The IS&WFPO have compiled a submission to the Irish Government on a Strategy for action and investment in Irelands Seafood Sector

The IS&WFPO have compiled a submission to the Irish Government on a Strategy for action and investment in Ireland’s Seafood Sector

The Irish South & West Fish Producers Organisation have compiled a Submission to the Irish Government on a Strategy for action and investment in Irelands Seafood Sector.

The fifteen-page report details the Organisation’s view of the future of the industry under the National Development Plan and the COVID-19 Recovery Plan.

The Irish fishing industry has been seriously damaged over the past 12 months. Firstly, the COVID-19 pandemic brought the industry to a mere standstill when the coronavirus outbreak closed traditional Continental markets for whitefish and Oriental markets collapsed on Irish shellfish exports as countries like China went into lockdown. Boats were forced to tie-up as there was no sale for their catches and markets are yet to recover as the global crisis lingers on.

Secondly, in the past 12 months, the fishing fleet has suffered at the hands of a both Trade and Cooperation Agreement settled between the EU and the UK on the latter’s exit from the trading bloc. Irish fishing is facing a adversity with the fleet set to lose around €43 million in revenue after the EU negotiating team, led by Michel Barnier, traded away 25% of the EU’s fishing fleets quota to gain control of the UK over the level-playing field and compliance.

The report analyses the impact that COVID-19 and Brexit is having on the sector and calls on the Government to invest in the fishing fleet.

On the report, Patrick Murphy, CEO of the IS&WFPO said, “I hope the consultation and report to be agreed upon will raise the Irish public’s awareness of just how important fishing is to Irish coastal communities. For without fishing there will be no community remaining.

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“Building on that awareness we require all our politicians and the entire Irish administrative state to realize that decades of plundering our waters for the benefit of Dutch, French and Spanish coastal communities has to stop so that Irish coastal communities can survive let alone thrive.”

The full report can be read here.

by Oliver McBride

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