The issue of ending the ‘one size fits all’ approach to fisheries management was a key aspect of the recently concluded negotiations on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. In the new CFP Reform we have, for the first time, introduced a regionalised approach to fisheries management. We have moved away from the old system of an EU decision making approach centralised in Brussels. The new policy puts fishermen at the core of developing conservation measures for fisheries in which they are involved and also makes specific references to the needs of small scale fishermen and small offshore islands. I will be working closely with my counterparts in the new regional forums to ensure that decisions that reflect the real issues in our region are developed and implemented.
Many of the stocks fished by island communities are not subject to an EU TAC and quota management regime, although other requirements may be specified in EU law, such as minimum landing sizes. For such non TAC and quota species, management measures applying to Irish registered vessels fishing within inshore waters are developed nationally, though the EU Commission must be consulted before enactment. In the development of such national management measures, I always seek and fully consider any submissions from industry representatives. I am presently seeking views on proposed national management measures for lobster and shrimp. The closing date for submissions is 25 October 2013.