We were delighted at Nicky’s Plaice to hear that we have successfully reached a stage where the Irish quota for the Cod catch can increase. This is great news for our fishermen. Cod the wonderful wild fish of our waters is a favourite of our customers. This news comes as a real success story for us all in our quest for healthy sustainable living.
Seventeen years ago in 1999, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea advised that the Cod stock was in danger of collapse and called for the implementation of a recovery plan. The following year.critical conservation measures were put into place by the European Commission. At the time, we really did not know how long or if at all our Cod stocks would return. We know of many seas where over fishing has resulted in the total wipe out of fish reserves.
This year the quota for cod stock in the Irish Sea trebled, with the haddock quota also up 55 per cent. Minister Creed said that the significant increases in cod and haddock quotas reflect the success of “intensive industry led conservation measures” to rebuild stocks of the two whitefish species.
The Irish total quota for prawns also jumped up 15 per cent from last year to 10,729 tonnes with a value of €83m, the biggest single increase in over a decade. According to the Department, the outcome of the negotiations will mean a total package of fish quotas worth €266 million for Irish fishermen for 2018.
It must be noted that the increase in the value of a number of Irish stocks such as cod reflects the economic benefits of transitioning towards sustainable fisheries management. However, the job conservation is never over, the State must ensure quotas continue to be set at sustainable levels into the future to avoid a repeat of the collapse of Irish Sea Cod stocks.
Minister Creed said: “The progress we have made this year will continue the journey we are all on to rebuild our fish stocks which underpin the future of our industry and our coastal communities.”