Fishing quotas for 2020 which were decided early this morning in Brussels have been given a cautious welcome by Donegal TD and Fianna Fáil spokesperson on fisheries, Pat The Cope Gallagher.
“There is a cautious welcome to the fishing quotas agreed for 2020 from our party and those Irish fishermen who watch so closely these yearly deliberations.
“I do welcome the increases in quotas for mackerel and haddock given their importance to fishing vessels from the North West, in the case of the mackerel increase it is correcting the flawed advice provided by ICES last year.
“The reduction in nephrops,[the Norway lobster, Dublin Bay prawn, langoustine or scampi], and its importance to Irish fishermen, is very disappointing but not unexpected. What is more concerning is the situation post Brexit. Some 40% of our nephrops are caught in UK waters. This area could be removed entirely by January 1, 2021, which will severely limit Irish fishing vessels."
Deputy Gallagher added this was why the future relationship between the European Union and the UK was so important.
"Trade negotiations between the EU and UK will have the biggest outcome for our fishing fleet next year. There could be potentially devastating outcomes for fleets which would have to remain in port as almost 3,000km of a water border would need to be policed.
“We depend so much on access to UK waters it is imperative fish and trade talks are to the fore of future negotiations. Minister Creed, Commissioner Hogan and others have a responsibility in these negotiations to advocate on behalf of the Irish commercial fishing industry,” he said.
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