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Killeen welcomes start of major EU and International Fisheries Negotiations 26th to 30th October in Clonakilty

Tony Killeen T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, today welcomed the major international coastal states fisheries meeting which commences in Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Foods offices in Clonakilty today.   The meeting involves the European Commission, Swedish Presidency of the European Council and a range of interested Member States including Denmark, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, France, Poland, Germany and of course Ireland.  It will involve a delegation of 12 from Norway and the Faroe Islands.  The meeting will determine arrangements between the European Union, Norway and the Faroe Islands for the management of the almost three million tonne mackerel stock in the North East Atlantic. The meeting, which will run from Monday morning until Friday, will aim to agree the Total Allowable catch of mackerel for 2010.  The TAC for 2009 amounted to over 600,000 tonnes.

Minister of State Killeen said, "I am pleased that the Clonakilty offices of the Department are hosting these important negotiations, which is the first time such important international fisheries negotiations have been hosted in Ireland".  The Minister added "This meeting will set not just the international TAC for 2010 but will critically also agree the access and other arrangements for the fishery.  I welcome both the officials and also representatives of the industry across Europe who will attend.   Mackerel is very important for the Irish fishing sector and this year the value of the catch for Irish fishermen is expected to be over €60 million. The fishery is in addition worth a similar amount to our seafood processing industry in Donegal and along the western seaboard and provides significant seasonal employment in Donegal, Galway, Kerry and Cork.  I wish all concerned best wishes for success at these negotiations so that we can be assured of good management and a sustainable fishery for 2010".

Date Released: 23 October 2009