“ Outcome of 2016 December Council Negotiations – 2017 Irish Quotas “

The EU Council of Ministers held their Annual December Council meeting in Brussels yesterday to decide on Ireland’s national resource our fish species quotas for next year 2017.

Our Minister Michael Creed attending his first December Council met with IS&WFPO Chairman John D. O’Sullivan, Director Niall Deasy, I CEO and fellow Industry Representatives in the early hours. After two heavy and intense, mostly difficult days of negotiations he confirmed the valuable increases he and his team secured in important fish stocks that will mean substantial increases in our two main stocks Mackerel and Nephrops (Prawns) for 2017 season.

The Minister acknowledged the contribution of the Industry leading up to the December Council negotiations and had a special mention for his experienced team of Irish Marine Civil Servants who helped guide him through the negotiations. It was visible to all present the tired but satisfied demeanour of the negotiating team showed this year was one where the cuts in some species were more than compensated by the substantial gains in other species.

I, similar to the Minister, was attending my first December Council meeting and was delighted to view the figures presented to us, to see a net gain of 6% overall which we are confident will lead to the creation of more badly needed jobs in the most rural communities of our Island Nation. We also wish to remind our Minister that it is very important that these increases must be distributed in an equitable manner in that the share of these increases are targeted to address the imbalance within our Demersal Whitefish Sector which his team have identified within our Nations fishing fleet.

I, Patrick Murphy, CEO of the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation on behalf of our Members wish to thank and congratulate our Minister Michael Creed, his team and our fellow Industry Colleagues for their work and determination to overturn what was a worrying proposed set of serious cuts to our National fish Quotas in the weeks leading up to this December Council and instead not only reduced these cuts but achieved some substantial gains in very important species to help not only
sustain our Industry but assist it to grow and prosper.

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