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Minister Outlines Fisheries Council Priorities

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - Fisheries Minister Michelle ONeill discussed priorities for this years December Fisheries Council with British fisheries Ministers and industry representatives from Britain and the North.

Speaking after the meeting held in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, the Minister said: Today I stressed the impact of proposed cuts in some of our key stocks as well as the on-going impact across the fleet of the Cod recovery Plan. I think everyone present now has a clear idea of what is important to us and I am confident that all Ministers will be working together to deliver a good result at Council.

The Minister said that there was a strong case to be made to fight proposed cuts in Area Seven Nephrops and to support an increase in the Irish Sea herring quota rather than the proposed cut of 25 per cent.

Nephrops are clearly sustainable at the current Total Allowable Catch and 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."

"We are also urging the Commission to suspend further cuts in fishing effort under the Cod Recovery Plan, following confirmation from the Commissions own advisors that it is flawed and needs to be revised.

the Fish Site Editor

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