Under the terms of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, Ireland is set to lose 25% of its fishing quotas due to the proximity of Ireland to the UK. This has angered Irish fishermen how have been hit by a 30% reduction in the whitefish fleet as proposed under the Seafood Sector Task Force report.
The speakers at today’s event were Patrick Murphy (IS&WFPO), Aodh O’Donnell (IFPO), Brendan Byrne (IFPEA), Gerard Kelly from Greencastle, Cormac Burke (IFSA) and Sinn Féin Deputy Padraig Mac Lochlainn, TD and Fisheries Spokesperson.
Earlier in the day, Patrick, Aodh, Padraig and Brendan were interviewed by Chris MacManus MEP, on EU Parliamentary TV where they told of the reason behind their visit to the heart of EU politics.
Ireland has some of the richest fishing grounds in Europe within its Exclusive Economic Zone but due to the decades old Common Fisheries Policy of ‘relative stability’, access to a fair share of the fish and wealth from our own waters has been denied to our fishing fleet and fishing communities.
This is not sustainable and goes against the wider principles of the Common Fisheries Policy and the European Union in terms of reducing carbon footprint and of the economic and social linkage between those catching the fish and the communities closest to those fishing grounds.
Proposals for urgent change to the Common Fisheries Policy
- To immediately commence the process of reallocating all of the annual unused/uncaught fish quota within the EEZ of Member States from the fishing fleets of the relevant EU Member States to nartional fishing fleet under the principles of ‘zonal attachment’.
- To urgently examine the annual quota of fish allocated to national fishing fleet under the Common Fisheries Policy on a species-by-species basis and to change the basis of allocation from ‘relative stability’ to ‘zonal attachment’ in line with the wider principles of the Common Fisheries Policy and the European Union in terms of reducing carbon footprint and of the economic and social linkage between those catching the fish and the communities closest to those fishing grounds.
- To urgently examine the opportunities to allocate a quota for Atlantic bluefin tuna proven to be in abundance in the Irish EEZ to the Irish fishing fleet.
- To ask the EU to examine the issue of ‘flags of convenience’ in the fishing sector across the EU, and urgently examine the threat to EU food security from the increased control of Europe’s fishing quota by a small number of global corporations; further to urgently examine why the current policy of ‘relative stability’ has permitted this to happen and how a policy of ‘zonal attachment’ could reverse it.