Fine Gael’s Colm Markey has called for a renewed focus on the Irish fishing industry following years of decline and concerns about Norway seeking greater access to Irish waters.
The Midlands-North-West MEP and Senator Tim Lombard today hosted a meeting in Leinster House with fishing industry representatives to discuss current challenges and potential opportunities for the sector.
Markey commented, “The fishing industry in Ireland has been in decline for a number of years, due to the impacts of Brexit, COVID, and the energy crisis. This has had a devastating impact on coastal communities around the country. We must take action now to ensure that our fishing industry can survive and thrive. We need a renewed effort at both the national and EU level to develop a sustainable and equitable fishing industry. We cannot afford to wait any longer.”
One of the key concerns raised at the meeting was Norway’s attempt to gain unfettered access to Irish waters for blue whiting.
“We’re deeply concerned about the efforts by Norway to gain unfettered access to Irish waters for blue whiting without any reciprocal arrangement. However, Ireland has stood firm during the negotiations and I believe the EU recognises the challenges we face, particularly after our quotas were slashed by 15% after Brexit. I have met with EU Fisheries Commissioner a number of times in recent months and reaffirmed our position that no deal is better than a bad deal. The future of Irish fishing communities must be protected, and I am doing everything in my power at EU level to ensure that this happens”, he added.
MEP Markey said the review of the Common Fisheries Policy offers new opportunities for Ireland.
“Ireland is finally winning the confidence of those at EU Commission level and we must seize the moment and ensure we get a fair deal. It is important that all stakeholders are involved in the review process and have their voices heard so that we can look forward to a new chapter for our coastal communities”, he concluded.
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