Posted on May 31, 2013 4:18 PM   |   Permanent Link   

Seán Kenny, the Local Labour Party TD for Howth has welcomed the agreement on the EU Common Fisheries Policy, led by the Irish Presidency of the EU.

"At the very beginning of Ireland's Presidency, the Government set out an ambitious and demanding work programme. It was imperative that reform of our fisheries had to happen. I am delighted that there is now agreement on a policy which is practical and which places sustainability firmly at its core. It is a policy which will provide for a vital, vibrant industry and healthy fishing stock long into the future".

"From an Irish perspective the so called "Hague Preferences" have been protected which give additional quotas to Ireland each year for critical traditional stocks around our coast such as cod, haddock and whiting. Discarding of fish stocks will no longer be allowed. This ends the old policy which forced fishermen to waste food by discarding fish at sea. The new policy will result in higher quotas for our fishermen."

"There is also a commitment to develop and strengthen biologically sensitive areas, with spawning grounds and high populations of juvenile fish. This will protect and allow for additional protections for the sensitive fishing grounds off the south and west coast of Ireland known as the Irish Box. As well as that, ownership of fish quotas as a public asset and removes the threat of privatisation of quotas and their concentration in large foreign companies. This will protect the family owned fishing vessels around our coast."

"The reform, when taken as a whole, delivers on not just a discards ban but also provides the means for new ways of sustainable fishing, a more transparent and competitive market, as well as empowering fishermen by giving them a central role in decision making for their fisheries, and I welcome it."