McConalogue to undertake “national tour” of harbors and roadsteads – Highland Radio
Agriculture and Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue has announced that he will embark on a tour of the country in the coming months to visit ports and harbors and meet with fishermen and coastal communities.
Minister McConalogue was speaking as he offered to meet with representatives of the fishing organizations that brought a flotilla of trawlers on the Liffey to the Convention Center this morning.
Minister McConalogue says he is seizing every opportunity at EU level to increase the quotas available for the fishing fleet.
This was echoed in the Dail this afternoon by Taoiseach Michael Martin, responding to a question from Donegal MP Padraig MacLochlainn ………….
Full statement by Minister McConalogue –
The Minister and the government fully understand and appreciate that the impact of Brexit on the Irish seafood sector and the coastal communities that depend on it is a major concern. On Monday, a Taoiseach and the Minister met with groups of representatives from the fishing industry to discuss some of the current issues and challenges facing the sector. The Taoiseach and the Minister welcomed the positive engagement and open dialogue with the industry and took the opportunity to reaffirm the government’s commitment to supporting a sustainable seafood sector that supports our people. coastal communities. This engagement followed a recent visit by a Taoiseach to Castletownbere and Union Hall, the Minister’s series of virtual town halls for coastal communities and a recent three-hour debate in a Dáil on Fisheries. The Minister offered to meet with producer organizations and industry representatives today, on behalf of the government, to receive a letter from those involved in the protest event. He also announced that he will visit ports and harbors and meet fishermen and coastal communities on a tour of Ireland in the coming months.
Regarding the fleet today and before his meeting with fishing organizations, the Minister said: “The government and I stand alongside our fishermen and we continue to welcome any engagement with fishermen, their representatives and Along with coastal communities, I welcome the fishermen’s representatives to the Department today to hear their concerns in person. I recently met with coastal communities through a series of virtual town halls. Now, in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions, I look forward to meeting fishermen and coastal communities in person at their ports and harbors. We recognize the challenges the industry is facing as a result of Brexit and the pandemic and I have established the Seafood Sector Working Group to report to me on the future of the industry. “
The Minister set up the Seafood Sector Working Group in March to examine the implications for the Irish fishing industry and coastal communities particularly dependent on the EU / Kingdom trade and cooperation agreement -United. The working group involving representatives of the seafood sector and coastal communities dependent on fishing under the leadership of the Steering Group (Aidan Cotter, Margaret Daly and Micheál O’Cinneide) submitted an interim report to the Minister during the week last which recommended a series of actions that could be pursued to help reduce the burden on Ireland due to transfers of fishing quota shares to the UK and a voluntary detention scheme for vessels whitefish affected by quota reductions at the end of the year. The task of the seafood sector will continue its work with a view to producing a final report to be submitted to the Minister in order to recommend a range of actions and initiatives for those directly affected by the ATT and to describe other strategies. development to strengthen and improve coastal communities particularly dependent on the seafood industry.
The Minister is seizing every opportunity at EU level to increase the quotas available for our fishing fleet. The minister and government will continue to focus on disproportionate quota cuts for Ireland and, in line with the recommendations of the task force’s interim report, use any available opportunity to seek constructive solutions that would help alleviate this unacceptable position. Minister works to advance recommendation of reconciliation regime and seek required approval of EU state aid and EU funding under the EU Adjustment Reserve Fund for Brexit.