Pat the Cope Gallagher MEP, a member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries has today welcomed the announcement by Minister Simon Coveney on transferrable fishing concessions.
 
Pat the Cope Gallagher MEP said today, “the proposal by the European Commission to introduce mandatory Individual Transferable Quotas is a major issue for Ireland. I was never satisfied with the safeguards proposed by the Commission to prevent the transfer of quotas from Ireland and the excessive concentration of ownership. I fully support a system which is optional for each Member State instead of a mandatory one. The agreement by the Council of Ministers to support a voluntary system is therefore welcome news for the Irish fishing industry.”
 
“However, the Minister must realise that despite the welcome news today, it is not true to state that this is a done deal as the reform is a matter for the Parliament, Commission and Council. Difficult negotiations lie ahead and I will be supporting a voluntary system within the European Parliament.”
 
“I also call on the Minister to negotiate the opening of area VIa located off the North West of Ireland. This area has been closed since 2008 as part of a cod recovery plan. However, there has been an explosion of haddock in this area and even the smallest of inshore vessels are not allowed to fish, which would give them a reasonable income.”
 
“It is also extremely important for the Minister to give his full support for my Report on trade measures against unsustainable fishing practices, pertaining to the mackerel dispute. My report extends the scope of the trade measures to all fish and fish products, which is needed to ensure the adoption of effective and meaningful measures.”