Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Marine and Fisheries & Leas Cheann Comhairle Pat The Cope Gallagher TD has welcomed the admission that the International Council for Exploration of the Sea (ICES) advice has been inaccurate over the past number of years, and in fact has over cut our Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for various fish species.

Pat The Cope commented, “This has cost our marine sector millions of euro and our fishermen have been severely impacted by inaccurate advice which determined the value or size of our quotas over the past number of years.

“I understand the more accurate stock size is 4.16m tonnes as opposed to 2.35m. It is shocking that the advice on which quotas were set and based was incorrect by such a margin.

“I had lost confidence in recent years in the mackerel advice provided by ICES. The inaccurate advice being put forward by them was costing the Irish Marine sector in terms of catch and onshore jobs.

“The decisions to cut the TAC over the past number of years should not have been taken. They were based on a false premise and inaccurate information provided by ICES. 

“The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the EU Coastal states must revisit the recent decisions which were taken on the basis of ICES advice and put in place an increased quota and TAC for those states which were unfairly cut in those respective years,” concluded Deputy Gallagher.