Sinn Féin Chief Whip and spokesperson on Fisheries and the Marine, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD, has today written to the Taoiseach and Minister for Agriculture in advance of negotiations between the EU Commission and the Nordic States outside the EU (Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands) on proposals for fishing opportunities for 2024, which are due to commence shortly.
These negotiations will result in allocation of fishing quotas to countries for 2024 at EU council meetings in October and December this year.
Teachta Mac Lochlainn said:
“I have written today to An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie Mc Conalogue TD, outlining that the Irish fishing industry must be defended in these negotiations.
“I note with interest and welcome a recent meeting between An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD, Fine Gael MEP Colm Markey and representatives of the Irish fishing industry where this topic was a priority on the agenda.
“Colm Markey MEP, who was present at the meeting, has since said in a press statement that ‘Ireland must stand its ground during negotiations on 2024 fishing opportunities, which get underway shortly, and Ireland must stand firm and ensure we don’t lose out’.
“I welcome this strong intervention from Colm Markey MEP and it is now over to The Taoiseach, Minister for Agriculture and Marine and their department officials to negotiate the best possible outcome for Ireland.
“We cannot have a situation like in previous years where unfettered access to Irish fishing waters is being offered to non-EU member states, particularly at a time when Ireland is still trying to recover its industry after the devastating losses and the decommissioning of 41 vessels, due to Brexit.
“I strongly reiterate that Ireland must not be left behind again on the back of a bad fishing deal agreed by the Irish Government in Europe.”