Speaking after being present at a SFPA inspection of Kilmore Quay trawlers last week, Cllr Anthony Kelly has again condemned what he describes as the calculated criminalisation policy being used by the state against our fishing community.
"Fishing crews across the state are being treated like common criminals for attempting to earn a legitimate income," the Sinn Féin County Councillor said, "Kilmore Quay vessels have been particularly targeted by what is a very oppressive regime. I have been present at two inspections in recent weeks and there is a very clear sense of dread, despair and frustration among the fishing community in Kilmore and other fishing villages."
"The current quota system, which the SFPA and the government are intent on enforcing rigidly, is ridiculously unsustainable. The current quota for monkfish over the course of three months would need to be the total catch landed in a single week in order to pay the overheads and wages. At the moment a fishing trawler adhering to these quotas is only landing the value of about 25% of its fuel bill. Where's the money for the other three quarters, wages and other bills going to come from?"
"This government, like its Fianna Fail predecessor, has done nothing to protect our fishing community. Minister Coveney recently celebrated getting a 2.5% allocation of the total EU grant pot available. He thought this was a job well done. However several landlocked EU states also received funding. Ireland received 2.5% despite having 20% of the EUs fishing waters. How is this a job well done?"
"In an effort to highlight the continued criminalisation of our fishing crews, County Wexford Sinn Féin has invited leading members of our party including local MEP Liadh Ní Riada, Martin Ferris TD and Gerry Adams TD to visit Kilmore Quay and meet local fishermen in the coming weeks."