Friday, July 12, 2013

Sinn Féin condemn detention of Irish fishing vessel off Hook Head

The detention of an Irish-registered fishing vessel about 50 nautical miles south of Hook Head by our navy over an alleged breach of fishing regulations last week is an absolute disgrace and proof that EU quotas have brought this industry to its knees, according to a spokesperson of New Ross Sinn Féin.  Oisin O' Connell said that crews of fishing trawlers were being criminalised by these unfit regulations simply because they were striving to earn a living in their own waters.

"There can be no justification for using a nations navy against civilian fishermen simply because they are striving to earn a basic living for their families," Mr O' Connell said.  "EU regulations governing Irish fishing have made earning even the most basic living impossible at this stage, forcing fishing crews to take grave risks to simply exist.  There has been an open criminalisation of these crews as successive governments have refused point blankly to deal with the core issue - the blatantly unfair EU quota system."

"Ireland has roughly 20% of the EUs waters but one of the smallest fishing quotas.  Even in our own waters Irish fishermen only have a 7% quota.  Spain has a 34% quota and can regularly land abundant catches of monkfish and other varieties long after the quota has been reached for Irish fishing vessels."

" It has been estimated that the commercial value of Irelands fisheries between 1975 and 2010 was €210 billion.  Over this period Irelands share of this was €17 billion while our net loss was €184 billion." 

"The very obvious injustice here is most clear to fishing communities who have been decimated by the imposition of these outlandish rules.  They are being forced to do whatever is necessary to survive.  Its beyond belief that 507 Irish fishing vessels have been boarded by the navy this year and 713 official warnings given out to ships.   This is the sixth vessel detained by the Irish navy so far this year.  It won't be the last."

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