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Written Answers - Fish Quota

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 No. 3

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 409.  Deputy Noel Harrington Information on Noel Harrington Zoom on Noel Harrington  asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney  when he will announce the Celtic Sea fishery allocations for herring; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23799/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney In 2011 I asked the fishing industry and other interested parties to make proposals on the future management arrangements for all Irish herring fisheries. In response to my notification of the review, a number of proposals were received from industry, many offering conflicting views, particularly in regard to the need to ring fence the fisheries. Taking account of the views expressed I issued a draft policy for consultation in December 2011. Following this, in February of this year, I met with and consulted the industry on the matter. I have asked my Department to bring to a conclusion as soon as possible the analysis of the data and to bring forward options to integrate where possible the views of the industry with the draft policy already issued. I then intend to make a final decision on the management arrangements for the 2012 herring fisheries. Revised arrangements, if any, will be on the basis that they deliver a proper and effective management regime for the stock.

 410.  Deputy Noel Harrington Information on Noel Harrington Zoom on Noel Harrington  asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney  when he will announce the allocations for tuna fish; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23800/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney Under Article 12 of Regulation (EC) no 520/2007 the number of Community vessels fishing for Northern Albacore Tuna as a target species is fixed and up to 50 Irish fishing vessels may be authorised to fish albacore tuna in any given year. Each year applications are invited from those wishing to partake in this fishery. Applications were invited from interested parties and by the closing date of 20 April 2012, 50 applications had been received.

[459]Albacore Tuna are a high value commercial species for which Ireland has a quota of 3,896 tonnes in 2012. The migratory pattern of the Albacore Tuna is uncertain but often arrives in the waters off the South and West coast of Ireland in late July. This migratory pattern is unpredictable from year to year and as a result catches by Irish fishermen also vary considerably.

For many years no specific management arrangements for the fishery were required as the quota was under used. However in 2011, the fishery came close to the Irish coast earlier in the season and as a result the full quota was landed by the end of August and the fishery was closed. For this reason my Department requested the industry representatives to make recommendation as to how this stock should be managed in 2012. My Department received a number of submissions on the matter with divergent views.

I am currently examining the issues arising and the submissions made and I hope to make a decision on the matter in the near future.


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