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Based on scientific advice Ireland has taken a 5% cut this year on its mackerel quota - and this on top of the loss of 4% of quota as part of the Brexit ‘payback’ - but meanwhile non EU nations such as Norway and Iceland continue to give themselves huge mackerel quotas based on their arguments that the stock is in abundance in their waters …

However, if mackerel exist in such heavy volumes in their waters then why are they seeking EU permission to catch mackerel in Irish waters?

It is incredible to hear in recent weeks that the EU Commission are entering into talks with Iceland to allow them catch part of their huge self-awarded quota in Irish waters - a quota that flies in the face of the same scientific advice that forces Ireland to take a 5% cut - when clearly Iceland are currently unable to catch their quota in their own waters or even in international waters.

As in the case of Norway wanting to increase its take of blue whiting in Irish waters in recent times, the EU Commission is being told that a reciprocal deal will give demersal vessels from several EU member states access to Arctic Cod but I keep asking the question (without getting a definitive answer) how many of these vessels that will gain such access are not Dutch owned and just flagged in different member states?

Therefore such ‘deals’ for rights within IRISH waters benefit non-EU nations and Dutch fishing companies and in no way put a single euro towards the Irish fishing industry in return.

It’s glaring obvious that the resources of Irish waters are being seen as nothing more than a commodity to be bargained with between the EU and greedy non EU Nordic countries.

And all of this with a backdrop of Ireland suffering a loss of 40% in returns to the U.K. after Brexit while some other EU nations suffered as little as 6% - - with the Commission explaining this away with the logic that most of the fish are in Irish waters ( being the nearest neighbour to the U.K. ) but then dismissing the same logic when Ireland tries to fight for better quotas in its own waters.

In the case of Iceland seeking to catch mackerel in Irish waters, the elephant in the room needs to be addressed - - the EU Commission insists that its member states adhere to ICES scientific advice (hence Ireland receiving a 5% mackerel quota cut this year) but are then willing to do business with an outside Third Country who flagrantly abuse and ignore this same scientific advice and give themselves massive unjustified mackerel quotas with such negotiations to entertain the proposal that they be allowed catch some of their illegal quota in EU (Ireland) waters.

No matter what the EU Commission are offered in return for any such deal, surely it is a massive contradiction in terms if they even consider talking to any non EU nation that rejects the same scientific advice that the Commission itself uses as a cornerstone of a stable Common Fisheries Policy.

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