Thursday 17 October 2019

No more dead fish overboard in EU deal

Aideen Sheehan

IRISH fishermen have expressed disappointment that new proposals agreed by EU ministers do not guarantee Ireland extra quotas in key stocks.

But they welcomed the breakthrough agreement to end the practice of throwing dead fish overboard because they are over quota.

Marine Minister Simon Coveney, who brokered the deal, said this would end a highly wasteful practice of discarding dead fish.

"In Irish waters alone we are probably talking about half a million tonnes of fish a year being dumped over the sides of fishing boats into the sea. That is immoral," he said.

The Federation of Irish Fishermen (FIF) welcomed the agreement on phasing out discards at marathon talks on the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in Brussels.

Compromise

However, it said that the omission of backing for the "Hague preferences" which provide extra quota for certain stocks in Irish waters was disappointing.

FIF chair Francis O'Donnell said Mr Coveney had made "significant progress on a number of our key priorities" at the talks in Brussels which ended at dawn yesterday.

Mr Coveney chaired the 36-hour discussions between fisheries ministers from all 27 member states in Brussels which agreed a compromise proposal on how the CFP will work for the next six years.

The EU has been trying to reform fishing policy for years amid concerns about dwindling stocks.

JOHN DOWNING

Irish Independent

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