Fishing quotas; another missed opportunity to protect fishing industry.
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Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has today expressed her disappointment at the fishing quota deal secured by Minister Simon Coveney.
A member of the European Committee on Fishieries, Ms Ní Riada said,
"While I welcome some of the concessions and the slight increase on some species, particularly the 26% increase in the whiting stock, other species have been cut. We of course have to be mindful of maximum sustainable yields but data suggests that we have, for instance, a very healthy stock of Blue Fin Tuna.
"I asked Minister Coveney to consider looking for additional quota on the Blue Fin Tuna as it is a highly valuable fish, however, this was ignored. Quotas should be about a fair allocation and distribution which should benefit the smaller scale fisheries as well.
"However, regardless of tonnage or species, the fact still remains that deals are being done on our fish stocks. Irish Natural resources are being used as bargaining chips to the benefit of the Spanish and French fishing fleets.
"I refer to the bilateral agreement which the EU commission agreed with Norway and which was signed off on by the Council. This sees Norway gaining a huge quota of over 400 thousand tonnes of Blue whiting, 80% of it to be caught in Irish waters.
"The question has to be asked, what does Ireland gain out of it? It harks back to the original deal where our fishing industry paid the price for joining the EU in the first place, and we are still paying the price." ENDS