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South West Fishermen Want to Meet Minister to Discuss Special Scheme for Inshore Sector

Following last night’s meeting of the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine with Minister Charlie McConalogue to discuss the problems of the inshore fisheries sector, the Irish South & West Fish Producers Organisation has called on the Minister for the Marine to meet with it to discuss a Liquidity Scheme to assist the sector.

Castletownbere - Photo: Catherine Turner

The ISWFPO says that it has members “in all sectors of our fishing fleet and one of those sectors is the hard-pressed inshore sector.”

“Huge losses have been incurred by the inshore sector over the past 4 – 5 years as a consequence of worsening Global weather conditions, increases in storm activity and the impact of global warming on fish stocks. When taken with the, as yet, unproven but highly noticeable impacts from new activities such as surveys for Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE), there has been a hugely significant collapse in key stocks such as Brown Crab.

“We are therefore requesting that Minister McConalogue and Government implement a Liquidity Scheme to assist the struggling inshore sector and ensure its very survival.

“We urge Minister McConalogue to meet with us to discuss the implementation of such a Scheme.”

The Minister indicated to the meeting that the number of inshore fisheries boats on the national register was 1,642 at the end of last year, but the number of active boats fishing could now be down to around 800.

There has been criticism from inshore fishermen that the larger fish producer organisations do not represent them.

Recently the major FPOs formed their own group to represent their interests at European level.