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No Tuna Fishing For Irish Fishermen

"There is growing outrage in Ireland’s coastal communities at the spectacle of a flourishing bluefin tuna fishery in Irish waters feeding on spawning stock of mackerel, horse mackerel (scad), herring, hake, sprat, cod and other species. They are being fattened up in our waters, only to be caught by foreign vessels, making a fortune of money that should be enriching our fishers,” according to Sinn Fein’s Spokesman on the Marine, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn. He asked Marine Minster, Charlie McConalogue, and the Government to “urgently engage with their European counterparts to secure a reasonable share of the of the global bluefin quota set by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).”

"The EU share of the global bluefin quota has increased by a massive 73% since 2016 from 11,200 tons to 19,360 tons this year, yet the Irish government didn’t secure one single ton of this for the Irish fishing industry. This is a shocking failure. To add insult to injury, we have only been allowed a catch-and-release scheme since last year. The excuse heretofore has been that this quota has been allocated under each country’s track record in this fishery. Irish governments have allowed this nonsense to continue without asserting what would normally be our rights as a coastal State in accordance with the Convention on the Law of the Sea. I am calling on the Minister and government to listen to the outrage in our coastal communities about this issue and to urgently assert our rights in this matter."

The response of the Minister to Deputy MacLochlainn mirrors the previously expressed government views, as predicted by the SF Spokesman. It is much the same as the statement on the issue made by the former Marine Minister, Michael Creed, in the Dáil in February of last year.

This gives little hope for positive action by the Irish government: …..”obtaining a viable commercial quota for Bluefin Tuna is unlikely in the short-to-medium term,” said Minister McConalogue.