Belgian fishers can catch over four times more sole in Irish Sea

Belgian fishers are allowed to catch over four times more sole in the Irish Sea from July. The quota has been increased because there are more sole in the sea than previously assumed.

During the annual setting of quotas at the European level in December, Belgian fishers were told they would be allowed to catch considerably less sole this year, but a recent scientific report indicated that stocks in the Irish Sea are in much better condition than thought.

Flemish fisheries minister Hilde Crevits therefore asked the European Commission to negotiate adjusted quotas with the UK. That has now been settled: Belgian fishers can catch 281 tonnes this year instead of 62 tonnes.

"It shows how important it is for fishers, scientists and research institutes to work together to monitor fish stocks properly and adjust fish catches to the current situation," said Crevits. She also advocates moving towards multi-year plans instead of annual quotas, to offer fishers more certainty.

“This will ease the suffering for our fishers and allow them to remain somewhat profitable,” said Emiel Brouckaert, director of the association for sea fishery shipowners Rederscentrale. "Sole is an important species for our fishers, providing 50 per cent of the turnover."

According to data from Statbel, the Belgian statistical office, sole is by far the main target species in the Belgian fishing industry. Cuttlefish is the second most important in Belgium in terms of turnover, with a share of 13 per cent.

#FlandersNewsService | Fishing boat in the North Sea off the Belgian coast © PHOTO KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP

Related news

Website preview
New data platform gives real-time intel to fishermen and scientists for fishing quotas
A new data platform that gives fishermen real-time information about their catches was installed on 38 vessels in the Belgian fleet, Fisheries...

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels