Tuesday, 22 November 2016
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
489. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will extend the deadline for herring fishing and allow greater flexibility to fishermen in respect of same in order to facilitate smaller vessels to fish the remainder of quotas yet to be caught; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35791/16]
The Celtic Sea Herring Management Committee (CSHMAC) comprise representatives of industry, processors, Co-Ops and the National Inshore Fisheries Forum and is chaired by the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation (IS&WFPO). The Department is not represented on the Committee nor is any other State agency. However, the Marine Institute advises the Committee from time to time on scientific issues relating to the stock whose remit covers all herring fisheries in the Celtic Sea. The role of Celtic Sea Herring Management Advisory Committee is to advise the Minister on the management arrangements for the stock.
The management arrangements which I put in place for the Celtic Sea main fishery, were recommended by the Celtic Sea Herring Management Advisory Committee. The Committee recommended that the first management period should run from 18 September to 25 November. It recommended the arrangement in place whereby, if landing figures support, I re-allocate uncaught quota for vessels that have landed at least 50% of their quota allocation in the period 18 September to 25 November and participated for a minimum of six weeks during this period. The second period will commence on 04 December.
The available quota for this fishery (the main fishery) is 13,857 tonnes. Landing data received from the SFPA on 14 November indicated that vessels had landed 10,617 tonnes (77%) with two weeks remaining in the current period.
I have not received any request from the CSHMAC to vary the arrangements put in place at the start of the season. I suggest that requests for amendments to the arrangements be addressed to the representative of the CSHMAC. I accept, as far as possible, the recommendations of the Committee.