By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Minister Browne pushes for strong measures against import of fish caught by illegal, unregulated, unreported fishing vessels

At today's Fisheries Council, Mr John Browne T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food asked for strong actions against fishing vessels operating illegally on the high seas and in third countries completely outside EU and international law. The EU Commission has brought forward proposals aimed at addressing both the illegal fishing and also preventing fish caught by these rogue vessels entering the EU market.

Minister Browne strongly supported the efforts being made to combat illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing activity which completely undermines the legitimate fishing operations of the Irish seafood industry. Minister Browne said "it is vitally important for those dependent on fisheries in the developing world as well as for Irish fishermen that fish entering the EU market is coming from licensed fishermen engaged in sustainable fishing activity."

Current estimates are that over €1 billion of fish is imported into the EU market from illegal, unregulated and unreported fisheries on the high seas and in third countries. Minister Browne said "Irish and other EU fishermen operate under properly regulated sustainable fisheries management systems and the Commission must ensure that they must be protected in the market from competing with fish and fisheries products produced by rogue operators."

Minister Browne asked the Council to work towards the adoption of measures that were robust and effective. It is expected that the measures will be agreed later in the year following further technical work.

The Fisheries Council also considered a new proposal from the Commission to amend the Recovery Plans for Cod stocks in EU waters. Minister Browne advised that he would discuss the proposals, published last week, with industry at home to ensure that the changes being proposed delivered the recovery of the cod stocks while minimising the adverse impacts on fishermen. Minister Browne also questioned if the approach which involves limiting days at sea for fishing vessels was best suited for the recovery of cod in the Celtic Sea where up to now recovery efforts have been based on the closure of areas. Minister Browne sought an increase in the 2008 Total Allowable Catch for cod in the Celtic Sea and pointed out that the case made was fully supported by scientific work carried out by Irish, UK and French scientists.

Date Released: 14 April 2008