Norway is seeking greater access to fish their annual quotas in Irish waters, while offering no reciprocal arrangement for Ireland to their own seas. Fishing representatives in Ireland are demanding that the EU refuse Norway access to the Irish Box for the lucrative blue whiting catch.

The fishing and seafood sector is appealing to the Minister for the Marine to ensure that the EU blocks Norway, a non-EU member, from gaining unilateral access to our blue whiting grounds. “The EU already threw Ireland under the bus when it came to quota cuts after Brexit,” says Aodh O Donnell, chief executive of the Irish Fish Producers Organisation (IFPO).

“We took the hardest hits. A staggering 40 % of the total value of quotas transferred to the UK under Brexit came from Ireland. This was way more than was taken from any other EU nation, including those with much shorter coastlines and far higher quotas than Ireland at the outset. Why is the EU now considering that we take the hit again for a non-EU member? It’s time to ask serious questions about the EU’s attitude to Ireland and our fishing industry.”

“The fact that Norway is making their request to the EU and NOT directly to Ireland, speaks volumes. They seem optimistic that the EU would unilaterally surrender access to Irish fishing grounds to a non-EU member – based on the track record of EU treatment of the Irish fishing industry.”

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