Dáil Éireann - Volume 497 - 26 November, 1998
Written Answers - Fish Catches.
Mr. Stanton Mr. Stanton
 82. Mr. Stanton asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources the tonnage of fish caught in Irish waters in the past five years; the value in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25336/98]
Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources (Dr. Woods) Michael J. Woods
Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources (Dr. Woods): Based on available data sources at our disposal, we have estimated that approximately one million metric tonnes of fish are caught annually in the Irish zone with a first sale value of some £700 million. The value of the Irish fleet catch as a component of this is over £150 million.
The Irish fisheries zone is not currently used as a basis for fisheries statistics, catch data or stock assessments. The data is compiled by individual member states, including Ireland, for their own fleets by reference to the ICES fishery zones rather than national zones.
The basis for firm estimates of total catches and the value of these catches in Irish waters by other member states is not therefore currently available. Improved data on all catches in Irish waters is an essential requirement and in that regard the EU Commission accepts the need to develop a reliable common data base on all aspects of EU fisheries, including stocks, catches, landings and sales. This management information would be particularly critical for Ireland as a coastal State with a high level of fishing activity by other member states in our waters.
In addition to supporting the development of a common data base by the Commission in co-operation with member states, the Department is working with the Marine Institute and BIM to review available data and develop methodologies which would more reliably quantify existing estimates of catches in the Irish zone.
Dáil Éireann 497 Written Answers Fish Catches.