May 29, 2022
Irish fishing communities to take their case to Europe for a fair share of the fish in Irish waters – MacManus and MacLochlainn

A delegation of representatives of the fishing industry and fishing communities from around Ireland will be in Brussels on Monday 30th and Tuesday 31st May to make the case for Ireland’s fishing fleet to be allocated a fair share of the fish in Irish waters.

Sinn Féin MEP, Chris Mac Manus is hosting the visit.

Speaking ahead of visit, he said:

“Ireland has some of the richest fishing grounds in Europe within its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ- 200 mile limit).

“But due to the decades old Common Fisheries Policy of ‘relative stability’, access to a fair share of the fish and wealth from our own waters has been denied to our fishing fleet and fishing communities.

“This is not sustainable and goes against the wider principles of the Common Fisheries Policy and the European Union in terms of reducing carbon footprint and of the economic and social linkage between those catching the fish and the communities closest to those fishing grounds.”

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Fisheries and the Marine Pádraig MacLochlainn TD said:

“It is estimated that the Irish fishing fleet is only allocated about 15% of the fish in Ireland’s EEZ every year. And there is no return allocation of fish quota in other EU Member State’s EEZ to the Irish fishing fleet.

“Even when the annual fish quota allocated to fishing vessels from other EU Member States has not been used, this quota is still not allocated to vessels from the Irish fishing fleet based in the communities closest to those waters.

“This is deeply unjust and has only worsened since Britain left the European Union in recent years.

“That is why we have invited a delegation of some of the leading voices for Irish fishing communities from around our country to come out to Brussels and meet with the politicians and European Commission officials who are making these decisions and to make the case for urgent change.”

CRÍOCH/ENDS

Notes to Editor:

Information and purpose of visit

Ireland has some of the richest fishing grounds in Europe within its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ- 200 mile limit).

But due to the decades old Common Fisheries Policy of ‘relative stability’, access to a fair share of the fish and wealth from our own waters has been denied to our fishing fleet and fishing communities.

This is not sustainable and goes against the wider principles of the Common Fisheries Policy and the European Union in terms of reducing carbon footprint and of the economic and social linkage between those catching the fish and the communities closest to those fishing grounds.

It is estimated that the Irish fishing fleet is only allocated about 15% of the fish in Ireland’s EEZ every year. And there is no return allocation of fish quota in other EU Member State’s EEZ to the Irish fishing fleet.

Even when the annual fish quota allocated to fishing vessels from other EU Member States has not been used, this quota is still not allocated to vessels from the Irish fishing fleet based in the communities closest to those waters.

This is deeply unjust and has only worsened since Britain left the European Union in recent years.

Proposals for urgent changes to the Common Fisheries Policy

To immediately commence the process of reallocating all of the annual unused/ uncaught fish quota within the Irish EEZ from the fishing fleets of the relevant EU Member States to the Irish fishing fleet under the principles of ‘zonal attachment’.

To urgently examine the annual quota of fish allocated to the Irish fishing fleet under the Common Fisheries Policy on a species-by-species basis and to change the basis of allocation from ‘relative stability’ to ‘zonal attachment’ in line with the wider principles of the Common Fisheries Policy and the European Union in terms of reducing carbon footprint and of the economic and social linkage between those catching the fish and the communities closest to those fishing grounds.

To urgently examine why the Irish fishing fleet is not allocated any quota in the EEZ’s of other EU Member States when such a huge proportion of fish in the Irish EEZ is allocated to the fishing fleets of other EU Member States.

To urgently examine the opportunities to allocate a quota for Atlantic bluefin tuna, sardines and other species proven to be in abundance in the Irish EEZ to the Irish fishing fleet.

To urgently examine the threat to EU food security from the increased control of Europe’s fishing quota by a small number of global corporations; further to urgently examine why the current policy of ‘relative stability’ has permitted this to happen and how a policy of ‘zonal attachment’ could reverse it.