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"Let’s Buy Irish Fish!" Art Kavanagh

We are in tough times lads and some realistic news getting into the system on the difficulties which are being experienced in the Markets. Apparently some Fresh Fish getting away but the Quasi Embargo being attempted by the French Fishermen is disturbing on many fronts but I suppose it does show the power than can exert by sticking together.

I would like to think that the EU may tap them on the shoulder …….

At times like this it is important to make every bullet count and waste no money in landing fish without having some indication that it can be sold.

The amount of Frozen Product held in the various Co Op Cold Stores is terrifying and it will be important that when markets do reopen .

I am delighted to see the efforts of individual Fishermen and Fish Shops to promote their Irish Fish on the Facebook platform and hope that their efforts are being rewarded by successful sales.

They certainly deserve to be.

I had hoped that BIM and Board Bia might have made a better effort at promoting the sale of Irish Fish and to be honest am disappointed at the quality of the TV advert they have produced.

I was hoping that we might have made it on to some of the National TV Shows .

I have asked many times in recent weeks “How many Irish People have actually eaten and Irish Prawn?” and I believe that conditions are right now to introduce the Nation to species previously considered too expensive .

Maybe the time has come to put all of your Goods on the Table lads and see who will buy.

Maybe we need to reduce prices at the Retail Counters a bit and maybe the reduction in the Cost of Fuel presents better conditions for doing that.

I can hear the roars of “what difference will the Irish Market Make to the Overall catch". Not Much- but it is worth something and lets try to replace as much if the € 300 MILLION in Fish IMPORTS recorded in 2018 as we can.

I always believed that there is a huge difference between Doing Nothing and actually Deciding to Do Nothing. Totally different disciplines lads

Only the Fishermen can decide that - and some may decide that they are better to tie their Vessel up so be it and hopefully they and their crews can avail of the Government Income supports which for many owners only represent the lack of Financial Supports they may have received over their years in Business.

The most important thing lads is to stick together , believe in your Industry and the excellence of your Product and hope that at least more of it can be sold locally that previously.

Every sale counts Lads because you have already burned the Diesel to catch the fish.

By now I hope that all of you who need a Payment Holiday have contacted your Banks who are trumpeting their willingness to assist both with Payment Holidays and additional Working Capital if required.

I think that it not working out quite as simply as we were first given to believe and I have heard anecdotally that one senior Lender was stating that the Banks did not want to make “Rash” Decisions or make concessions now which they might later regret.

I detect that attitude coming through in some of the applications to defer payments.

What exactly do they expect people whose Income Stream has been cut off to do ?

The old “Blood out of a Stone” simile springs to mind.

Hold your nerves lads and try not to be pressurized in to selling Vessels or Capacity too cheaply.

By selling Capacity too cheaply you are devaluing the value of the ENTIRE FLEET, and you are certainly adversely affecting the attitude of Lenders in accessing new Fishing Applications going forward.

Unlike Fishing Vessels – Capacity is a Finite Resource in limited supply and should not be allowed to devalue.

I really believe that the whole industry needs to be looked at on similar lines to the “Steering a New Course” report published in 2006.

I suggest that the industry is not being efficiently managed by our Regulators and believe that the Segmentation of the Capacity should be examined again with a view to cross pollinating it to ensure that every unit of Capacity is used to maximum effect

We must look at the Seafood Sector as a National Business lads – and as a National Business being managed largely by people not directly involved- it is inefficient. If it was a Factory – we have significant space in the factory not being used.

The Individual Transferrable Quota System should be examined again and De Commissioning must be put back on the table.

The Fishermen must be directly involved in establishing at least the agenda for any review.

Maybe a new evaluation of the Sector and a realistic Roadmap on how to improve the benefits which it can bring to the Fishing Communities and the Country in General may be a Positive in what is a Negative Climate currently.

NOBODY knows as much about the Industry as the Fishermen themselves – NOBODY !!!!

I hope everyone managing at the moment and wish those who are trying to sell their Fish locally every success.

I know that the Co Ops and Exporters are wasting no effort or energy in trying to get Product sold and commend them for their efforts in that regard and for their efforts in storing the huge quantities of Frozen Product being held .

This crisis will pass lads and try to keep fit and well to be at your fittest when the fog lifts

Stay safe everyone.