The mackerel quota for Irish fishermen for 2016 will be just over 75,000 tonnes, it was agreed at an international fisheries negotiation at the National Seafood Centre in Clonakilty, Co. Cork.
The negotiations involved Norway, the Faroe Islands and the European Union on the management of mackerel in the north-east Atlantic.
This agreement reflects a precautionary approach in accordance with the latest scientific advice and the long-term management strategy also agreed between all parties.
Mackerel is Ireland’s single most valuable fishery and today’s agreement provides a high quota, stability and a framework to help ensure the long-term sustainability of the stock.
The agreement, reached builds on the five-year sharing agreement reached in March 2014 between those parties. Further discussions on that agreement are expected in the coming months.
Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, said: “I welcome the outcome of the international mackerel negotiations today, which Ireland not only hosted but was also a central participant as the second largest EU quota holder. Irish fishermen will now have a quota of 75,000 tonnes, worth over €63m directly to our catching sector, for 2016 and the new long-term management strategy will provide stability to our fishermen in this vital fishery for Ireland by avoiding large variations in the quota from year to year.”
He continued: “While the quota achieved by Ireland is less than that of the last two years, those quotas were unusually high by historical standards. The quota of 75,000 tonnes achieved today is considerably higher than our historical average quota of approximately 54,000 tonnes, apart from the last two years. As always, industry representatives, in particular, Sean O’Donoghue of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation were extremely helpful to the Irish negotiating team.”