Brexit news: Irish fishing panic revealed as urgent letter sent to Micheal Martin | Politics | New
Cork fishing protest flotilla heads for the River Lee
With EU fishermen now limited in the amount they can spend in UK waters, boats from France, Spain and elsewhere are increasingly fishing in Irish waters. Irish fishermen are unhappy that they can only catch 16% of the fish in their own waters following the post-Brexit trade deal signed between the UK and the EU, as well as the reintroduction of a administrative penalty points.
They are also resentful of the EU’s requirements for catches to be weighed in ports rather than elsewhere over claims that some are not honest in their reporting – requirements that do not apply to vessels in the sea. the EU.
In an open letter to Mr Martin, Aisling Moran, President of Comhdhail Oilean na hEireann, the Federation of Islands wrote: âThis is an issue of paramount importance for the livelihoods and sustainability of island communities, without talk about heritage and traditions.
Ms Moran, writing on behalf of the island communities off Ireland’s coast, called on Mr Martin to intervene personally.
She explained: âWe implore you to act to prevent the loss of hundreds of jobs, a way of life and a key part of coastal communities, Irish heritage and tradition.
Irish Taoiseach Michael Martin has been invited to speak
The flotilla of ships in Cork harbor last month
âIsland communities know intimately the consequences of changes to fishing rights and regulations imposed over the years. “
She stressed: âIslanders are by nature seafarers. Sacrificing their ability to earn a living through life skills they are passionate about is more than unreasonable. “
Ms Moran warned: ‘This continued decimation of the Irish fleet has been magnified with the start of Brexit and the Irish fishing industry is fighting for its life.
âAs Taoiseach, we consider it appropriate for you to intervene personally in this serious situation.
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Michael Martin is the Irish Taoiseach
âWe call on all those involved in monitoring and regulating the fishing industry to carefully consider the consequences of their actions against a proud and respected Irish livelihood. There is a better way. “
The Federation represents a total of 16 offshore island communities, having been established in 1984 with the intention of drawing attention to “the difficulties faced by the islanders” in socio-economic development which they claim were not. properly addressed at regional or national level.
A spokesperson later told Irish fisheries news site Afloat: ‘We don’t know if he read our letter, but his ministry replied that it had been forwarded to the Agriculture Ministry. , Food and Marine.
Charlie McConalogue, the Irish Minister for Fisheries, had already received a copy of the letter.
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Charlie McConalogue, Irish Minister for Fisheries
Fishing has been an important issue during the Brexit debate
The fishermen made their point at a protest in Cork last month, where they walked along the harbor docks.
Speaking to Cork News at the time, fisherman Patrick Healy said: “The current restrictions in the fishing industry pose a huge question mark to me as to whether I will invest thousands of dollars in a industry which is abandoned by the Irish government.
âI just want to do the job I love. Go out to sea and make a living.
“We are trying to earn an honest living. The fishery is a natural resource and there should be a separate Minister of Fisheries. We are united.
European fisheries mapped
“All we want is for the government to listen.”
Mr Healy, whose boat sank earlier in the month after a fire, added: âI had the trawler for three years.
âThere is an immediate loss of four jobs. I would like to reinvest. I just want a future.
âThe public may find it hard to believe what we are going to tell them; that things are going so badly in the industry, but it’s the truth.
Fishermen in the North Sea
“We are not treated fairly neither by the EU nor by the government which does not protect Ireland’s natural resources over which the Irish should have primary rights.”
Patrick Murphy, President of the South West Fish Producers’ Organization (SWFPO), added: âWe have fallen to 16 percent of the fish in our own waters and it’s a crazy scenario.
” This is the fact. This is what we want to show and tell the public.
âThe fishermen come to the public, to show them the boats they have, the huge investment, the creation of jobs, families with long traditions who risk being forced to quit fishing. “