The Minister received a request from the Irish South And West Fish Producers Organisation to allocate the increase over 2016 of Ireland’s mackerel quota for 2017 entirely to the Polyvalent Segment on a 1 year pilot basis in exchange for the recipient vessels forgoing demersal fishing in order to gauge the impact on the demersal vessels.
The matter generated a lot of discussion in the industry and the Minister has received many representations on the matter. The Minister, after having carefully considered the matter, decided that, without prejudice, there is a case for a review of policy on allocations between the RSW Pelagic segment and the polyvalent segment of the fleet, taking account of request by the IS&WFPO. In that regard, he decided that he is restricting consideration to the increased quota for Ireland in 2017 over that in 2016. Accordingly, the scope of the review relates to the allocation between the RSW Pelagic segment of 10,617 tonnes i.e. the increase in the national initial quota over the initial quota in 2016.
It is important to note that the Minister has not made any decision at this time to change the allocations between segments in respect of this part of the quota. All relevant issues will be carefully evaluated and subject to a full consultation with stakeholders before the Minister decides if any amendment to the policy is justified for the proper an effective management of the mackerel fishery.
The Consultation Document on the review with the request from the IS&WFPO and how to participate in the consultation process can be found here.
The closing date for submissions is 5:00 pm Tuesday 28th February, 2017