Commenting on the outcome of this week’s fisheries talks, Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson has said:
“The future of the fishing industry and the communities that it supports , depend both on the outcome of the on-going reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and the nature of the settlement achieved at this week’s Fisheries Council. The centralised micromanagement of Europe’s fisheries has failed and the longer term success of the industry depends on the final shape of the CFP and in several key areas progress is being made.
The December Fisheries Council is always an anxious time for Northern Ireland’s fishermen and the wider fishing industry as it sets the quotas and days at sea for the year ahead, while these annual talks are also frustrating for those involved in the negotiations.
While it is regrettable that the quotas for some stocks have been cut, the huge importance of prawns to our fleet and economy means that the 6% increase in the quota for that stock is to be welcomed. This is especially the case considering that the Commission originally proposed a 12% cut so DARD and Defra have resisted a proposed outcome that would have hit our fishermen hard.”