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Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 16 June 2020

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Questions (734)

Charlie McConalogue


734. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of the revised EU fisheries control regulation proposal; his views on same; his further views regarding the regulation of super trawlers with respect to the proposed introduction of CCTV and remote electronic monitoring; if further information will be provided regarding the points raised in correspondence (details supplied); and if background information will be provided on the next EU Fisheries Ministerial Council to discuss the draft regulation. [10525/20]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Council Regulation 1224/2009, known as the Control Regulation, establishes a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy and establishing a level-playing field across the EU on fisheries control.  In 2018, the Commission published a proposal to amend the Control Regulation.  The negotiations on the revised EU Control regulation are currently ongoing at the Council Working Party. The European Parliament is also discussing the Commission’s proposal for a Regulation and is in the process of preparing its own recommended amendments to the text. When both the Council and the Parliament have formally adopted their positions, trilateral negotiations will commence involving the EU Council, the European Parliament and the Commission. 

I am supportive of many of the proposed changes in the Commission proposal that strengthens the EU arrangements for control, inspection and enforcement.   I am also seeking that measures introduced are proportionate, support simplification, cost efficiency and reducing administrative burden for Member States and industry.   

My Department has been engaged fully in the negotiation process and continues to be actively involved in the ongoing discussion with the Presidency, other Member States and the Commission on the new proposals.

Regarding Remote Electronic Monitoring (REM), Ireland is supportive of the introduction of a risk-based REM system.  As a Coastal Member State, we are seeking access to the data gathered within this system on a near real time basis to support the work of the Naval Service and the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority.  I consider that this is a critically important tool given the control obligations that Ireland has in respect of all vessels operating in our 200 mile zone.  In that regard, over the period 2011 to 2015, average landings of all species from the Irish EEZ amounted to just under 387,000 tonnes with an approximate value of €444 million.  Ireland accounted for 42% of those landings by weight followed by the UK (16%), the Netherlands (15%), France (10%) and Spain (7%).  By value, Ireland accounts for 36% of the average value of landings from the Irish EEZ followed by France (18%), the UK (16%), Spain (15%) and the Netherlands (8%).  Responsibility for the control of all fishing activity in Ireland's 200 miles zone rests with the control authorities, the Naval Service and the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority.  

The next meeting of the Council of EU Fisheries Ministers will take place on 29 June.  The Presidency had indicated that it would bring a partial general approach on specified Articles in the proposal to this Council meeting.  However, the Presidency has now clarified that it will not seek a general approach but will present a progress report to Member States. Work on the proposal will continue under Germany’s presidency in the second half of this year.  My Department has consulted with stakeholders during this process and will continue to keep them apprised of developments.