EU must address the issue of super trawlers.
put it bluntly, the EU must stop tacitly backing multinational super
trawler operators at the expense of ordinary fishing communities.
fishermen. Not fishing boats. Fishing communities. These destructive
behemoths are wreaking unchecked havoc on coastal communities from
Cork to Donegal.
not pretend we don't all know what's going on here.
trawlers and wealthy, large-scale industrial vessel owners have
benefited from a cosy relationship with national authorities, many
of which are working with, if not for, these powerful entities whose
significant business interests give them unaccountable political
Ireland they have created a tiny cartel which has isolated and impoverished
the rest of our ordinary fishermen.
often than not they are not inspected properly, blind eyes are turned
while our own smaller fleets face the full weight of the law.
neglect, and the failure by our governments to protect and represent
the interests and well-being of our coastal and rural communities
has resulted in the devastation of the livelihoods of small-scale
fishermen, their families and the communities they are the bedrock
know they have a dubious history when it comes to obeying regulations
around quotas, catches and dumping.
know all too well the environmental and economic damage they do
to the territories they enter.
we recount the shocking statistics? The nets that can easily ensnare
more than a dozen jumbo jets, the fact that just 5% of catch in
Irish waters is processed here, the dolphins, sharks, turtles and
even whales scooped up and killed in their enormous drag.
has made moves to ban these monsters outright. Shouldn't the EU
at least be talking about the possibility; at least be discussing
the views of member states?
the European Council seems determined to reject any changes to regulation
the recent debate on the characterisation and definition of fishing
vessels I put forward a number of modest amendments that were supported
by the Committee but shamefully opposed by the Council.
fact is there are major flaws in legislation that do not properly
distinguish between small-scale, traditional and artisanal fisheries
and large-scale industrialised fisheries.
proposals would have balanced out some of these glaring inequalities,
such as taking into account other vessel size attributes besides
vessel length, their social role in coastal communities, the ecological
impact of their gears, fishing and fuel capacity, processing ability
and output, and the economics of the enterprise.
needs to take a step in the right direction in regulating these
industrial floating factories that have been catastrophic for local
communities and their small fleets, marine biodiversity and stocks.
Common Fisheries Policy, Relative Stability and its ITQ system has
enabled governments to auction off fish to multinational predators
operating these colossal factory ships pushing out ordinary small-fishermen.
traditional fishing communities are to survive the EU must establish
proper technical and legal distinctions of small boats from large
vessels. The de facto EU policy of supporting these multinational
giants at the expense of ordinary fishing communities must come
to an end.
what of Brexit? Is Ireland to bear the brunt of fleets displaced
from British waters; a further blow to our already beleaguered fishing
Britain exercises full control of its EEZ it could be the end of
the Irish fishing industry as we know it unless the concept of Relative
Stability, underpinning the CFP since 1992, is revised.
means Ireland will have over 33% of the most productive fishing
grounds in the EU. What will happen to the displaced EU vessels
who will no longer have access to British waters?
where will the super trawlers go when they are pushed out of Scottish
waters? Is Ireland to get no reprieve from these beasts until they've
dredged every living thing from our oceans, churned up our waters
and desolated our coasts?
the EU won't act then the Irish Government must. They must use every
available resource at their disposal to stop, search and inspect
these boats every time they enter Irish waters. Let it be known
that as soon as they are in our territory they will come under the
most rigorous watch.
won't shy away from the reality of what I am calling for here. Harass
them; mercilessly, up to the limit of the law. Stand up for Irish
fishing communities and force the EU's hand before there are no
communities left to stand up for.