Ireland manages and enforces its Fishing quotas in accordance with the specifications of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). This involves regular consultation with fishing industry interests. Our existing quota management system is designed to ensure the rational management of the available quotas, having regard to fishing patterns and market conditions, the best possible spread both between fishermen and also in terms of take up of quota during the year. A key objective is the avoidance of very early closure of fisheries through rapid exhaustion of quota. Under the current arrangements, fishing industry representatives are consulted formally through the Whitefish Quota Management Advisory Committee on a monthly basis and their views are taken into account as far as possible in the determination of monthly regimes for particular stocks. The Sea Fisheries Protection Authority is the national body for the control and enforcement of sea fisheries law and work with the Naval Service to control and enforce compliance with quota management arrangements and accurate reporting of landings.
The CFP reform has been completed over recent weeks under the Irish EU Presidency. The Reform agreed does not impose a requirement to privatise quotas as had been proposed by the EU Commission and vigorously opposed by Ireland. Under the new CFP, Member States retain full responsibility for implementing systems that are appropriate for their industry and I have consistently argued that in Ireland, quotas must remain a public resource. On a similar basis, individual EU Member States have responsibilities for the management of their own fisheries quotas and each Member State has primary responsibility for the control and enforcement of these arrangements. However, catch reporting and other restrictions within the 200 mile Exclusive Fisheries zone are a matter for the control authorities of the Coastal Member State.