Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Marine & Fisheries Pat the Cope Gallagher has said he is very disappointed at the drastic cut in the 2018 Irish Mackerel quota, which will come as hammer blow to affected fishing communities.

In 2017, fisheries negotiations for the annual mackerel fishery in the North East Atlantic allocated 86,429 tonnes to Ireland. However, for 2018, the quota will be 69,143 tonnes – a 20% cut in the total quota.

“This move will send shockwaves through fishing communities across the country which rely on this catch for employment opportunities.  The loss of this high valuable produce will impact severely on business plans companies had in place”, said Deputy Gallagher.

“The Government was clearly asleep at the wheel and the fact that it allowed this decision to be passed is a clear indication of its attitude towards fishing and coastal communities”.