Those operating in the fishing sector should be entitled to a set aside scheme similar to that received by some farmers, according to a local election candidate. Mick Roche said that under pressure fishermen should be allowed to receive a set aside type payment during spawning seasons.
Mr Roche said;
“Set aside was introduced by the EEC in 1988 to try to calm the damage to the agricultural eco systems and wildlife caused by intensified farming. It was shown to be a very effective way to increase soil fertility and increase the productive capability of arable land. It was also invaluable to the farming community, especially smaller enterprises.”
“We have reached a point now where there is a real danger that the Irish fishing industry will reach a point of no return in the next decade. There has already been a huge decline in the sector. Those still fishing are struggling and young people are staying away from what appears to be a dying industry. Action has to be taken just as it was taken in 1988.”
“A set aside policy for fishermen will have many benefits. First of all it will stabilise the industry by taking some of the massive financial pressure off active fishermen. It will encourage young people to enter the fishing fleets. It will also benefit conservation is a much more productive and mutually rewarding manner than the current quota system ever will.”
“This is something that needs to be given serious consideration and I will be asking my party’s TDs to raise it in the Dail. I would encourage all other candidates running in this election to look into it for themselves and support an action that could be vital in saving a industry that should be considered of pivotal importance to any island economy, but sadly hasn’t been given the respect it is due by this and previous administrations.”