Posts Tagged ‘Simon Coveney’

Ireland Ranked Worst Offender in EU Waters for Over Fishing

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

Well it would appear to be official, Ireland is the EU member state with the worst record for politically granted over fishing within North East Atlantic waters.

A report entitled – “Landing the Blame” – compiled by the New Economics Foundation, an independent organisation promoting economic well-being based in London, was produced to assess and clarify those EU member states most responsible for setting fishing quotas above scientific advice.

EU commercial fishing quotas are set annually each December at a closed door meeting of EU agriculture and fisheries ministers in Brussels attended by Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture and the Marine Simon Coveney.

The report concluded that Minister Coveney negotiated the largest proportional increase in fishing quotas for Ireland above scientifically advised levels last December, with Ireland’s quotas exceeding scientific advice by 25%.

Griffen Carpenter, a co-author of the report, is quoted as saying “there is a lack of transparency around these closed-door negotiations and pressure should be placed on member states to recognise the benefits of following scientific advice and managing marine ecosystems in a sustainable manner”.

Environmentalists world wide agree that over fishing is harmful to the marine environment threatening the long-term viability of the worlds marine habitats.

Over fishing also contravenes the reformed EU Common Fisheries Policy which set 2015, where possible, as the target date by which to end EU over fishing.

To read the Report Click On: Landing the Blame for Over Fishing in the North East Atlantic 2016.


Hector Goes Fishing

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Irish broadcaster Hector Ó hEochagáin had a real opportunity within this program screened on RTE to not only give viewers an insight into all the elements that make up the Irish commercial fishing sector, but to also widen the brief as to how Ireland’s wild sea fisheries resource could be managed ongoing to include tourism, less destructive fishing methods and marine protected areas.

A programme that started well by giving an accurate overview of the Irish fishing industry today concluded with the usual clichés about Ireland as an island nation, the mistrust of all parties involved, a sad but true image of the discards debacle showing the Kilmore Quay Flaherty’s chucking fish over the side, how dangerous the job is and the “joining the EU/sell out chestnut”.

Hector failed to mention gross over fishing within Ireland’s territorial waters to include the Irish fleet and how over fishing is the real reason why supply and job creation within the sector is hamstrung. Also that recreational sea angling to include its 4500 jobs contribution, many tourism based, is worth €127 million or 15% of the €700 – 800 million total commercial fishing sector revenues.

Shining lights within the broadcast though were Martin Howley’s assessment of the Irish Pelagic fleets contribution and also fisheries Minister Simon Coveney, who to be fair gave a balanced picture as to the negotiations involved when we joined the EEC, citing prevailing thinking nationally on what was best for Ireland’s future. The Minister also alluded to a lack of national vision and ambition with regard to maritime affairs at the time and what would have happened in his opinion if Ireland had subsequently negotiated more control of its waters pre 1973 referencing over fishing in the Irish Sea.

However the words “over fishing or destructive practices” never left Hector’s lips creating what was in short an unbalanced review of Ireland’s commercial fishing sector and therefore another missed opportunity to further a wider view as to how Ireland’s marine resource can be best utilised and managed into the future.

See also RTE player: Hector Goes Fishing, online until 24th March 2014.


EU Discards Deal Looks Like A Fudge

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

Sir,- Having witnessed over my lifetime (I am 52 years of age) a national resource plundered, the positive headline “EU agrees ban on fish discards” (Breaking News, February 27th), reads like a damp squib based on the detail outlined in the subsequent report.

With many hard pressed whitefish stocks on the brink of economic if not actual collapse, why a phased delivery to begin January 2016?

Also, what are the management plans for zero total allowance catch (TAC) species such as spurdog (rock salmon) and species that are restricted or commercially banned like bass are to Irish commercial fishers?

In principal it looks like these fish could be targeted and landed legally by default.  Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney described yesterday’s agreement as an “historic milestone”, unfortunately it reads like a fudge.

The failed history of EU and Irish sea fisheries management looks set to continue.

Yours etc,

Published in Letters to the Editor, Irish Times, 28th February, 2013.