IFSA Chair, Cormac Burke has criticised Minister McConalogue over his ‘deafening silence'on matters arising from the Brussels fisheries delegation

IFSA Chair, Cormac Burke has criticised Minister McConalogue over his ‘deafening silence’ on matters arising from the Brussels fisheries delegation

Irish Fishing and Seafood Alliance (IFSA) Chair, Cormac Burke has criticised Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue over his ‘deafening silence’, on matters arising from the fisheries delegation which visited Brussels at the end of last May.

Ten days has passed since the delegation met with DG MARE and their Director-General, Charlina Vitcheva on Tuesday 31 May. The IFSA Chair has taken issue particular issue with the Review/Report of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) since the Commission has laid it out that there will be no major changes to the Common Fisheries Policy in its 2025 review. 

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Director-General, Charlina Vitcheva made it clear at the delegation meeting that there is no appetite amongst the under nine coastal states to change anything as they benefit hugely under the current set-up of ‘relative stability’.

Previously, in September 2021, on his visit to Ireland, Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevicius told those attending a meeting in Killybegs that there will be no review of the CFP; a meeting attended by the Minister McConalogue who hosted the Commissioner.

The IFSA Chair has taken issue with the Minister who keeps telling the industry that “he has set up a CFP review group and that when the CFP renewal comes then it will be “a chance for Ireland to get something back”.

He writes, “Now either the Minister simply doesn’t understand the facts of the situation, or he is being led down the garden path by his own advisors — but that doesn’t mean that the industry, and the more savvy members of the public in the coastal regions, are similarly going to be also led down the same path by this line of BS.

“Instead of this time-wasting exercise of trying to fool people that his Department is working hard (on something that we’ve all been clearly told will not be happening), Mr McConalogue could spend his time in a more productive manner in (a) instructing his Department to examine ways to ‘box clever’ in dealings with the EU and seek solutions in gaining small additional amounts of quota, as the recent delegation proved, that can gain benefits without entanglement in the EU red tape such as CFP, and (b) start representing the urgent needs of this industry to the Department and not the other way around.

“And, if the Minister finds himself unable to do either of the above, then should he at the very least not be asking the EU Commission the question that if they are saying that there will be no review of the CFP, then why not?

“Is it not enshrined in the EU’s own rules that such a policy has only a certain shelf life and will be reviewed every time the agreed set period expires?

“Why is Ireland not demanding answers to the question that it appears that there will be no review just because most of the other nations are happy with the way things are?

“One can only guess how much brown stuff would be hitting the fan right now if it was France, Spain or Netherlands who wanted CFP reformation but Ireland was holding it up because we didn’t want anything to change.

“Either way, Minister, get off the pot, stop wasting time with media lip service stunts and start giving this industry some genuine representation at all levels.”

Brian J McMullin Solicitors
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IFSA criticises ‘deafening silence’ from Minister McConalogue

by editor time to read: 7 min