The FD Podcast Series 1 Episode 16 – Oliver McBride speaks to Brendan Byrne, CEO of the Irish Fish Processors and Exporters Association (IFPEA)
The Irish fishing industry is in crisis, but equally the Irish fish processing is fighting for survival. Oliver McBride speaks to Brendan Byrne, CEO of the Irish Fish Processors and Exporters Association about the problems facing the sector as well as those problems faced by the entire fishing industry.
Two Norwegian pelagic boats landing, what many have described as illegally caught fish, into a Killybegs fish processing plants this week has caused outrage in some sectors of the Irish fishing community and its supporters, but as Brendan explains processing plants need fish and as the EU has failed to act against the Kingdom of Norway for unilaterally setting their own mackerel quota for 2021, then the processor was within his rights to purchase the fish for his plant, therefore keeping approximately forty people employed. Without a steady supply of fish, processing plants will be forced to close, warns Brendan.
In the podcast, Brendan also talks about the Control Plan and Oliver asks him if anybody in the Irish fishing or fish processing industry has seen the report delivered to the EU Commission by the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority. Find out why?
The Irish fishing fleet has been offered a temporary tie-up scheme as recommended in the Interim Report from the Seafood Sector Task Force. Will the tie-up scheme lead to the eventual decommissioning of more boats from the Irish fleet?
Find out why this is another added problem for the fish processing industry, and especially for the small factory owners who reply on whitefish landings.
The Seafood Sector Task Force is due to publish its full report and Brendan says it has to deliver a lot in order for the Irish processing and fishing industries to survive beyond the end of the Brexit Adjustment Reserve Fund in three years’ time. Also, the question of Burden Sharing. Brendan says our Department for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and its Minister, Charlie McConalogue has failed to provide any clarification on it. Oliver asks Brendan, is the idea of burden sharing a lot less than what we should be asking for.
Nearly 50 years after joining the European experiment and Irish fishing is facing extinction while other nations prosper in Irish waters.
Brendan believes that the show of strength and unity shown during protests in Cork and Dublin needs to be repeated to keep the pressure on the government to fight for the Irish fishing industry in the conference rooms of the EU institutions.
Listen to the podcast above and subscribe to The Fishing Daily YouTube channel.