Brexit threatens future of Irish fisheries – Ní Riada

Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada joined local councillors Mick Roche and Johnny Mythen and area rep Marie Doyle for a meeting with local fishermen and fishing organisations on the future of the industry in Kilmore Quay.

Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has said it is vital the British and Irish Governments provide clarity to fishermen on what will happen in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The Ireland South MEP, was speaking after meeting with local fishermen and their organisations in Kilmore Quay.

Ms Ní Riada, who sits on the EU Fisheries Committee, said the industry faced an existential crisis.

“There were a number of important issues raised at today’s meeting, including concerns around quotas and the SFPA’s over-zealous policing of Irish boats,” she said.

“However, as with every coastal community I have visited over the past two and half years, the main issue continues to be Brexit.

“We are coming right down to the wire on when Britain is due to leave the EU and there is still no clarity for Irish fishermen on where the will be able to fish and who will be fishing in our waters.

“Firstly, we simply cannot see European boats that are displaced from British water simply shunted into Irish waters. It is an unsustainable move and one that will have a devastating impact on our own fishing industry.

“Conversely, Irish fishermen need to know what waters they will still have access to.

“Ireland’s two biggest fisheries, mackerel and prawns, are massively dependent on access to waters under British jurisdiction, with the overall percentage of stocks currently fished from these waters by the Irish fleet standing at more than 30%.

“The loss of access to these stocks, combined with an influx of boats into already saturated Irish waters is a double blow that could collapse the Irish fishing industry and devastate communities around our coastline.

“For two and a half years now the government has been worryingly silent on this issue, displaying their usual indifference to our fishermen.

“Brexit is here now. It’s time for them to take their heads out of the sand and provide information, clarity and support to our coastal communities.”

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