Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Common Fisheries Policy

Photo of Pádraig Mac LochlainnPádraig Mac Lochlainn (Donegal, Sinn Fein)
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174. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the quota allocated to the Irish fishing fleet in each of the EEZs of other European Union member states under the Common Fisheries Policy. [16790/22]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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Under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), EU fishing fleets are given equal access to EU waters and fishing grounds subject to allocated fish quotas. There are derogations to this access rule, including restrictions on access to Member States' coastal waters.

Quotas for the various stocks are allocated for management areas - that is, an ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Seas) area or a part thereof - and not Member States' EEZs. Generally, most stock areas straddle more than one EEZ area. These stock areas can include Member States' EEZs, third countries' EEZs and international waters.

For example, the Total allowable Catch (TAC) area for the Hake Stock is ICES Areas 6 and 7 which stretches from the north of Scotland south to the north coast of Brittany, and into the English channel. This area includes parts of the UK EEZ, the Irish EEZ, part of the French EEZ and some international waters. Ireland's quota may be fished in any part of this area. Ireland's main Mackerel quota covers ICES Areas 6 and 7 stretching from north of Scotland to the north coast of Brittany and the full quota may be fished in UK waters of the northern North Sea. The access to the northern North Sea in particular is economically important for our fleet.

The share allocation of stocks between Member States was established as a principle of the first CFP in 1983 and was based on the average catch of each Member State over a period of reference years (track record). The only exception to this relates to the Hague Preferences, based on a special recognition agreement of the underdeveloped nature of the Irish fleet and the heavy control responsibility on us when Ireland joined the EU. The share out of TACs set in more recent years has also been mainly based on track record, the most recent of these of importance to Ireland has been boarfish.

The details of the stocks for which Ireland has quota are set out in the TAC and Quota Regulation each year.


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