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News Roundup for the Week

A Busy Ministerial Marine Week

Marine Minister Dara Calleary and EU Fisheries Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius discussed the challenges facing the Irish fisheries sector this week, following a meeting the Minister had held with fishing industry organisations.

The discussion with the EU Commissioner was by video link. Minister Calleary said afterwards that he had explained the “serious concerns” Ireland has with possible implications arising from the UK departure from the EU and its potential impact on the Irish fishing industry.

“I emphasised the absolute necessity that fisheries not be negotiated in isolation from the other elements. We are facing very challenging negotiations on fisheries and are seeking that the EU leverage the wider EU/UK future relationship to secure the interests of the Irish and EU fishing sector.

A media release from the Department of the Marine said the discussion “also covered other fisheries priorities - the EU funding package for the seafood sector, COVID 19 related supports and negotiations on a new EU Control framework.”

Fishing Industry Representatives Meet Marine Minister

The four Fish Producer Organisations - Irish South and East; Killybegs FPO; Irish South and West; IFPO; with the National Inshore Fishermen’s Forum and the Irish Fish Processors and Exporters Association met Marine Minister, Dara Calleary this week to discuss concerns about EU/UK Brexit negotiations and other challenges facing the industry, including the Covid-19 crisis.

It was “a detailed and informative meeting” according to the Department in a media release issued after the meeting. “The fishing industry made clear the serious long-term issues their members would face in the event that the UK’s demands for a greater share of fish stocks and restricted access to UK fishing grounds were granted. Each of the representatives also set out the very difficult challenges that are arising because of the weaker markets for fish, with reduced prices for many species.”

Minister Calleary said “I listened carefully to the clearly articulated challenges facing the fishing industry and made clear that I will be pressing for a fisheries agreement with the UK that upholds both existing quota shares and reciprocal access to UK waters. I will continue to press for the maintenance of the linkage of fisheries to the overall economic partnership agreement as this will be central to a successful agreement. I assured the industry representatives of my commitment and that of the Government to work towards a fisheries agreement with the UK that protects their interests and ensures a long-term future for our coastal communities dependent on fisheries.”

The Department also said that, in relation to the current challenges facing the sector arising from the Covid crisis, the Minister had told the industry groups that the Government’s clear intention is to provide supports that help to re-vitalise all areas in the economy including the seafood sector.

“The continued ambition for the development of a sustainable fisheries sector is a significant feature of the new Programme for Government, “ according to Minister Calleary who is quoted as saying: “I look forward to working with the sector to delivering on that objective.”

So far there have been no statements from any of the industry organisations which attended the meeting.

Lots Of Poaching

A total of 91 illegal fishing nets, measuring 5,300 metres have been seized by Inland Fisheries Ireland, the rivers and estuaries protection body since the beginning of the year. Officers seized nets used for salmon and sea on the Cork, Donegal and Mayo coasts in the past week.

Cape Clear Island Whiskey Is A Winner

Cape Clear Island. West Cork, Distillery’s gin fetched $15,000 per bottle for 2 bottles at a Charity Auction in California. The distillery has also won Silver at the San Francisco and London International Spirits Competition Awards.