Fish Quotas Deal Threat to Irish Sea Eco-System

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

Just weeks after we revealed the damage being wrought on fish stocks by so called monster trawlers off the West of Ireland a new EU deal has been reached, affecting the Irish Sea, which will cause even greater damage to fish stocks.

The Irish Wildlife Trust has expressed concern at the long term damage to the marine eco-system echoing comments we made about a month ago.

There’s an excellent report by Irish Times Marine correspondence Lorna Siggins at this link:

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/eu-fish-quotas-will-damage-irish-sea-ecosystem-trust-says-1.2469881

Important changes mean vessels will be allowed an extra allowance (quota uplift) and undersized fish – note this quote from the article:

“The annual pre-Christmas talks, which ran into the early hours of Wednesday morning, resulted in a 10 per cent increase in the whitefish quota share for the Irish fleet, Mr Coveney said.

“A key factor was an additional quota for certain species that will be subject to a ban on discarding at sea for the first time from January 1st.

“Pelagic species such as mackerel are already subject to the ban, but four whitefish species – prawns, whiting, haddock and hake – will now be subject to the measure.

“The ban means that vessels must land all members of these species caught at sea, even if they are undersized or over-quota.

“These extra allowances, known as “quota uplift”, should also ensure that fishermen are not forced to tie up earlier than usual once the quota is exhausted.”

In addition to the Irish Wildlife Trust other environmental groups such as Birdwatch Ireland’s have expressed views. Their head of policy Siobhán Egan, who attended the negotiations in Brussels as an observer, called for greater transparency from the European Commission in terms of how such agreements are reached.

BERNARD MOFFATT

Issued by: The Celtic News

20/12/15



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