“Norway should be called out for Russian fish deals” says Fine Gael MEP Colm Markey
Fine Gael’s Colm Markey has said Norway should be called out for cooperating with Russia on fisheries as the Nordic country seeks even more access to EU waters.
The Midlands-North-West MEP, a member of the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee, made the comments ahead of Sunday’s (December 11th) meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council.
Markey said Ireland must stand firm as Norway presses for unfettered access to our fishing waters.
“I have called out Norway’s cooperation with Russia on fishing matters in recent meetings of the European Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries and I’m glad to see it being highlighted ahead of these crucial talks.
“When it comes to Ireland, we need to hold the line and ensure Norway doesn’t get unfettered access to Ireland’s blue whiting grounds without a proper reciprocal arrangement. Access is our trump card and it shouldn’t be given away lightly,” he said.
“The EU needs to ensure a level playing field. Ireland bore the brunt of quota cuts after Brexit and the industry simply can’t afford to take another hit.
“The Norwegians are looking for over €100m of Ireland’s blue whiting while Irish boats will get a catch worth between €9m-12m. It is simply not fair to expect any member state to sign up to such a deal if Norway is not prepared to offer anything in return.
“This is now a political issue and I’m calling on the Minister to make sure that Ireland’s voice is heard loud and clear during these difficult negotiations,” he concluded.
Source: Press Release