Ó Domhnaill to meet Maritime Commissioner in Brussels CFP review

Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Agriculture, Marine & Food, Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill, will today (Wednesday) meet the European Maritime Commissioner Maria Damanaki and her officials to discuss the ongoing review of the Common Maritime Policy.

Senator Ó Domhnaill, who is part of a cross-party Oireachtas delegation in Brussels for the meeting today, will express his concerns about the review and its impact on the Irish fishing industry.

The Donegal Senator said: The review of the Common Fisheries Policy has completely failed to address the needs of Irish fishermen and coastal communities.  I believe that the proposals published by the European Commission in July would seriously damage the growth of Irish fishing. I intend to discuss my concerns with Commissioner Damanaki and her officials today and explain how some of the proposals could completely undermine the Irish fishing industry and push some fishermen out of business.  

“In particular on the matter of discards, the Commissioner’s proposal on the landing of all fish is not practical and quite simply will not work. Discards are dead fish and landing them will not sustain the stock into the future. The proposal should include practical measures such as technical conservation measures, closed areas and closed seasons. The Irish fishing sector has always taken the lead on proposing such measures and putting them into practise.

“I will also call on the Commissioner to exempt small boats under 15 meters from the provisions of the Common Fisheries Policy.  Approximately 80% of the boats in the Irish fishing fleet are under 15 metres, and I believe that in the interests of fairness they should be subject to a separate regime.

“In addition to this, I will raise my concerns about the introduction of mandatory transferable quota rights for all member States. There is no doubt that this could see large buyers take control of the majority of quotas and inevitably we will have a situation where the Irish fishing industry is in the hands of large European companies.

“The Irish fishing industry is key to the economic recovery of coastal communities on our island. I will clearly spell out to the Commission representatives today that we intend to fight to protect the future of fishing in Ireland.”

Posted: Oct 19, 2011     |     Categories: Uncategorized