Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Questions (262)

Catherine Martin


262. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his attention has been drawn to the fact that nine out of 16 TACs for shared stocks in 2019 decided during the Norway-EU fisheries consultations exceed ICES scientific advice; and if he will request the EU Commission to consult with Norway with the ICES TAC advice serving as an upper limit in line with the principles of good governance of the CFP Article 3 and the CFP target of sustainable rates of fishing by 2020 in view of the evidence. [28409/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Ireland has a limited interest in the annual EU/Norway consultations. Our primary concern is with regard to the use of Blue whiting, an important pelagic stock, in exchanges from which we receive little benefit. We do not get involved in TAC setting discussions given that we do not have any quota for the relevant stocks.

The European Commission has exclusive competence with regard to these consultations and its actions are governed by the Common Fisheries Policy (Regulation (EU) 1380/2013). As the Deputy states, that includes principles of good governance as set down in Article 3 of that Regulation. The Commission are also bound by Article 33 of the same regulation regarding the management of stocks of common interest with third countries such as Norway. This article states that the 'Union shall engage with those third countries with a view to ensuring that those stocks are managed in sustainable manner that is consistent with ...the objective laid down in Article 2(2). It is that article which contains the objective of reaching the maximum sustainable yield exploitation rate by 2020.