O'Neill in Fisheries Reform talks
Fisheries Minister Michelle O'Neill has attended the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Brussels to discuss reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.Speaking after the Council, Minister O'Neill said:
"The main agenda items at the meeting covered those aspects of Common Fisheries Reform dealing with the achievement of Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) in fish stocks, and the priorities for financial assistance under the future European Marine and Fisheries Fund. It has long been my view that there is a need for flexibility in each of these areas, and I was particularly concerned about the need for these objectives to be met by 2015 in a mixed fishery like the Irish Sea.
"I am relieved that the Commission now recognises that it will not be possible to move all stocks to the MSY level at the same pace. In the Irish Sea we will need to gather more data to better understand the measures required to achieve sustainability for all stocks, and the impacts that these measures may have on our fishing fleet. I also welcome the proposal from the Danish Presidency to allow more flexibility for Member States to manage their own fish quotas. We operate a well established system and flexibility is necessary so that existing arrangements can be respected.”