DUP MEP Diane Dodds has said fishing communities will be relieved by the recent quotas announcement.
Reacting to this week’s deal in Brussels on fishing opportunities in 2015 the DUP’s Diane Dodds MEP said: “There will be relief in the County Down fishing communities tonight that instead of the European Commission’s proposed 14% cut in the Irish Sea prawn quota the UK negotiating team, which includes Michelle O’Neill MLA, have secured a 3% increase with that stock, which is so vital to Northern Ireland’s entire fishing industry.
“This is good news and together with retaining the Irish Sea haddock quota at current levels proves that fish stocks in the Irish Sea are being fished and managed sustainably.
“However, I was very disappointed to learn that Irish Sea cod, which remains such an iconic species to our fishermen and is central to the way all our fishermen operate suffered further setbacks in the shape of another 20% cut and the vetoing by the European Commission of a proposal for a small scientific quota to address the growing data gaps with that species.
“During the past week I was able to meet both the UK’s Fisheries Minister George Eustice MP and Simon Coveney TD, Ireland’s fisheries Minister to press the case for realistic fishing opportunities for all our fishermen in the Irish Sea. I was glad to hear that our own Minister and the Irish Minister were fully committed to achieving the same priorities. I believe this helped in securing two out of the three priorities identified for the Irish Sea.”