Minister Killeen Presents EU Commission With Proposal For Innovative New Measures To Address Discar

From: Dunphy Public Relations
Published: Wed Jul 16 2008


The Minister this week attended the Council of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers in Brussels.

The Department and its agencies the Marine Institute and BIM, in conjunction with the Federation of Irish Fishermen (FIF), are developing thE pilot project, which is proposed to run for one year.

It will target unavoidable by-catches, in particular in the prawn fishery, where large scale discarding of marketable fish such as cod, which are caught over quota, is a particular problem. These fisheries occur in the Irish Sea, Celtic Sea and off the west coast. The overall object will be to use more environmentally-friendly fishing gear to avoid catches of small fish in these fisheries and to reduce the occurrence of discarding of marketable fish that cannot currently be landed under EU law if quotas are exhausted.

The Ministerís proposals, which he presented to Commissioner Borg, would mean that fishermen would be given an incentive to participate in the pilot phase. Vessels targeting prawns would have to be allocated an additional discard quota by the EU, which would allow the landing of marketable fish that would otherwise be discarded. Fishermen would be allocated a share of the sale price of the fish to cover vessel-running costs. The remainder would be allocated to a charity.

According to Minister of State Killeen, "The proposed project would be operated in conjunction with the Producer Organisations that make up the FIF. The Minister asked Commissioner Borg to give urgent consideration to this new proposal and to bring forward EU measures, which would allow the new pilot project to be implemented as soon as possible."

Also at the Council of Ministers meeting this week, an amendment to the TAC and Quota Regulation for 2008 is due to be approved that results in an increase of 44 tonnes in Irelands allocation of cod in the Celtic Sea. This increase came after sustained pressure by Ireland, after indications of improvement in the stock came from fisheries scientists earlier this year.

"The additional quota will mean that this small quota can be set aside for unavoidable catches of cod by Irish fishermen in the Celtic Sea. This will help to reduce discarding of marketable cod in this fishery", concluded Minister Killeen.

-ENDS-

Notes to Editor:
- Tony Killeen T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (with special responsibility for Fisheries and Forestry), is available for interview and further comment on 0035387-2525304. Alternatively 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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