North County Leader

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As Slippery As An Eel


It seems that the UK is set to leave the CFP. The UK’s Environment Secretary, Andrea Leadsom has said, “We will look to disapply the key elements of the CFP [Common Fisheries Policy] that are most unpopular and unworkable for the UK as a coastal state.” Such a move must be of great concern to our
fishing industry, or what’s left of it.

I note that Liadh Ní Riada, the Sinn Féin MEP for Ireland-South was appointed Brexit rapporteur for fisheries by her colleagues in the European United Left Group in the European Parliament. On her appointment she said, “I am very happy to have been chosen for this role and the opportunities it affords me to stand up for the Irish fishing industry. The situation with Brexit and fisheries in Ireland is unpredictable and potentially catastrophic for Irish fishermen. I look forward to engaging with the other political groups in the interests of standing up for Irish fisheries.”

One of the major concerns for Irish fishermen is that Ireland will bear the brunt of foreign fleets displaced from British waters if Britain exercises full control of its EEZ. Such a move could signal the death knell of the Irish fishing industry as we know it, unless the Common Fisheries Policy is revised. Sinn Féin and the fishermen of Ireland demand that under no circumstances can these fleets be transferred to Irish waters. The message is very clear from Sinn Féin to Irish authorities if they fail in their negotiations in protecting and representing the interests of the many and not the privileged few. “If Brexit turns into a disaster for our ordinary Irish fishermen, especially the small-scale sector and our rural and coastal communities because of the incompetence and indifference of the Irish government and their failure to consult and take on-board the concerns of the whole sector and Sinn Féin´s proposals, the Irish people will hold you accountable.”