McConalogue takes Irish industry case to EU

At the 28 June meeting of the EU Fisheries Council, Irish minister for agriculture, food and the marine Charlie McConalogue made the case that the disproportionate impact of Brexit on Ireland must be addressed in the upcoming review of the CFP. He also welcomed the common position reached by Member States on the revision of the existing fisheries control rules.

Following the meeting, Minister McConalogue said: “I made clear at Council that the disproportionate burden placed on Ireland in terms of quota loss, under the Brexit TCA, must be addressed, and I will be relentless in pursuing this issue on behalf of the Irish fishing industry at every opportunity. I set down that in the upcoming Common Fisheries Policy review, I will be making the renegotiation of quota shares Ireland’s priority.”

The EU fisheries ministers were meeting to finalise the common position of member states on the revision and strengthening of the existing fisheries control rules in advance of negotiations with the European parliament.

Charlie McConalogue said: “Today’s agreement takes onboard a number of my key concerns. This includes the derogation allowing for weighing of catch away from the quayside under certain conditions, including the application of a rigorous control plan. 

“I appreciate that the Commission has revoked Ireland’s current control plan, and Ireland’s control authority, the SFPA, is preparing a new revised control plan for submission to the Commission. 

“It will be essential that the new control regulation will provide for the continuation of weighing of landings in factories as a derogation from the overall policy of weighing on the quayside when the required assurances are in place. This derogation is necessary to reflect the unique geography of our fish processing industry, where most of our processing plants are not on the quayside.”

Minister McConalogue met with Irish industry representatives on 23 June following their protest in Dublin, when 74 Irish vessels steamed up the Liffey to highlight the crises facing the industry. 

Later in the day, the leaders of the four Irish FPOs handed a petition to the minister. This was followed by a two-hour meeting.

Charlie McConalogue said: “I was joined by the representatives of the fishing industry this afternoon where we had constructive talks. I welcome continued engagement with the industry.”

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here. 

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