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Podcast: Irish South & West Calls for Immediate Action to Ensure Future of Fishing Industry

PODCAST INTERVIEW WITH PAT MURPHY, CEO, IRISH SOUTH AND WEST FPO: Pat Murphy outlines his Organisation’s proposals in this interview with Tom MacSweeney, Deputy Editor, Marine Times.

Listen to the Podcast here

“Fishing is a designated critical service and for the benefit of all our societies must be supported,” the Irish South and West Fish Producers’ Organisation has said in proposals made for ‘Domestic Market Development’ and a request for Marine Minister Michael Creed to engage in discussions with the fishing industry. A meeting is needed “as soon as possible to evaluate where in our 2013-2020 current EMFF programme, money not spent can be reallocated to specifically target such areas as cessation of fishing for particular oversubscribed fisheries, while still maintaining a regular supply to the Domestic Market,” according to the ISWFPO.

"We need to identify key measures to best help all sectors and should be engaging more including opening up access to market,” says the CEO of the South West FPO, Patrick Murphy. “I am told from all sectors we are approaching a tipping point where everlasting damage could result. We are facing the loss of small and even large operators with consequent long-term damage to coastal communities and leading to the inevitable loss of skilled people from all sectors of our Industry.”

The Organisation has sent a submission to Irish members of the European Parliament and TDs “following the welcome response from the European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevicius, to our requests for Commission assistance to the fishing Industry.”

It has called on BIM to carry out a ‘Market evaluation’ for the sale of Whitefish in Ireland’s Domestic Market. “We are requesting these measures to access what supply of fresh caught fish would be required to help all the stakeholders’ trade through this difficult time. We suggest BIM liaise with all stakeholders to reach an outcome that would ensure supply is maintained while keeping businesses viable. Our suggestion would involve contacting the larger fish processors to seek their expertise on what amount of product their customers could sell to their customers at a price that would allow all stakeholders get a fair monetary return. Retailers’ feedback on what they see as the primary demand of their customers either through direct communication with BIM, or through the fish processors, would also be critical.

This research could be given to the fish Co-operatives and they in turn could contact Producer Organisations to identify with their membership to see if a selective fleet can be chosen to catch identified species that the Market will sell and estimated quantities required.

“We welcome Minister Creed’s assurances that storage aid will be provided. Retailers will be assisted by storing them to be supplied to the Domestic Market at a later date. This would be a first measure in what we see as the beginning of the development of our Domestic Market while achieving the over-arching goal of keeping food supply lines going through these challenging times.”