The IFSA claims that Minister Charlie McConalogue’s solution to the EU quota cuts is to reduce the Irish fishing fleet
Minister’s ‘solution’ to EU taking bigger share of Irish quota is to reduce the size of Ireland’s fishing fleet! writes Cormac Burke, Chair of the IFSA
At this time of real crisis in Ireland’s fishing and seafood industry – a time when industry representative organisations such as the IFSA have been highlighting the injustices of the so-called BREXIT ‘deal’ which saw Irish fishermen lose more quota (in their own waters) than any other nation in the EU – – a time when the population of Ireland’s coastal communities are pleading for our Govenment to stand up to the EU and defend our rightful share of fish quotas in our own waters — – a time when our Minister’s response is to start a ‘voluntary vessel decommissioning scheme’ to shrink the size of our fleet to match the tiny quotas we’ve been left with…
I’m sure the official response to my argument would be that if its a ‘voluntary’ decommissioning scheme then that would indicate that there is an appetite out there for it — but that’s a Catch-22 situation for our fishermen.
Most vessel owners/skippers have made major private investments in their vessels and gears and, under normal circumstances, are willing to continue to carry on working in an industry that they’re dedicated to.
But if you approached any company and said “you can continue working but we’re going to let the EU reduce your revenue by 40% OR we’ll pay you a lump sum to shut shop and walk away now” – what option will people have?
Minister McConalogue MUST STOP trying to avoid the issue that is staring him in the face.
Minister, the Irish fishing and seafood industry needs your support at this time – – real support in the form of facing up to the European Commission to demand justice with regards to the BREXIT deal that has clearly shafted Irish fishermen — and not to offer these people to get out of this industry (using money from an EU ‘kitty’ – believed to be in the region of 600 million euros).
Not one government in the past 30 years can make claim that they were beneficial to Ireland’s fishing and seafood industry but is this coalition government happy to be forever remembered for being the ones who provided the EU Commission a vehicle with which they can finally shut down our fishing industry and leave our wonderful marine resource in the hands of bigger European fishing interests?
This situation even further highlights the need for everyone to sign & share the IFSA petition: https://www.change.org/…/taoiseach-michael-martin…
MINISTER’S ‘LIP-SERVICE’ STATEMENT
“We intend to invest in our coastal communities and the new task force will help advise on the best way to go about this,” said Minister Charlie McConalogue in his RTÉ interview in Greencastle yesterday.
And in the full version of the interview (on RTÉ website) he added: “The final Task Force report, to be delivered within four months, will address their recommendations for a voluntary fleet decommissioning scheme to adjust and re-balance certain segments of the fleet with the reduced fishing opportunities available and any other recommended initiatives to support our seafood sector and coastal communities.”