The fishing industry has welcomed a commitment from the Minister for the Marine to protect access to Ireland’s rich Blue Whiting fishing grounds.
Fishing representatives had lobbied extensively in recent weeks against EU discussions to grant Norway – a non-EU member – unfettered access to our blue whiting. The EU-Norway talks offered no meaningful reciprocity to Ireland, and they were suspended last week without reaching agreement.
In a statement issued today, however, Minister McConalogue said he was working at EU level to limit the transfer of Blue Whiting quotas. Blue whiting in Irish waters is valued at an estimated €100-€120m for 2023. Ireland currently has just 3% of the EU allowable quota for blue whiting, while Norway already has 18% and were seeking unfettered access to Irish Coastal waters.