Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:54 pm
IRISH FISHING INDUSTRY UNITES TO FIGHT FOR A FAIRER FUTURE
The Irish fishing industry has come together under one organisation to fight for a viable future for the country's nearly 2,000 registered fishing vessels and the many thousands of shore based jobs that rely on them.
At a recent meeting held at Horse and Jockey, Co Tipperary over 60 vessel owners, processors and marine service providers unanimously agreed to form an organisation that would represent the whole industry, From the smallest punt to the largest trawler, from the skipper in the wheelhouse to the crew on the deck and from the biggest factory to the local fish shop.
Everybody at the meeting was asked for their views on what is the biggest challenge facing the industry and a range of fishermen from Greencastle to Dunmore East, Castletownbere to Clogherhead and Union Hall to Kilmore Quay voiced their concerns
While those present at the meeting agreed that the industry faced a multitude of problems it was agreed that the single biggest issue facing everyone was the lack of EU quota available to Irish fishermen for species in Irish waters.The historically low share-out of fish that Irish fishermen can catch off our coast combined with new EU regulations banning discarding over quota catches will strangle an already decimated industry.
Ireland's fishing fleet represents just 2.5% of the EU total yet we possess 23% of the fishing grounds and have allowed non Irish vessels harvest nearly €1.2 Billion annually from our waters.
A steering committee was selected to arrange a first A.G.M in the coming weeks where it is expected that a commitee will be formed from all sectors including Demersal, Inshore, Potting, Gill netting, Pelagic, Prawn, Seining and Shore based stakeholders.