The Fishing Daily Podcast Series 2 Episode 12 – Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation (IS&WFPO) CEO, Patrick Murphy speaks to The Fishing Daily Editor, Oliver McBride about the decommissioning scheme, the level playing field, fuel subsidies and the Óireachtas restaurants’ fish scandal.
Decommissioning a sad day for Irish fishing says Patrick Murphy, IS&WFPO
In this episode of The Fishing Daily podcast, Patrick talks about the Voluntary Permanent Cessation Scheme, better known as the Decommissioning Scheme. The ISW&FPO CEO criticises Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue on welcoming a scheme that will see fishermen lose their livelihoods, communities jobs and the further loss of quota that will never be replaced as long as Ireland remains caught-up in the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) or in the European Union (EU) itself.
Minister Charlie McConalogue announced that the Commission approved an €80 million decommissioning scheme which will see 30% of the whitefish fleet wiped-off the Irish fishing vessel register for good. Patrick hits out at the money being offered to boat owners, but many find themselves in a position where they will lose out on what they have paid for their assets because they can see no long-term future in fishing.
Instead of celebrating the decommissioning scheme, as the Minister said in a press release, Patrick says it is a sad day for the Irish fishing industry.
Since February, when Russian invaded Ukraine, Ireland has been facing fuel cots increases that have now left some boat owners running in the red. Whilst French and Spanish boats avail of a fuel subsidy scheme, the Irish government is still assessing the situation. The government’s lack of commitment to a fuel subsidy scheme has distorted competition as Irish fishing vessels are no longer on a level playing field with two of their largest neighbours who are taking fish out of Irish waters. The Irish South and West CEO says that something needs to be done about this.
While the government is introducing a decommissioning scheme for the Irish fishing fleet, meanwhile in the Óireachtas, suppliers to the restaurants there have been asked to source fish from thousands of miles away. Not alone is locally sourced fish not good enough for the government, but it also seems that their concern over the carbon footprint of the fish they want to eat is of less concern to them than the cost of transporting it from New Zealand, Thailand or whatever far flung country it comes from.
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Podcast music used with permission of In Their Thousands – Acrasia © In Their Thousands 2018. Check out Spotify
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