The IFPEA and IFPO have met with the Tánaiste in a process aimed at ongoing engagement on the developmental needs of the seafood sector
Fishing bodies have described as positive a meeting they held with Tánaiste Leo Varadkar earlier this week, at his office in Government buildings. The meeting was arranged by Manus Boyle and Declan Lovett of the Dunkineely and Killybegs Branch of Fine Gael.
“This was a positive joint engagement of the Irish Fish Producers Organisation (IFPO and Irish Fish Processors & Exporters Association (IFPEA),” said IFPO chief executive, Aodh O Donnell. “This is the first step in a process aimed at ongoing engagement on the developmental needs of the seafood sector.”
His statement followed the hour-long meeting with the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Leo Varadkar TD. The meeting was also attended by the IFPEA chief executive, Brendan Byrne. The Department of the Marine was represented by Dr Cecil Beamish.
Mr Byrne said the meeting centred on “building a whole of government approach to arrest the decline of the sector. He said it also focussed on the need to support industry at all levels in a process of innovation-led development’’
Mr O Donnell says landings of Irish fishing vessels in both domestic and foreign ports fell by a third since 2012. “Over the same period, landings of foreign vessels at Irish ports rose by 48%. There is a major disparity here, leading to a big drop in the amount of fish landed by Irish fleets. This hits hard at fish producers and fish processors, but also at other industries relying on Irish fish. We discussed this in the context of the adverse and disproportionate impacts of Brexit quota transfers. We emphasised that there is a need to achieve a rebalancing so that Ireland has a fairer share of quotas in the EU.”