I propose to take Questions Nos. 36, 43 and 66 together.
Following the launch of the EU Commission's Green Paper on the Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), last April, Minister Killeen appointed Dr Noel Cawley to co-ordinate and oversee an extensive, nationwide public consultation process which involved meetings around the coast and a seminar organised by the Federation of Irish Fishermen, and an open call for submissions. In addition, Minister Killeen met individually industry organisations and other stakeholders involving the Federation of Irish Fishermen, the Irish Fishermen's Organisation , the Irish Fish Processors and Exporters Association, IFA Aquaculture and the Environmental Pillar of Social Partnership. Advertisements were placed in national and relevant fishing newspapers seeking submissions from interested parties. All of the submissions received by Dr. Noel Cawley have been evaluated and have contributed to the formulation of Ireland’s response to the European Commission which issued on February 23rd.
The report in its entirety and all formal submissions received during the public consultation process are available on www.fishingnet.ie. In brief Ireland's submission on the CFP reform sets down a number of informed recommendations to be incorporated into the new Common Fisheries Policy. The changes cover:
New focus on addressing discarding of fish at sea with a complete ban being introduced for stocks in a depleted state;
The retention of a management system based on national quotas supported by increased flexibility and a rejection of the mandatory privatisation of fish quotas or the introduction of international trading of fish quotas;
Access to coastal waters to be re-examined with a view to an extension of the coastal limit to 20 miles with new management arrangements in place to strengthen coastal communities dependant on inshore coastal fisheries;
New measures to strengthen the market for EU producers and increase quay side prices;
Reinvigoration of European aquaculture with continued structural support and a road map that establishes a route for growth in harmony with Community environmental law.
New regional structure to decision making at EU level with increasing industry responsibility and the development of a culture of compliance.
Under the planned EU timetable for the review, a summary of the consultation process will be published in 2010. It will be followed by a legislative proposal to the Council and the European Parliament to be adopted in 2011, with a view to its entering into force in 2012.
Consultation at European level continues with an exchange of views at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council scheduled for the 19th/20th April 2010. Following on from that meeting a working document concerning reform options will be prepared by the Commission and presented at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council scheduled for the 28th/29th June 2010. In addition, an informal meeting of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers to discuss the reform is scheduled to be held in Vigo, Spain on the 4th/5th May 2010. Minister Killeen has also agreed a meeting with the new fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki to outline the key elements of Ireland's CFP Review submission and explain the changes that we consider are essential. Nationally, I intend to continue my close collaboration with the Federation of Irish Fishermen and the other stakeholders, to put Ireland's case forward and convince our Member State colleagues and the Commission to strengthen the current policy in line with Ireland's submission on the reform of the CFP.