IIMRO Given Recognition as a Seafood Producer Organisation
The Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., today announced the recognition of the Irish Islands Marine Resource Organisation (IIMRO) as an EU Producer Organisation.
Announcing the recognition of the IIMRO as a Producer Organisation, Minister McConalogue said, “In our Programme for Government, we committed to supporting the inshore fishing fleet in generating greater marketing and promotional capacity by facilitating the establishment of a Producer Organisation for these smaller fishing vessels, thereby providing additional opportunity for the island and coastal communities involved in the inshore sector.
“In 2020, my Department put in place new Recognition Criteria to be satisfied by producer groups seeking recognition as an EU Producer Organisation and these were designed in particular to make it easier for inshore fishermen to achieve recognition. I am very pleased to now approve the first inshore fisheries Producer Organisation, which focuses on our offshore islands, and I anticipate that further inshore Producer Organisations may soon follow.”
The IMMRO is based in Árainn Mhór Island, County Donegal and represents the interests of island fishers throughout the islands of Ireland. The Minister noted, “PO status for the IIMRO is a result of the hard work carried out by island fishers and their contribution to local economies. Fishing is the backbone of island life in Ireland and important for the cultural and economic wellbeing of the islands.”
Seafood Producer Organisations are officially recognised bodies, set up by groups of fishery or aquaculture producers to manage the activity of their members. Producer Organisations can play an important role in the market, improving the conditions for the placing on the market of their members’ fishery and aquaculture products, improving economic returns for their members, stabilising the market, avoiding and reducing as far as possible unwanted catches, contributing to the elimination of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and generally coordinating the activities of their primary producer members.
Regulation 1379/2013 on the Common Organisation of the Market for Fishery and Aquaculture Products (the CMO Regulation) provides an EU legal framework for the recognition of Seafood Producer Organisations. A group must apply for recognition as a Producer Organisation to the relevant competent national authority. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has been designated the role of national competent authority for the purpose of this regulation.