The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Micheal Creed TD met yesterday with EU Fisheries Commissioner Karmenu Vella at the Fisheries Ministers Council in Luxembourg. This was the first formal meeting between the two men since Minster Creeds appointment.
Minister Creed said that “Today’s meeting was very useful and cordial and it gave me the opportunity to outline some of Ireland’s key fisheries concerns to Commissioner Vella who has a very good understanding of Irelands’ interests and issues”.
Minister Creed and Commissioner Vella exchanged views on a range of current topical fisheries issues and in particular the discussions around fishing opportunities for 2017.
The Minister went on to say “I wanted to take the opportunity today to impress upon the Commissioner the need for a sensible approach towards the implementation of the policy of maximum sustainable yield (MSY). I made the point that, in some cases, it may be necessary to delay reaching that target by a year or two. This will be vital for some of our important whitefish fisheries off the south coast.”
Minister Creed was attending the Agriculture & Fisheries Ministerial Council in Luxembourg where the main fisheries item on the agenda was the Commissions Communication of Fishing Opportunities for 2017. This is the first step in the process of negotiation that will establish Irelands fishing quotas for next year.
Following the Fisheries items, the Council of Agriculture Ministers discussed the evaluation of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan and EU Timber Regulations. Ministers also had the opportunity for an exchange of views on sustainable plant protection. The Netherlands Presidency provided an update to Ministers on the outcomes of the recent conference in Brussels on plant breeder’s rights.