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Minister Creed and His Department Do Not Appreciate the Importance of the Fishing Industry

“I’ve never witnessed anger like it in the sector.”

That was a strong and blunt comment by the Chief Executive of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation, Sean O’Donoghue when Ireland’s four major fish producer organisations told the Minister for the Marine and his Department officials that the fishing industry now felt they had turned their backs on the industry.

It has not often enough that these four organisations have been so unified. It is good for the industry that they are. Their vehemence in condemnation of Minister Creed and his Departmental advisors reflects the strong feeling in the industry that it is being neglected.

In our editorial last week (read it here) the MARINE TIMES asked the question - “WHEN WILL THE NATION WAKE-UP TO THE IMPORTANCE OF THE FISHING INDUSTRY?”

From what the four producer organisations say in their joint statement, the Minister and his Department do not appreciate the importance of the industry.

The “temporary tie-up scheme” announced by the Minister and for which the deadline for first applications set by Bord Iascaigh Mhara is Wednesday next is “completely unfit for purpose,” the producer organisations say. They also say that “not one single cent of new financial support is being made available to the industry” and that “the scheme is doomed to failure with very little uptake.”

What is now clear is that there is a big gap between the Minister and his Department officials whose concern should be the protection, support and help of the industry and what is actually happening, which is unacceptable.

The industry has offered to meet the Minister “halfway” in coming to a deal.

Minister Creed and his officials should admit that what they have proposed is not sufficient. They should show appreciation of the importance of the industry to the nation and provide the support to which the industry, as an essential food supplier, is entitled.

You can hear Sean O’Donoghue outline the industry’s view in our Podcast this week and, in a second Podcast, the case for the aquaculture sector which is enunciated by Teresa Morrissey, the IFA’s Aquaculture Executive.

As a “voice of the industry” this newspaper asks again – why is the fishing industry in all its sectors so badly treated by Government?

We offer Minister Creed and any sector of Government which would like to explain this attitude the opportunity to do so.

We are waiting to hear.