Cork South West Deputy Christopher O’Sullivan recently hosted Billy Kelleher MEP for a series of meetings with key fishing sector representatives in West Cork. The discussions, which took place in Castletownbere, Baltimore and Union Hall , focused on a range of pressing issues facing the fishing industry, including quota sharing, decommissioning, and regulatory challenges.
Stakeholders at the meetings included fishermen and processors, who took the opportunity to express their frustrations and concerns directly to both Deputy O’Sullivan and MEP Kelleher.
“It’s no secret that the fishing sector has faced unprecedented challenges over the past couple of years,” said Deputy O’Sullivan.
“It’s essential that our MEPs have a clear understanding of these issues, and I’m glad Billy – who is no stranger to West Cork or the fishing industry – came to these important discussions.”
Among the critical topics discussed were impacts of Brexit, the urgent need for Ireland to increase its quota share across various species, the importance of timely payments for those who participate in decommissioning, and the high level of regulation and policing faced by the Irish fishing sector.
“Brexit has had a major impact on Cork’s fishing industry due to quota reductions,” Mr Kelleher said.
“Any changes in fishing policy must take into account Brexit and the changing migratory paths of fish species. Fishermen want to see a sustainable future for themselves, their families, and the wider community that they work as part of.
”Deputy O’Sullivan said his goal is to fight to ensure the sector can thrive despite the challenges faced.
“I am committed to advocating for the best interests of the fishing industry in West Cork and beyond,” Deputy O’Sullivan said.