A local Sinn Féin Councillor has raised concerns that commercial fishing maybe wiped out in Kilmore Quay in the next decade if decisive action is taken now to safeguard fishermen's income. Cllr Mick Roche said that unsustainable quotas, constant harassment from the SFPA and a complete lack of support from local and national government had placed trawler owners and their crews in an impossible situation.
Cllr Roche said;
"The current quotas in place mean that an average trawler will make one quarter of the cost of its fuel during a trip. That means that they are still left with 75% of the cost of fuel, the cost of wages as well as other expenses such as wear and tear and insurance to content with after their total income is recorded. It doesn't take an economist to realise that this is completely untenable and will result in the total eradication of the domestic industry in the coming years if things do not change."
"Recently Kilmore Quay trawlers have been under constant harassment from the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority. My colleague, Cllr Anthony Kelly, has been present during two of the recent inspections of local vessels and has been appalled at the treatment of people attempting to earn a legitimate income at the hands of a state body. One local fisherman told me that he is constantly looking over his shoulder expecting to see a inspector or a registered letter arriving from the SFPA. They have succeeded in criminalising hard working people for doing their jobs."
"As a local Councillor, I fully support the Kilmore Quay trawlers who have refused to take part in the disgusting discarding of quality fish. All of our local trawlers are expected to dump every sole and Plaice caught before landing. This is a senseless waste and should not be tolerated. In the coming weeks the leadership of Sinn Féin will returned to Kilmore Quay to continue ongoing dialogue with the fishing crews of the south east. We will not bury our heads in the sand about this crisis as certain other local politicians have and we will continue to highlight the attempts to destroy this vital industry."