89% Increase in Irish Blue Whiting Fishery
Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue welcomed the conclusion on Monday (20 March) of prolonged negotiations between the European Union and Norway, resulting in a bilateral fisheries agreement for 2023.
And for Ireland, the outcome is an 89 per cent increase in the blue whiting quota from 28,438 tonnes in 2022 to 53,776 tonnes in 2023.
“These are always difficult negotiations with different member states having different interests,” the minister said. “For Ireland, I am satisfied that the final outcome is the strongest possible one for our fishers. They now have a quota of 53,776 tonnes for 2023 worth in excess of €13 million.
“There were many different elements in these complex talks including reciprocal access to waters and transfers of quotas between the parties and internally in the EU.
“In that regard, I am particularly satisfied that in relation to blue whiting, Ireland was able to secure a 33% reduction in the traditional level of Norwegian access to EU waters from 68% to 45% and their complete exclusion from the blue whiting fishery in the Irish Box off the North West Coast of Ireland.”
Minster McConalogue added: “In terms of quota transfers I was able to maintain the principle that Ireland’s contribution to the EU quota transfer to Norway would be capped at 4% and, as importantly, established for first time that Ireland would be directly compensated with additional quota by other member states for transfers and access provisions. In this regard I was able to secure an additional 4,820 tonnes of blue whiting for the Irish fleets.”