Killeen Delivers Positive Outcome For Celtic Sea Fishery

From: Dunphy Public Relations
Published: Wed Nov 19 2008


Recent scientific advice indicates that the improvements in the stock levels expected on foot of the plan introduced in 2004 for stocks, including in the Irish Sea and off the North West coast, were not evident and this resulted in the need to revisit and revise the objectives and measures required to deliver sustainable cod stocks into the future.

The scientific advice also indicated that the Celtic Sea cod stock off Irelandís south coast was also in need of rebuilding. The Commissionís proposal was mainly based on reducing the number of days vessels spend at sea in each of the areas.

Minister Killeen strongly argued at Council that this approach was not suited to the Celtic Sea fishery and that rebuilding measures based on the use of Ďsmartí fishing gear that reduced catches of cod at sea and targeted area closures, some of which had already been proposed by fishermen and implemented to protect spawning cod would be much more effective and better suited to the Celtic Sea fisheries.

The Minister said: "Our consistent and firmly held belief that the approach put forward by the Commission was not suited to the Celtic Sea and would not effectively rebuild the cod stock was finally accepted. I am very pleased that Council supported and took on board my approach".

Minister Killeen accepted the proposals for the recovery of cod in the Irish Sea and the in the northwest following important amendments to the original Commission proposal.

"I am pleased that the Commission committed to the continuation of closed conservation boxes in the Irish Sea. I believe that these are important for the recovery of the cod stock in the Irish Sea. I would like to pay particular tribute to the input of fishermenís representatives whom I met on a number of occasions during the course of the Council. I welcome their constructive contributions in what was a difficult situation": he stated.

Minister Killeen also referred to the difficult issues that still exist in relation to the finalisation of the Bilateral Fisheries Agreement with Norway. His concern centred on making sure that mackerel was not transferred to Norway as part of the Agreement and that the quantity of blue whiting transferred from the EU to Norway should be reduced.

The Minister said: "During the formal Council session I re-iterated in no uncertain terms Irelandís demand for a reduction in the level of blue whiting transfers to Norway and furthermore threw down a marker that we will not countenance any suggestion of other pelagic stocks being used to balance the agreement, particularly mackerel."

On the question of the Strategy for the Sustainable Development of European Aquaculture, the Minister was appreciative of the opportunity for an exchange of views on the issues impacting future expansion of aquaculture in the EU.

He stated: "I am particularly pleased that the Czech Republic has put aquaculture forward as a key topic for itís upcoming Presidency."

-ENDS-

Notes to Editor:
- For further information please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations on 00353868534900 or media@dunphypr.com
- High-resolution images of Minister Killeen are available

Mark Dunphy
Dunphy Public Relations
www.dunphypr.com
media@dunphypr.com
00353-868534900
Company: Dunphy Public Relations
Contact Name: Dunphy Public Relations
Contact Email: media@dunphypr.com
Contact Phone: 00353868534900

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