Patrick Murphy of the IS&WFPO fears fishing boats will be tied to the quay and warns the Minister to prioritise fuel for the food production sector
Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation CEO, Patrick Murphy fears that the fishing industry could end up being tied to the key because of a shortage of diesel fuel for fishing vessels.
Speaking to The Fishing Daily, Mr Murphy said there was a serious issue with the supply and that fishermen and farmers alike could be facing fuel shortages in the coming weeks.
Asked if he had concerns about the rising costs of fuel and the impact it will have on fishing boats and transport, Mr Murphy replied, “The issue is that we have no diesel, the issue is that. The Government did not create enough reserves for fuel in this country. So, it’s not going to be how much it is, it’s going to be about food production for farmers and fishermen.
“What we are hearing is that there is no fuel in Killybegs, no fuel on the east coast, there’s nothing inside Dublin Port and we are seeing a shortage here in Castletownbere.
“We wrote to the Minister (for Agriculture, Food and the Marine) yesterday and we said to him that we are dealing with an emergency here and he needs to priorities the recourses. Fuel needs to be set aside for the the food production services, otherwise it will stop. If that stops, there will be dire consequences.”
Dire consequences indeed. With the possibility of a shortage of grain and fertilizer becoming a reality, there was also an announcement today from American President, Joe Biden, that the USA would no longer be buying gas and oil from Russia. The USA is one of the world’s largest exporters of oil-based fuels which will eventually put pressure on European supplies, and as Ireland is at the end of the line, will bear the consequences of a fuel shortage earlier than other countries.
by Oliver McBride