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REVIEW OF NINETEEN YEARS’ QUOTA MANAGEMENT DEMONSTRATES CHANGES IN FISH STOCKS

The purpose of the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) method is to manage stocks sustainably, and, by fixed quota percentage, to divide landings proportionately among member states which, on the basis of traditional harvesting patterns have entitlement to exploit them. The process involves assessing fish stocks to ascertain the fraction which can be removed without jeopardising regenerative capacity. The operation has …

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POLICY MISLABELS “SCARCITY OF WHITEFISH” AS “SHORTAGE OF WHITEFISH QUOTA”

3 November 2016 Since the early 1980s, the annual level of diminishing whitefish quotas has been decided at the Council of Fisheries Ministers meeting in Brussels in December. The meeting is the culmination of a year’s survey and laboratory work, assessing the likely sustainable harvest of fin and shellfish stocks exploited in common by EU member states. The data are shared with …

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MONKFISH AUTHORISATION – IRELAND’S SECRET WHITEFISH QUOTAS

9 September 2016 Access to Ireland’s whitefish quotas in 2014 was sought from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) through Freedom of Information. The majority of vessel allocations for whitefish (species like cod, haddock and whiting) were already in the public domain, having been published on the web but allocations to twenty whitefish vessels were secret. On first …

FUNDING THE COMMON FISHERIES POLICY THROUGH THE EUROPEAN FISHERIES FUND 2007-2013

The latest tranche of funding from the EU, the European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF), will require collateral funding from the Irish state of almost €100 m. EMFF will dispense funds to the industry through state agencies in much the same way as its predecessor, the European Fisheries Fund (EFF). At the conclusion of EFF, the fleet which was supposed to have …

Regulating crustacean pot fisheries in Ireland

There is little appetite for managing wild capture fisheries in Ireland because the political establishment and responsible government department dislike confrontation with the industry. Token regulation conforms to one of three models: The rules are clear and sound but they are poorly enforced or not enforced at all. The legislation is deficient because it is incompetently drafted, which allows the …

The benefits of MSY status for fish stocks exploited by Ireland

MSY (the theory of Maximum Sustainable Yield) has been described as “a perfect example of pseudo science with little empirical or sound theoretical basis” by Dr Sidney Holt, co-author in 1957 with Dr R.J.H. Beverton of On the Dynamics of Exploited Fish Populations.[i] Yet, despite deepening reservations, the concept continues to gather prestige and occupy an increasingly significant role in fisheries …

INTRODUCING IRELAND’S FISH PRODUCER ORGANISATIONS

IT IS FORTY YEARS since Ireland’s first Fish Producer Organisation (FPO) came into existence but it is only three weeks since their membership was revealed, following a protracted struggle to extract the information from the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine (DAFM).[i] FPOs WERE CREATED to perform as agents of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in the 1970s. At the time, …

THE EVOLUTION OF IRELAND’S MARINE FISHERIES, IN FIGURES

FISH LANDINGS WERE systematically recorded in Ireland from the end of the nineteenth century when collection of statistics was confined to the most valuable categories of marine produce: three pelagic, eight demersal and twelve shellfish species. The figures should not be regarded as a comprehensive account of everything that was caught and sold. We can assume, from historical sources, that …

START IN THE MIDDLE AND WORK TOWARDS THE SIDES

AT THE TURN OF the century the landings of marine produce (fin and shell fish) to Ireland reached a peak and then, in the years since, tumbled. There are explanations: environmental change made a contribution but over-fishing is the principal culprit. The signs are visible wherever one seeks them: in the economic near-extinction of some species, in the landing statistics …