Written Answers. - EU Fish Quotas.

Pat Rabbitte

Ceist:

48 Mr. Rabbitte asked the Minister for the Marine the implications, if any, for this country of the fisheries element of the accession agreement of Norway to the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Jim Higgins

Ceist:

59 Mr. J. Higgins asked the Minister for the Marine if increases in EU membership will have effects on current EU fish quotas; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Michael Creed

Ceist:

63 Mr. Creed asked the Minister for the Marine his views on the impact on the Irish fishing industry of the proposed accession of Norway to the EU.

I propose taking Questions Nos. 48, 59 and 63 together.

Negotiations between the EU and the four applicant countries are now effectively closed. As far as fisheries are concerned the main impact will arise should Norway decide to join. After difficult negotiations Ireland achieved all its major negotiating objectives. Not only are Irish fisheries interests preserved and consolidated in the outcome of this negotiation but, in addition, nothing was done at the Council which would have a prejudicial impact on any future negotiations in the fisheries sector.
The principal elements of the agreement are: one third of Ireland's mackerel allocation may be fished east of 4W including the Norwegian zone. The resources available to the Union under the EEA agreement will be consolidated and brought forward to 1995 and be further supplemented by additional resources to be obtained from third countries. Ireland, as a cohesion country, will receive a share of these resources. The internal allocation of these resources as between the cohesion countries remains to be agreed. Norwegian access to Irish waters will be no greater than currently obtains and will be subject to a special control system: in particular Norway will not be entitled to an allocation of horse mackerel. A four-year transitional period has been achieved during which a market monitoring and management mechanism will be put in place to minimise disruptions of the Community market which might arise as a result of the removal of the remaining tariffs on Norwegian fish imports.
The removal of tariffs on products imported from Norway would, of course, create pressures for the Irish industry which has had the benefit of these tariffs for a number of years. However, urgent discussions are underway on the implications of the lifting of these tariffs and consideration will be given to taking any measures necessary to assist the Irish industry.