Ireland welcomes Atlantic mackerel deal

Ireland's Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney has welcomed agreement between the EU, Norway and the Faroe islands on share-out of the north-east Atlantic mackerel stock, which is Ireland's most lucrative fishery.

Significantly, Iceland is not a party to the five-year agreement, which was secured in London today after a long-running dispute beween coastal states over the valuable migratory stock.

Under the deal, the Faroe islands fleet will be subject to fixed quotas, giving it 12.6 per cent of the stock.

Mr Coveney said that he differed with the EU on "significant aspects of the deal," which will set some 15.6 per cent of the northeast Atlantic stock aside for Iceland, Greenland and Russia.

However, he said that he welcomed the fact that Norway was given no additional access to fish mackerel in EU waters, and said that the outcome would also increase the amount of mackerel available to the Irish fleet by over 60 per cent, from a current 65,000 metric tons (MT) to 105,000 MT.

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