Norway’s ‘outrageous’ attempt to gain more access to Irish fishing waters
The Irish fishing industry is threatened with another major impact on its waters. This is Norway, a non-EU member state that wants to send its fleet to Irish waters to fish for the precious blue whiting.
Norway made a direct request for access to the EU, ignoring the Irish government.
“The fact that Norway is addressing its request to the EU and NOT directly to Ireland speaks volumes,” said Aodh O’Donnell, CEO of the Irish Fish Producers’ Organisation. “They seem optimistic that the EU would unilaterally give up access to Irish fishing grounds to a non-EU member – based on the EU’s history of treatment of Irish fishing.
“The EU has already thrown Ireland under the bus when it comes to post-Brexit quota cuts,
We took the hardest hits. No less than 40% of the total value of allowances transferred to the UK under Brexit came from Ireland. This was far more than any other country in the EU, including those with much shorter coastlines and much higher quotas than Ireland to start with. Why does the EU now consider that we are taking the hit for a non-EU member again? It’s time to ask some serious questions about the EU’s attitude towards Ireland and our fishing industry.
“Blue whiting is a valuable species, concentrated in Irish waters. The Irish industry has been a pioneer in its development as a quality food product for export markets. Basically, Norway is looking to more than double the amount of blue whiting they can catch and gain access further south. in our waters. They offer no quid pro quo to Ireland in terms of fishing rights in their waters.
Norway already has a quota agreement for 2023 with Russia, which involves reciprocal agreements regarding fishing and the landing of Russian vessels in Norwegian ports. This despite the sanctions regime against Russia, because of the war against Ukraine.
“They are not even members of the EU and therefore they must be denied unfettered access to fishing in the Irish Box. Although they are not EU members, they currently already have the right to fish in the west of Ireland. Now we are being asked to give them access further south into Irish waters to catch blue whiting,” says O’Donnell.
Brendan Byrne from the Irish Fish Processors and Exporters Association (IFPEA) said: “In addition to access, Norway is pushing the EU to increase a quota transfer by 158% to 80,000 tonnes. Most of this waste will be fished out of our waters.”
Representative organizations have called on the Irish government to reject what they describe as an “outrageous” decision by the Norwegians.
Patrick Murphy of the South and West Irish Producers’ Organization (IS&WFPO) said: “There is no justice in giving them more rights to fish in the Irish Box.”
“Any access to the Irish box to fish in our waters must be managed with a compensatory transfer of Norwegian quota to the Irish fleet,” says O Donnell. “We admire the Norwegians for the way they represent their ships, but this request is simply unreasonable. We are calling on the minister to secure ‘whole of government support’ and meet with Irish fishing representatives as a matter of urgency, to ensure a fair deal is reached. »