Fish Site Editor