Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has called on Marine Minister Michael Creed to stand up for Irish fishermen.
The Ireland South MEP was speaking ahead of today’s December Council fisheries meeting in Brussels where it is feared severe cuts to Irish quotas will be proposed.
“While other member states like Spain will will be doing their best to ensure that quota for species important to their fleets like Bluefin tuna are maintained or increased, Ireland is facing the threat of serious cutbacks,” she said.
“Minister Michael Creed has again been entrusted with the task of increasing our percentage share of the recovering stocks in Europe’s waters but the only stock we can discuss is the miserable 12% of fish we are allowed to catch in Irish and British waters where any increase is based on ICES advice for those species.
“The benefit of 88% of all fish caught in Irish waters goes to coastal communities in Spain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Britain, while Irish coastal communities are dying on their feet attempting to survive on the miserable 12% of our own fish we are allowed to catch.
“Cuts to Herring quotas in the Celtic Sea amount to just over 62%, with Hake being cut by over 21%, Boarfish by 25%, Megrim by up to 6%.
“Should these cuts go ahead it will be catastrophic for our fishermen, indeed the entire industry, the supplementary sectors and enterprises.
“Minister Creed needs to protect Ireland´s right to our own resources and industry and this must include securing a quota for migratory stocks like Bluefin tuna.
“He has a duty to stand up to the larger member states and demand a fair quota for Irish fishermen. A Sinn Féin Minister would refuse to be ignored, cast aside or intimidated by their European counterparts in standing up for Ireland.”