Sinn Féin spokesperson on Fisheries Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD has said that the Report of the Seafood Task Force released yesterday by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine will not address the fundamental problems in the Irish Fishing Industry.
Teachta Mac Lochlainn said:
“The recommendations contained in this report are an acknowledgement of the failure of the Irish Government to stand up and defend Irish fishermen during the Brexit negotiations and subsequent trade deal with Britain.
“While temporary cessation and voluntary permanent decommissioning may suit a small number of people involved in the fishing industry, for the vast majority these proposals will be another body blow to an industry that is now fighting for it’s survival.
“And even the small number of people who will want to avail of permanent decommissioning scheme will do so with a heavy heart following years of government neglect and not being listened to.
“60 vessels are proposed to be decommissioned from an already reduced Irish fishing fleet.
“I am failing to see in this document the drive of the Department, Minister and Irish Government to stand up and fight for our industry.
“It is more of the same I am afraid. A step back approach as fishermen’s livelihoods are destroyed.
“Where is the commitment to seek full reform of the Common Fisheries Policy? Where is the commitment to seek fair and equal burden sharing and where is the commitment to seek new quota and new opportunities?
“When I meet and talk to Irish fishermen, they don’t ask for supports to tie up their boats or to take their boats out of the water altogether, they ask to be able to fish.
“This Report will reduce fishing opportunities, will further reduce the Irish fishing fleet and is a big disappointment.”