Thomas Pringle TD

Minister’s decision on Mackerel Quota good news for Killybegs – Pringle

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October 2017

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Last week the Minister made a final decision not to change the allocation of mackerel quotas for fishing vessels in the industry. Responding to the decision Deputy Thomas Pringle said “while minor changes were made to excess quotas, the decision not to change the share out is good news for fishing ports like Killybegs heavily dependent on mackerel for employment and which the existing allocation of quotas helps facilitate”.

Deputy Pringle also said “it was a huge concern for me when the Minister initially announced a review of the quotas due to the potential loss of jobs in South west of Donegal. A combination of looming uncertainty over Brexit and the huge dependency on mackerel fishing in parts of Donegal meant the fishing sector would be hypersensitive to any changes carried out” says Pringle.

“Sixty-five percent of Ireland’s mackerel quota is caught in the UK so if we end up with a hard Brexit, our access to British fishing waters could be restricted which would have a devastating impact on our mackerel fleet. My concern is that this would lead to massive job losses and increased unemployment for processing workers in the sector” explains Pringle.

“I was also concerned that any changes made to mackerel quota could lead to boats reducing their crew numbers in RSW Fleets as they adjust to uncertainty associated with changes to the quota. This is less so the case for polyvalent vessels as they have the option to fish other types of fish and can compensate for any loss of earnings from a reduced quota.
“The South and South West parts of Donegal are dependent on mackerel for employment which has been in steady decline over the past number of years due to restriction in quotas and the modernisation of fish processing methods. Any further changes that might divert fish from the area would have a disastrous impact on employment.”

“For that reason I welcome the Minister’s decision not to change the existing allocation of mackerel quota between RSW and polyvalent vessels” continues Pringle.

 

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