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#YFG15 Resolution - A review on the present quotas enforced on young fishermen. - Young Fine Gael

#YFG15 Resolution - A review on the present quotas enforced on young fishermen.

Resolution -A review on the present quotas enforced on young fishermen.
Presented to Young Fine Gael National Conference on March 7th 2015
Presented by Beara Young Fine Gael, Co. Cork

Policy Proposed:
"Beara YFG proposes that an incentive be given to young fishermen under 35 by introducing a 'Days at Sea' policy as a substitute for the current policy, parallel with a change in regulation of the polyvalent sector as they do not produce a sustainable future for the fishing industry."


  • The lack of young fishermen within a fishing town has decreased dramatically within the last 5 years and Beara Young Gael has heard the communities call for something to done quickly.
  • That from research Beara Young Fine Gael has done and from interaction and involvement with young fishermen and the fishing industry throughout Cork South West, they have identified that the policy of the current quota does not work and is not viable.
  • That, within the last year the Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine has gained a 23% increase in whiting, but there also there has been a 33% deduction in haddock.
  • That the issue with this is that both species of fish are caught through the same net when vessels/boats are fishing, therefore it has put a burden on young fisherman to fish harder, in their pursuit to catch whiting quota and purge of other fish that are over the allowance.
  • Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine, announced that "If the Commission's quota proposals remain unchanged, we are facing an overall 20% cut to our whitefish and prawn quotas for 2015." And "In the Celtic Sea, the Commission wants to dramatically cut the key whitefish stocks on which our fleet are dependant".
  • However, quotas for haddock and whiting have both been reduced by 12%, with a 13% reduction in cod quota in recent negotiations in Brussels for 2015.
  • Mr Coveney said the quotas which have now been agreed will be worth €123m to Irish whitefish fishermen next year, which is a small increase on this year however Fishermen representatives are disappointed with the outcome.
  • Caitlin Uí Aodha , South East Fishermen Representative, stated that this would only result in more discarding of fish at sea. This results in the discard of haddock quota in larger than natural amount, as it is the same method of fishing.
  • These reductions will put further pressure on fishermen who are already finding it difficult to make a living
  • We must reinstate that both species swim together and that there is no way of being able to choose the quantity of each species going into a net at the bottom of the sea.
  • The only sustainable way that Beara YFG proposes is by giving young fishermen 'days at sea' without quota restrictions. This policy we propose would give a vessel a set amount of days per month at sea catching fish, which would be adaptable to the season and the fish availability of the month. This would eliminate the discard problem and the obscene waste of good food caught in Irish waters.
  • 85% of mackerel caught is landed up in Killybegs Co Donegal. If this was to be reduced to 75% and the polyvalent was distributed to other regions, it would create huge benefits to other counties that they depend on.


  • Long Term Advantages include eliminating the discard problem and the obscene waste of good food caught in Irish waters.
  • This would create more incentives and interest in the fishing industry and entice more young people into the industry and to stay in the industry, who are now becoming scare on the ground.
  • Should 15% of the polyvalent sector of mackerel and other pelagic species be dedicated to under 35 year old fishermen and their vessels within the South of Ireland, who risk their lives and make their livelihood at seas, we believe that this would create a more distributed market of which the Irish State would benefit from.
  • At the moment polyvalent sector does not have enough quota to produce or guarantee markets in the southwest forcing local boats to land elsewhere, therefore taking valuable employment, enterprise and revenue from regional areas, most notably in the southwest as mentioned.

YFG Calls on:

  • A 'Days at Sea' Policy to be introduced to tackle the issues of 1) Wastage & disposal of over Caught Fish being very high 2) Keeps more produce within the country and enticing more young fishermen into the industry that are deemed to be scarce on the ground.
  • A quarter of the sea area of the European Union surrounds the coast of Ireland and this should be taken into considerations for Irish Fishermen
  • The CFP is negotiated and agreed between all 28 Member States and initiatives that promote sustainable fishing are being encouraged and part funded by the European Fisheries Fund (EFF). However Irish Fishermen view the CFP as being against them and their lifestyles.
  • Discard on current quotas and base the policy on season rather a number to be maintained and limited by.
  • Young Fine Gael should connect with Government run Businesses such as BIM and other local action groups to look further into the issue and review the effects the policies and quotas already introduced have on the young and old fishermen of the industry.
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