During this week EU Fisheries Ministers are deciding the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for the North East Atlantic.

The EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) requires that fishing stocks are fished at or below levels capable of sustaining healthy populations in the long term, in an agreement reached by EU ministers five years ago.

International NGOs have for some years repeatedly criticised the position taken by Ireland in EU Fisheries negotiations in pushing for quotas higher than the scientifically advised catch limits. This specifically includes cod, haddock and herring from the Celtic Sea.

International NGOs, see Client Earth’s submission [1], are asking Fisheries Ministers, including Irish Fisheries Minister Michael Creed to ensure that scientific advice on fish species protection prevails in Ireland’s input into this week’s negotiations. The Environmental Pillar has also written to Minister Creed in a similar vein[2].

Ireland is also failing to put in place a key measure for Fisheries protection, the introduction of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) under the Marine Strategic Framework Directive (MSFD). Legislation for MPAs has not even been introduced despite the requirement that the provisions of the MSFD be in place by 2020.

MPAs are a key part of fish population protection. It has been shown that protected areas act as fish species nurseries, with benefit to surrounding areas“ stated An Taisce’s Advocacy Officer Ian Lumley.

This concern was highlighted in the recent An Taisce submission on the preparation of Ireland’s National Marine Spatial Plan earlier this month [3].


For further information, contact:
Ian Lumley, Advocacy Officer, An Taisce: +353 1 454 1786
Charles Stanley-Smith, Communications, An Taisce. Tel: +353 87 241 1995
email: [email protected]
An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland


  1. Clientearth - No time for further delays in meeting 2020 sustainability deadline https://www.clientearth.org/no-time-for-further-delays-in-meeting-2020-sustainability-deadline/
  2. Environmental Pillar's letter to Minister Creed. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KBLWJBCvRF5o38Uec5jqqJPJJTmkn_VS/view?usp=sharing
  3. An Taisce submission on the preparation of Ireland’s National Marine Spatial Plan https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_UnlT_rjIoGMf7sRUECF2fGLvfEJBI7u/view?usp=sharing