Written answers

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Fishing Industry

Photo of Pádraig Mac LochlainnPádraig Mac Lochlainn (Donegal, Sinn Fein)
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359. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will provide an update on the efforts of the Government to secure a fair allocation of fishing quota across the range of species, for the Irish fishing industry, within the Irish EEZ, under the current review of the Common Fisheries Policy. [8628/23]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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I can assure the Deputy that this Government is committed to addressing the challenges facing our seafood sector following the adoption of the EU-UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA). I am pursuing all opportunities at EU level to help address the unequal burden sharing whereby Ireland carries an excessive burden of the EU quota transfers to the UK.

The Common Fisheries Policy Regulation (Regulation EU 1380/2013) provides that the European Commission will report to the European Parliament and the Council on the functioning of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). On the 21stFebruary, the Fisheries Commissioner, Virginijus Sinkevicius, published the Commission’s assessment on the functioning of the CFP along with a package of measures to improve the sustainability and resilience of the fisheries and aquaculture sector.

The Commission’s Communication document acknowledges the progress that has been achieved through the framework of the CFP over the past decade and the fundamental role played by all stakeholders in driving these positive changes.

However, the Communication fails completely to address the impact of Brexit and the Trade and Co-operation Agreement, which has been the most significant and enduring challenge faced by the fisheries sector in generations.

I have consistently made clear throughout the review process that the Irish Government’s assessment is that the substantial changes brought about in fisheries policy as a result of the TCA requires that a comprehensive review be carried out of the CFP that would support changes to deliver a fair and equitable policy. This review of the implementation of the CFP presented a timely opportunity to address the inequitable impact of the quota transfers under the TCA.

While it is very disappointing that the Commission did not avail of this opportunity, the existing CFP legal framework does allow for changes to quota sharing arrangements between Member States which could be used to address the impacts of Brexit.

Initial discussions on the CFP report will take place at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 20thMarch and I will be making Ireland’s position on the report clear to the Commissioner and fellow Fisheries Ministers.

I will continue to pursue all opportunities to increase the fishing opportunities for Ireland’s fishing fleet. For example, I am working to increase Ireland’s share of Blue Whiting by reducing the amount that Ireland traditionally contributes under the EU-Norway negotiations, which are currently ongoing.


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