Deputy McCarthy said, “This is an extremely progressive step for the Irish fishing industry which will see the wishes of many hard-working fishermen up and down the country finally realised.
“Currently it is estimated that some 38 per cent of commercial Irish whitefish catches currently have to be thrown overboard under EU rules. While various details have yet to be finalised, this deal will put an end to the sorry and shameful practice whereby fishermen are forced to disregard vast amounts of their catch on a too-regular basis.
“I want to commend Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney whose own efforts during the negotiation process played a key role in getting this agreement across the line. By offering them a workable solution – a definitive timetable for the elimination of discards on a phased basis – Minister Coveney has made EU Fisheries Ministers realise that it is possible to protect the interests of fishermen while promoting a more sustainable approach to managing fish stocks.
“It shows that Ireland can still be an influential voice at the EU negotiating table and that this Government is determined to deliver on their pledge to develop the potential of Ireland’s coastline in fishing, aquaculture, ocean energy and tourism.
“I am confident that the net effect of today’s deal is not just the growth of fish stocks, but more secure futures for our fishermen, the protection of fishing jobs and the continued nurturing of life within our coastal communities.”