In the eighth FD Podcast of the series, editor Oliver McBride speaks to Cormac Burke, Chair of the irish Fishing and Seafood Alliance about the Crisis in the Irish fishing industry

In this FD Podcast, The Fishing Daily editor, Oliver McBride speaks to Cormac Burke of the Irish Fishing and Seafood Alliance about the crisis facing the Irish fishing industry.

Brexit, a poor outcome to the UK – EU Trade Cooperation Agreement, the loss of the Control Plan, an EU penalty to be paid for overfishing, fisheries penalty points and a fisheries control body called incompetent and out of control.

On top of all this, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit prices and demand fo fish home and abroad.

Tighter regulations and less fishing quota are driving the industry to its knees but fishers have found a new champion in the IFSA who have been actively challenging the Irish Government, Dept of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and Minister Charlie McConalogue to deliver more for the industry rather than opting for another decommissioning scheme.

There is no shortage of fish in Irish waters. We have hundreds of French, Spanish, Belgian, Dutch, Portuguese and other EU nations fishing in our waters. The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is killing the industry in Ireland but helping it thrive in these other Member States. SO, where is it all going wrong?

In his travels as editor of several successful fishing magazines, Cormac has seen the devastation the loss of fishing can have on communities in towns and villages that he has visited internationally. He fears the Irish industry will soon face a similar fate as the number of young people turn their back on one of Ireland’s traditional industries.

Is there a future for our industry? Is there a future for our coastal communities?

It is all in the hands of the Irish Government but does the government care enough about Social Responsibility, Economic Responsibility and protecting vulnerable societies such as our coastal communities, or will our towns and villages be turned into tourist resorts and our young people driven away to cities to become the victims of extortionate rents and mortgages as they try to eek out a living.