It has been reported that further protests are taking place tonight in Dingle, Co Kerry tonight as fisherman blockade the harbour to prevent a foreign fishing vessel from landing once again.
It is said that the blockade has delayed a Spanish-registered lorry from entering the town. The lorry was due to take a delivery of fish from a Spanish trawler that is due to land there later tonight.
The fishermen have said that they will prevent the foreign trawler landing at the pier over concerns related to the crew’s lack of social-distancing protocol in regards to the COVID-19 crisis.
With the Spanish fishing vessel due to land at around 3.00 am on Monday morning, Gardaí have issued a caution to the protesters but they are refusing to end their blockade.
Speaking to Radio Kerry, Patrick Murphy, CEO of the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation, told the station that further communication may be needed between the Minister with responsibility for the Marine and fishermen in Kerry to allay fears they have over the spread of COVID-19.
He said that fishermen were gravely concerned about the spread of the coronavirus and that he believed the Minister should be issuing COVID-19 updates to the fishing community as the Department of Health does to the rest of the country in order to allay fears.
Speaking on the station he said “There are protocols in place. The Minister and the Department have said that there should be separate landing berths from them (foreign fishing vessels) and different measures put in place to make sure that any risk of contamination or spreading of the virus would be to a minimum and that these crews are checked.
“So there’s a lot in place that once in place and once it is verified that it is in place should allay the fears.
“If it’s a lack of communication, that’s what should be addressed here just like there’s an update every day from the Health Services on what’s happening with COVID-19.”