Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on the Marine and Fisheries John Browne has today published a series of proposals aimed at enhancing the fishing industry in Ireland.

The policy document sets out Fianna Fáil’s commitment to delivering a seafood industry that is strong, sustainable and profitable while supporting fishing and related economic activities in the coastal communities they are based in.

Deputy Browne commented, “Fisheries and marine resources are key contributors to our national economic recovery. In prioritising fisheries, we not only recognise the potential of the fishing sector to contribute to economic development but also its capacity to achieve balanced regional growth.

“Food Harvest 2020, which was initiated under Fianna Fáil in government, provides a medium-term vision and strategy for the development of the Irish agri-food and fisheries sector. The proposals we are putting forward today aim to build on the measures contained in Food Harvest 2020.

“Central to our proposals is a commitment that coastal communities are allowed maintain and increase jobs in the catching, supply and processing sectors. This will allow the fishing industry in coastal communities to prosper in the years ahead. Fishing opportunities must be enhanced along with processing capacity, aquaculture development, as well as marine tourism and rural recreation activities.

“Fianna Fáil will continue to fight for maximum sustainable quotas for the Irish fishing industry in the annual fixing of EU catches and quotas. We will also protect Ireland’s interests in any reformed EU Common Fisheries Policy and will seek to achieve this in future reviews with a view to enlarging our fishing opportunities.

Other recommendations include:

  • Securing a level playing field for all fishing activities in Irish controlled waters while introducing a more flexible and proportionate approach to inspections;
  • A commitment to appointing a Minister with full responsibility for fisheries;
  • Encourage sustainable and high quality aquaculture development and establish an independent body to adjudicate and administer the current licensing system;
  • We will build on the success of the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ by exploring the creation of an ‘Irish Way’ on an all-island in co-operation with Northern Ireland to bolster tourism in coastal communities.

“I would like to thank all members of the party Fisheries Policy Committee who had an input in the creation of this comprehensive document.

“The coming years offer a real opportunity for the fishing sector to grow and expand offering high quality affordable produce to consumers across the globe. Any balanced regional recovery must ensure that coastal communities’ are at the centre of government policy. In this policy document, Fianna Fail provides a platform towards achieving this.”

Fianna Fáil Policy Document on Fisheries