Ireland: Fishermen fume at UK over water access
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A fleet of 50 Irish fishing vessels travelled to Cork Harbour in protest of the new post-Brexit rules on fisheries earlier this week. The fishers have been arguing that Brexit quota restrictions are limiting their access to UK waters have had a severe impact on their industry. Their frustration is heightened by the fact that vessels from European Union countries as France and Spain vessels are enjoying greater access to the catch available in British waters compared to Irish fishermen,
Speaking to RTÉ News, fleet member and owner of the Blue Horizon ship from Castletownbere Joe McGuiness voiced his frustration.
“We’ve all this water off our west coast, and we’re basically not allowed to catch fish in it,” he said.
“All the other boats from other EU countries, France and Spain in particular, are just mopping up what really should be available to the Irish fleet.”
Dinah Busher from Kilmore Quay, owner of the Ellie Ádamh vessel, said: “The quotas that we have, they’re not paying the bills.
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“The expenses for each trip, they’re not being covered. So obviously that leaves businesses and boat owners in a very bad situation.”
John D O’Sullivan, owner of the Ronan Ross from Castletownbere, added “We have crew members with us for 20 years, and what we really need to see going forward is a future for them.
“A future for the boat, a future for all the boats behind us, all the crews in them boats.
“We need a future for the whole coastal communities, at shore, and at sea.”
Patrick Murphy, chief executive of the Irish South and West Fish Producers’ Organisation has said that the Brexit deal between the UK and the EU could cost the Irish fishing industry millions of euros.
He added that the Brexit deal allows the UK to fish 75 percent of its waters, while Ireland is limited to just 15 percent of its own.
The group, which organised the fleet protest, are also angry about the removal of the EU control plan.
This means that all catches of fish will now have to be weighed on piers.
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The ISWFPO website demands a “Renegotiation of Common Fisheries Policy so that Ireland is allocated a fair share of fish quotas that reflect the contribution of our fishing grounds to the EU.
“The Brexit TCA Agreement between EU and UK was both unfair and unjust and penalised Ireland’s fishing industry. This must be equal Burden Sharing throughout the member States.”
Those protesting on the fleet plan to disembark in Cork to hold a subsequent rally.
They will deliver a letter to the Cork office of Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin.
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