Negotiations on setting fishing quotas for 2016 concluded in Brussels in the early hours of this morning.

Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney described the outcome as very positive for the industry in light of the reductions that had been proposed by the European Commission in advance of the negotiations.

For Irish fishermen, the minister said that on the whole the industry would have an additional 10% of white fish to catch in 2016, which will be worth €10m.

In the northwest there will be a 26% increase in the quota for megrim, 20% for monkfish and 42% for haddock.

In the south and west there will be a 26% increase in whiting, and a 21% increase in the hake quota.

The haddock quota in the Irish Sea will see a 40% increase.

A 48% increase in quota was agreed for the horse mackerel quota in the north and west, which will equate to just over 32,000 tonnes in 2016.

But there will be a reduction in quota for cod in the Irish Sea and off the west coast.

The boarfish quota has also been reduced, as has the quota for sole in the Irish Sea.

Further scientific advice is being sought in relation to the possibility of establishing a small herring fishery off the west and northwest coast.

For the prawn fishery there will be an 8% increase in quota.

This is to take account of a ban on discarding in the sector, which will come into force in January.

Mr Coveney added that the outcome is also positive from a conservation point of view as more and more of the stocks are now being fished at a sustainable scientific level.

Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, described the outcome as fair and balanced and an important step towards the objective of sustainable fishing.

However, some conservation groups expressed disappointment at the outcome, saying that quota reductions did not go far enough.

Siobhán Egan of Birdwatch Ireland, who was in Brussels for the negotiations, described the outcome as a "missed opportunity" regarding meaningful conservation of fish stocks.

The Chairman of the Federation of Irish Fishermen described the outcome of the negotiations as satisfactory.

Sean O'Donoghue said the federation was happy to see where were significant quota uplifts but said it beggars belief that the commission signed a bilateral deal with Norway, which gives Norway a higher total catch in European waters than the European fishing fleet.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Minister Coveney said that he was not happy with the way in which the deal with Norway had been done, in terms of the transparency, but that the overall result was not too bad because it involved an increase for the Irish fleet.

"There is an issue here in relation to blue whiting even though the outcome in terms of catch isn't that bad an outcome.

"The way in which it was done I wasn't happy with because it was a fait accompli effectively but that was one issue of many, many issues that were negotiated over the last few days and for almost all stock I think the outcome is better than most people expected."

Mr Coveney said that the quota value terms for white fish have been increased for the third year in a row and the landed value next year should be around €131m.

He said that Ireland's most important white fish stock is prawns, worth nearly €60m to the industry, so the increased quota was very important.

Meanwhile, the Irish MEP who sits on the EU Fisheries Committee, has criticised Mr Coveney in relation to the deal.

Liadh Ní Riada described Mr Coveney's negotiating skills as "weak", particularly in relation to the quotas on blue whiting.

When put to her that the minister was powerless as it was an EU agreement, the GUE/NGL MEP said he should have fought harder.