Govt must fight severe EU cuts to fishing sector – Browne

Published on: 24 November 2011

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Marine and Fisheries John Browne TD has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food Simon Coveney to take a very strong stance against the proposed cuts in fishing quotas for 2012 which threaten up to 700 full and part-time jobs. 

Deputy Browne said: “The proposals from the European Commission to reduce fishing quotas in Ireland by 22% in 2012 are extraordinary and amount to a direct hit for fishermen in the order of €24 million, not to mention the knock-on effects on fishing communities and processors. 

The proposals include:

                       20% reduction in fishing quota in the Celtic Sea

                       36% reduction in fishing quota in the Irish Sea

                       18% reduction in fishing quota for Northwest fleet 

Deputy Browne said: “The European Commission’s proposals as they stand would cost €5m in respect of the Irish Sea cuts, €16m arising from the Celtic Sea cuts and a further estimated €1.2m loss of income from the cuts to the Northwest fleet.  The fishing sector in Ireland is extremely important to many communities across the country and supports thousands of jobs every day among fishermen, seafood processors and local businesses. 

“Bord Iascaigh Mhara estimates that Ireland could face losses from these proposed cuts of between €60 and €65 million and between 500 and 700 full and part-time jobs would be affected.  When I see these quota proposals I can only imagine the scale of the impact on communities like Kilmore Quay in Wexford.  Our fishing communities are vital and vibrant contributors to our economy and I am calling on the Government to strenuously resist the proposals in their current form.” 

Deputy Browne concluded: “I am aware that the figures contained in the proposals don’t take account of the ‘Hague Preferences’ which may indeed be of great assistance to Ireland when they are negotiated for the coming year however I believe the Government must insist on a vastly improved position from the current proposals.”  

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