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Minister Coveney kickstarts implementation of the New Common Fisheries Policy

Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, today appointed Dr Noel Cawley to chair a national Discards Implementation Group.   The introduction of a new policy that ends the wasteful practice of discarding fish at sea is a key part of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy which was successfully negotiated to conclusion under the Irish presidency earlier this year. 

Minister Coveney said “I am delighted that Dr. Cawley, with his deep knowledge of the Irish fishing industry, has agreed to chair a national Discards Implementation Group that will ensure that the Irish fishing industry are fully prepared for, and engaged in, the implementation of the discards ban.” The Minister added “I know that the experience that Dr. Cawley will bring to bear on the practical issues surrounding the phasing in of the discards ban will ensure that the Irish fishing industry will be fully prepared for this fundamental reform in fishing practices”.

In a further practical step in the implementation of the new CFP, Minister Coveney also hosted the first meeting of the North Western Waters Regional Group of Member States.  This group of Member States (Ireland, Netherlands, France, Belgium, Spain and the UK) has come together to develop the possibilities for more co-operation and regional decision making under the new CFP.

Minister Coveney said “I was determined that Ireland would take the lead in hosting the first meeting of this Regional Group. This is the mechanism under the reformed CFP which will allow us  get  to real regional decision making and gets us away from the ‘one size fits all’ that sometimes characterised CFP decision making in the past. It is through this group which will work in close association with stakeholders that decisions affecting Irelands fishermen may be taken in the future and it is vital that we are at the heart of this new decision making process. The work of Dr. Cawley’s group will be central to ensuring that the practical issues around the introduction of a discards ban, as identified by the Irish fishing industry, will be developed into long term sustainable management tools that will safeguard the future of our coastal fishing communities”.

Under the regionalisation provisions, decision making can be decentralised from Brussels and future management arrangements will instead be decided together by relevant Member States. It is this Group, working with stakeholders in the Advisory Council’s that will in the future manage fisheries in the water where Ireland has quotas.

Date Released: 14 November 2013