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South West FPO Criticises Barnier

The Irish South and West Fish Producers’ Organisation in Castletownbere has criticised the EU’s Chief Brexit Negotiator over a reported offer to the UK on catch share-outs in British waters after Brexit.

“We learned, to our horror, from media reports that Michel Barnier had offered an 18% increase in their share-out of these Fish Stocks to the UK,” said a statement from the South/West FPO. “Now the EU negotiator, himself a previous Minister for Fisheries in France knows only too well that giving more fish to UK fishermen will mean less for everyone else, with Ireland paying the significantly greatest price.

“Ireland’s share of the Total Allowable Catch opportunity for Stocks in Europe’s NW Waters in 2020 was 195,221 tonnes with a landed value of €252 million in circumstances where the overall Fishing Opportunity (ie Total Allowable Catch for NW Waters) was 1.18 million tonnes of fish with an estimated landed value of €1.62 billion. In other words, Ireland’s Share of the total amounted to 15.5% and in the context of Brexit, we are the one EU Member State with the most to lose if a deal is not agreed that retains current access and quota share.

“Ireland is where the fish are once the UK leaves and this is confirmed by Minister Charlie McConalogue’s Press Release yesterday detailing the 1.16 billion tonnes of Fish available to be caught in North-West Waters in 2021.”

No Fish – No Jobs – Simple As That!

So writes Art Kavanagh in the December edition of the MARINE TIMES, published this week. Without fishermen there would be no factories, fewer truck drivers, pier workers and stevedores he writes. “Everything revolves around the catching sector. He suggests that Opposition and Coastal TDs should “combine their efforts and carry out a detailed examination of how our fishing industry has been managed over the past 30 years at local level.”

Personnel Difficulties Continue In Coast Guard

Personnel difficulties continue to be reported from volunteer sectors within the Irish Coast Guard.

“The IRCG has upped the effort against me,” was one of the comments received in the past month from one volunteer who is in dispute with management over allegations made against him. Another stated that Coast Guard volunteers should have their own representative organisation, while a third commented: “It is not good that an organisation which is responding to safety at sea and in which I have been a dedicated volunteer for many years wants to get rid of me because I questioned policies. If you open your mouth in disagreement with anything you are targeted.” Latest information is that there are a number of Units where HR (Human Resources) difficulties which have occurred have not been resolved.

Read more in the December edition of the Marine Times.