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Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Thursday, 23 Nov 2000

Vol. 526 No. 5

Written Answers. - Fish Stocks.

Emmet Stagg


34 Mr. Stagg asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources the steps he will take to address the continuing problem of declining fish stocks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26920/00]

Key commercial fish stocks are heavily exploited and under serious threat.

At last week's Council of EU Fisheries Ministers I underlined the urgent need for radical conservation measures to rebuild and protect whitefish stocks.

With the full support of the Irish fishing industry, I am insisting on comprehensive action to protect juvenile and spawning fish stocks through recovery programmes. In the context of grim scientific advice and the very hard decisions on TACs next month, all member states must shoulder their responsibilities and collectively agree these conservation plans. Having taken the lead with the Irish Sea cod recovery programme, Ireland will remain at the forefront of these initiatives, including ongoing negotiations on a hake recovery plan.

I am also pressing the case for enhanced EU wide fisheries control, enforced in a strict and even-handed manner. The viability of the resource and the interests of the Irish fishing fleet depend on compliance by all member states with the rules.