The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Mr Michael Creed, T.D., has launched a public consultation in Donegal and across the country on a proposal to implement a pilot quota balancing scheme for demersal fish stocks. A pilot scheme for pelagic stocks was introduced by the Minister on 1st January 2018.

Quota Balancing means that where a vessel exceeds its catch limit for a relevant stock during a fishery management period, a balancing adjustment is made from a future catch limit for that vessel. A multiplying factor applies so that the greater the excess catch when compared with the catch limit, the larger the balancing adjustment that will be made.

A Quota Balancing system is being introduced on a phased basis to assist with the full implementation of the Landing Obligation/Discards Ban requirements. The objective of the Landing Obligation is to eliminate the wasteful and unsustainable practice of discarding fish at sea.

The public consultation will run to close of business on Thursday 31stJanuary 2019. The proposal document, which includes information on how to participate in the consultation process, is available on the Department’s website at:https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/seafood/seafoodpolicy/forms/publicconsultationonquotabalancingfordemersalstocks/.

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