With 2024 fishing quota negotiations underway, Irish fishing industry takes on Iceland

IFPO CEO Aodh O Donnell, IFPEA CEO Brendan Byrne, SF TD Padraig MacLochlainn, and IFPO Chair Niall Connolly.

Irish Fish Producers Organization CEO Aodh O’Donnell has accused Iceland of deliberately pursuing a policy of overfishing over the past decade while it fixes a unilateral mackerel quota almost three times greater than that of Ireland.

Iceland is “plundering” mackerel stocks for use in fishmeal production as part of its effort to establish claims on stocks through self-allocated quotas, according to O’Donnell, who said 120,000 metric tons of mackerel was landed by Icelandic vessels in Norwegian ports for fishmeal production in the last quarter alone.

O’Donnell and other representatives of Ireland’s commercial fishing sector have previously made similar accusations against Norway, claiming Norway has “unilaterally secured” an enormous share of the total allowable catch (TAC) of mackerel, blue whiting, and herring, threatening their stocks in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean. According to the IFPO, blue whiting catch opportunities available to Norway in Irish waters amounted to 224,000 metric tons last year, “five times higher than the Irish quota in Irish waters.”

O’Donnell said the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Norway are overfishing mackerel and whiting stocks by up to 40 percent in excess of the level suggested by scientific advice as sustainable, thus endangering the sustainability of the fisheries.

Iceland, the U.K., Norway, the E.U., the Faroe Islands, and Greenland are the coastal states that negotiate ... 

Photo courtesy of Irish Fish Producers Organization

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