Minister Coveney said: “I welcome the outcome of the mackerel negotiations today, which Ireland participated in. This outcome will give certainty to our fishermen in this vital fishery for Ireland. Irish mackerel fishermen will, by historical standards, have a very large mackerel quota to fish in 2015.
"However, I remain unhappy with the overall sharing arrangement agreed in March and I do not agree with the amount set aside for other parties such as Iceland. This sharing arrangement remains fixed until 2018 but at that stage I would expect that the relevant arrangement can be revised. I have of course worked closely with the Federation of Irish Fishermen throughout this negotiation process”.
The mackerel quota for Irish fishermen for 2015 will be just over 89,000 tonnes. With the exception of the 2014 quota the quota agreed today for 2015 is the highest mackerel quota available to Irish fishermen for very many years.
The 2014 quota was set at an artificially high level, above scientific advice, due to the extraordinary circumstances of the March 2014 agreement which lead to a resolution of the international mackerel sharing dispute which had been ongoing for some years.
Mackerel is of course our single most valuable fishery and today’s agreement provides a high quota, stability and certainty for the Irish pelagic fishing Industry.
This agreement, reached, builds on the five year sharing agreement reached in March of this year between those parties.
The Minister went on to say: “Perhaps the most important aspect of today’s agreement is that, the quota is now for the 1st time in many years, set in line with scientific advice and that advice shows that the mackerel stock in the North East Atlantic is indeed in a very healthy condition”.
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