Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue want to keep open channels of dialogue with the Irish fishing industry. Photo: Sean McConville
The meeting between An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, Minister for the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, TD, the Irish fish producer organisations and representatives after fishing industry took place this afternoon.
It is understood that the meeting was productive and there was an open discussion and two-way dialogue between the government and the fishing industry with both the Minister and An Taoiseach both happy with the response from the fishing representatives
The meeting as part of An Taoiseach’s social dialogue forum with various industries and comes ahead of a fishing flotilla and Dublin later this week.
It follows the publication of the Interim Report of the Seafood Sector Task Force which includes the industry and was established by the Minister.
Mr McConalogue commented, “It has been a tough year for our fishers. It is important that there are open channels of dialogue between government and the industry, and it is important to note that we are listening to the industry.”
It is believed that part of the discussion involved seeking changes to the Common Fisheries Policy to allow Irish fishers access to more quota in their own waters. It is also believed that both parties discussed the Interim Report from the Seafood Sector Task force which as part of a range on incentives would include a arrangements for a voluntary fleet cessation scheme for the fleet of 220 or so Irish demersal fishing vessels to counter the impacts of the reduced quota share due to Brexit and a voluntary decommissioning scheme to remove fishing tonnage from the Irish fleet.
The Irish fishing industry disagrees with the latter and believe that a further reduction in the fleet size would mean the end of the Irish fishing fleet and instead are pushing the Government for equal right for Irish fishers in their own waters aheah of the new Common Fisheries Policy in 2022.
by Oliver McBride