Is a little Political Stability for Fishing too much to ask for?
“What a disaster, the inshore fishing sector is in the midst of an unprecedented economic crisis. Is a little political stability in this portfolio too much to ask for?”
That was the comment of the National Inshore Fishermen’s Association following the resignation of the Minister for the Marine Dara Calleary.
Alex Crowley, NIFA Secretary General of NIFA said a strong voice is needed at the Cabinet table to make the case for the fishing industry, but that has not been the case for some time and fishing has suffered as a result. He said that the inshore sector was facing a crisis. When the Government brought out proposals to help the economy there was very little for fishermen and the inshore sector was not treated as well or supported as it should be.
Mr. Crowley outlines the situation facing the inshore sector on the MARINE TIMES Podcast this week.
The Minister’s resignation has caused concern throughout the industry because of the ongoing difficult Brexit negotiations.. It takes time for a new Minister to become acquainted with the brief. Former Minister Calleary had been engaged in his first round of EU contacts and other meetings were scheduled.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has assumed the role of Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, for the present.
“This is a government staggering into a disaster for the fishing industry which it is creating itself.”
“The industry has done more work to try to get a Brexit arrangement that will protect fishing than government commitment and now there is more chaos.”
“We can expect more weeks of discussion meetings with the industry, which are wasted time as someone else takes over the fishing negotiations, who doesn’t know enough about the critical aspects or may not have the experience at European level.”
“The Taoiseach has said he is taking over the marine brief, so will he protect fishing at the Brexit talks? Convince us Mr. Martin.”
These are amongst comments from the industry this weekend.