The European Parliament in Strasbourg  overwhelmingly adopted  (651+ and 19 -) an amendment tabled by Pat the Cope Gallagher MEP which will allow Irish fishermen to catch boar fish, which will be worth in the region of EUR 15 million to Ireland this year.
 
However, the two largest parties in the European Parliament, the EPP and the Socialists by and large voted against two important amendments for Ireland (this excludes the four Irish MEPs in the EPP group who voted in favour.)
 
These amendments would have enabled boats under 15 metres to fish stocks other than cod off the northwest coast of Ireland.
 
Pat the Cope Gallagher MEP said today “I am pleased by the overwhelming support received today for my amendment on boar fish. Boar fish is a new fishery, which has been developed primarily by Irish fishermen.”
 
“In December, the Fisheries Council established a Total Allowable Catch. Of which, Ireland was allocated 67% of the TAC. However, there are no references to boar fish under the existing EC regulations.”
 
“I am happy that the European Parliament decided to accept my recommendation to use today’s report as a vehicle to introduce the appropriate mesh size of 32 to 54 mm. Thus avoiding the need to introduce new legislation, which would take too long. Further scientific advice on boar fish is expected and I am hopeful that an increase in the TAC will be recommended for 2012.”
 
“I am deeply disappointed by the European Parliament’s decision to reject my amendments related to area VIa of the northwest coast of Ireland. The existing Regulation on Technical Measures is causing major problems for the small, inshore vessels.
 
“Unfortunately, the existing rules will be not be changed until 2013 when a new regulation is expected as part of the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.
However, these small vessels are deprived of earning an income. And even more importantly, these vessels are forced to travel into dangerous waters to catch fish outside the area, which is closed for cod recovery.”
 
“I wish to acknowledge all Members who supported my amendments on boar fish and Area VIa and in particular the Irish Members.”