Minister McConalogue reaffirmed Government’s commitment to a Fisheries Agreement with the UK that protects Ireland’s fishing industry
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, T.D., met today with representatives of the Irish fishing industry to reconfirm the Government’s commitment to a Fisheries Agreement with the UK that protects Ireland’s fishing industry. Industry representatives attended from the four Fishermen’s Producer Organisations (the Killybegs Fishermen’s Producer Organisation, the Irish South and East Fish Producer Organisation, the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation and the Irish Fish Producers Organisation), the Irish Fish Processors and Exporters Association and the National Inshore Fisherman’s Forum.
Fishing industry representatives explained the very serious implications for the Irish fishing industry and our coastal communities of no fisheries agreement with the UK or any fisheries agreement which grants the UK’s demands for a greater share of fish stocks and restricted access to UK fishing grounds. The Minister listened carefully to the concerns expressed by industry representatives and reiterated Ireland’s position that he would continue to “press for a fisheries agreement with the UK that protects the mandate and upholds both existing quota shares and existing reciprocal access to UK waters.” He also re-acknowledged the importance of any fisheries agreement maintaining the link to any future trade agreement.
The Minister especially welcomed the strong message from the fishing industry that unity and cooperation among the domestic fishing industry, the Member States and the European institutions is key at this critical juncture.
The Minister also listened to industry concerns regarding the Statutory Instrument on points for the serious infringement of the Common Fisheries Policy. The Minister explained Ireland’s position and noted the commitment of all to effective controls to protect the valuable fishing resources in Ireland’s 200 miles zone and the need for the country to meet its EU obligations in the area.
Commenting afterwards on the meeting, Minister McConalogue said
I was very glad to have the opportunity today to meet with the fishing industry representatives. We had a very useful exchange on the challenges for the sector posed by the UK’s exit from the EU and the Statutory Instrument on Points. I intend to continue this close engagement with the fishing industry going forward.