The Fishing Daily Podcast Season 2 Episode 15 Part 2 – Patrick Murphy CEO of the Irish South and West Fish Producer’s Organisation speaks with Oliver McBride editor of The Fishing Daily about his recent involvement with Seafood ORE and the EU Missions’ conference which took place at the National Maritime College of Ireland in Cork on Friday 25 November, saying the fishing industry needs to become proactive on protecting the seas.

Fishing industry needs to become proactive in protecting the seas - ISWFPO Chief

by The Fishing Daily Podcast in Audio

Seafood ORE is a working group to facilitate discussions on matters arising from the interaction of the seafood industry and the offshore renewable energy sector. His reason for taking part in the group, he says is to ensure that the fishing sector is represented when it comes to deciding the future of the seas. 

He says: “This of critical importance Oliver because 90% of the waters in the Irish Sea has been applied for use as offshore development.” 

If the government allows planning like this to go ahead there will be no fishing grounds left. Patrick says, “This has serious implications for the fishing industry, and we have to get this right.” 

The fishing industry is a highly important food source and Patrick highlights the need for the industry to continue. 

On Thursday 01 December 2022, the President of the European Commission, Ursla von der Leyen visited Ireland and spoke at a joint sitting of the Óireachtas. She sent a chilling message to fishermen around the coast when she encouraged Ireland to become “a wind energy superpower” to power Europe. She told the country that Ireland could become “a net exporter of energy” through offshore wind, but offshore wind farms and their effects on the natural marine environment have not been fully researched, and the research so far has shown negative effects and no positive ones. 

Patrick says: 

“This has huge consequences for the Irish fishing industry and to be honest, and not just us. The other fleets that are coming over here. We have the richest grounds in Europe, not just for fishing but for spawning and the creation of new life. We had this at the start of the interview with about the blue whiting. For somebody to come in here and say listen, “it’s more important to put up a wind turbine into the sea rather than putting it on land. That’s the way to go regardless of the consequences that may be there,” that’s not good enough. This is indicative of the European Union.” 

The European Union’s Mission to protect and restore ocean and on land waters and the Atlantic and the Arctic regions by 2030 was in Cork on the 25 November. Oliver asked Patrick is the whole thing a contradiction, where on one hand you have the EU encouraging offshore wind farms without having the full facts and on the other holding events like this where they are talking about restoring oceans. Oliver asks, “Do you think they can do both?” 

Patrick says: 

“Here’s an organisational that wants to see if we can do both. We did a presentation there, we got to speak at it and as I said, if you want to restore the oceans then the first people you talked to or the fisherman, the custodians of the sea, as Sinkevicius said when we did fight off the Russians, you know when we when we when we stood firm. 

“And if he believed that missiles firing up into the air was going to damage our ocean, then the amount of noise and the disturbance to the bottom and everything that these wind farms brings is of course going to have an impact. We won’t know the long-term impact on that, but restoring our oceans like you know, as you said, course is a contradiction. But if we could work with them if we could see, and at least go slowly, see what’s coming in and see how that works. 

“There’s no way we’re going to stop windfarms going into the sea it literally, and it would take confrontation.” 

Podcast music used with permission of In Their Thousands – Acrasia © In Their Thousands 2018. Check out Spotify and visit their website.

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