European ministers reach agreement on fishing quotas


EU fisheries ministers have reached an agreement on next year’s fishing quotas following 26 hours of negotiation in Brussels.

 Franz Fischler
Fisheries Commissioner, Mr Franz Fischler

Referring to the negotiations the Minister for the Marine, Mr Frank Fahey, said it was "the most bruising encounter in over 20 years of politics".

Under the agreement Ireland will see an increase of 5 per cent in volume terms over last year's quota.

The Celtic sea herring quota was secured but there will be some cuts in pelagic species such as blue whiting and horse mackrel.

The Commission, originally seeking cuts of up to 60 per cent in next year's catch quotas, decided not to introduce quotas on deep water species adding they would approach the problem on scientific basis.

The £70 million fleet renewal programme will go ahead as planned with the safety tonnage on ships left unchanged.

Minister Fahy called the deal "a very significant and historic day as we were isolated on a number of fronts."