Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has called on the Government to explain why the most productive prawn grounds in Europe have been closed off to Irish fishermen but not other EU boats.
The Ireland South MEP was speaking as it was revealed that porcupine prawn grounds off the Irish west coast have been closed to Irish fishermen but not other EU member states.
“This is an absolutely ludicrous state of affairs where Irish fishermen cannot fish Irish waters but French, Spanish and British boats can; it beggars belief,” she said.
“This nonsense is a consequence of consecutive Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael governments signing up to poorly negotiated deals with Europe in which, despite having 20% of EU fishing waters, we would only get 2% of the quota.
“Now they have further laid the boot into already struggling fishermen by ignoring advice from the IS&WFPO, the Marine Institute and SFPA to close the prawn fishery to everyone for June and July to protect spawning.
“Instead, due to the incomprehensible management of the Department of the Marine, we now have a situation where Irish boats are effectively barred from Irish waters, while others are not.
“This must rank as one of the most incompetent decisions of this government in a long list of incompetent decisions.”