Written answers

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Department of Agriculture, Marine and Food

Fisheries Protection

10:00 pm

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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Question 231: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the degree to which fish stocks have recovered arising from catch restrictions or other conservation policies, with particular reference to the most affected species; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40044/11]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Minister, Department of Agriculture, the Marine and Food; Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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For 2011, the advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) once more underlines the poor state of many fish resources where Irish Fishermen have an interest.

However it is not all bad news, improvements are evident on for some stocks such as, Celtic Sea cod and haddock. Generally, the state of fish stocks in European waters is improving. The proportion of over fished stocks in the Atlantic and nearby seas fell from 32 out of 34 stocks in 2004 to 22 out of 35 stocks in 2010, i.e. from 94% to 63%. This demonstrates that determined action does make a difference.

The eventual and incremental move to MSY should also bring significant benefits, and will mean a change from fishing intensively on scarce resources to fishing lightly on larger stocks. Phasing out over fishing will undoubtedly improve the state of resources and lower the impact on the environment. It will also improve the economic profitability of the catching sector

That said, many stocks in the west of Scotland, Irish Sea and Celtic Sea are still over fished and stock sizes are small. Eight stocks are so depleted that, according to scientific advice, they should not be caught. Of 14 stocks where MSY assessments could be made, eight stocks were found to be overfished.

The Long term management plan for Cod in existence since February 2009 has not to date had the desired effect with the Commission proposing a zero TAC for Cod in the Irish Sea and in the West of Scotland.

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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Question 232: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the extent to which total fish landings species at Irish ports has fluctuated over the past ten years to date in 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40045/11]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Minister, Department of Agriculture, the Marine and Food; Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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The Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) are responsible for the collation of landing data. Outlined as follows are figures for all landings (Irish, EU and Non-EU vessels) at Irish ports by weight since 2007.

Year Weight

2010 245,856

2009 222,327

2008 149,214

2007 198,478 The figures shown have been provided by the SFPA and are available on their website at www.sfpa.ie . There are currently no comparable figures prior to 2007, however, I have asked the Authority to revert directly to the Deputy with the complete set of figures in due course.

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