Leading Journal of the Irish & UK Fishing Industries

New Entrants to Marine Space, Spatial Squeeze, Offshore windfarms, unknown impacts on our Marine Habitats and Spawning grounds are not being taken seriously by the European Commission, MEPs in the European Parliament or Ireland’s Government and we are calling for better protection for our Industry and the communities most dependant on this resource.

Following the Brexit TCA negotiations, 140 million was taken away from Ireland’s catching sector in the first five years 2020 – 2024, 40% of the negotiated bill for access to UK waters was paid by Ireland as evaluated by STECF in the report commissioned by Europe following Brexit.

Resilience for processing and Catching sector has been decimated as a result, there has been a failure by Government to bring in policy to address our huge losses that are increasing year on year.

The Irish South & West ascertain the Common Fishery Policy has failed, Relative stability was not applied to Ireland when our contributions were decided by our Government, European Parliament and European Commission in the Brexit negotiation but Denmark’s relative stability was considered when the 12000 tons of North West Mackerel saw the creation of a new allocation key decided at this year’s December Council of Ministers in Brussels.

Decommissioning schemes across Europe has shown the Common fishery Policy must be reviewed, 9 Irish fish stocks were given Zero catch options by ICES for our fishing opportunities in 2024, Environment and biodiversity loss is being blamed on our fishing Industry but still no full review of the Common fishery policy is forthcoming and we request this be carried out immediately

The Impact of the future introduction of Marine protected areas set at 30% will result in a huge loss of access to traditional fishing this on top of the fishing ground that is to be given to Offshore Renewable Energy will have a huge effect on our Industry, we are asking for the answer to our Question, when will our rights be recognised? 

Control Regulation for fisheries contradict the application of different elements of the Common Fishery Policy such as Multi-Annual Plans versus the requirement of the landing obligation, incorporating catch compositions, the legal requirement in use of various legal catch quotas and the different technical fishing methods and Gears, where our members feel there is no level playing pitch for the different Member states fleets during the process

the Control Agencies use in their high risk assessment criteria for the inspection of vessels we believe must be addressed. 

IS&WFPO advocate there is a Lack of harmonisation between the member states on their individual control plans, the negative impact on Ireland’s processing sector is catastrophic, vessels with catches of fish are choosing not to land in Ireland as our control plan forces them to record incorrect catch figures into their landing declarations.

Under Common Market Rules the IS&WFPO say the fuel aid provided by some Member States to their fleets is creating a state sponsored advantage for their fishermen when our Ministers refusal to apply the same supports to our fleet puts the Irish fleet at a huge commercial disadvantage. 

The Department of Marine fact sheet shows we get only 15% of the fish caught in Irish waters versus 85% for foreign vessels.

Industry is really concerned by the little or no regular engagement we are having with the Minister or his officials despite our constant requests to meet.

We believe it is only by working together through targeted working groups we will address the many problems befalling Ireland’s Seafood sector. We only want Irish Industry to be afforded the opportunity to meet with either Minister or Department of Marine and propose this may be accomplished by having meetings a few times a year. 

We see no acknowledgement for the huge decline of our Industry on our peripheral coastline, our heritage and our rights as indigenous people with centuries of tradition frustrated by the fact this decline is clearly outlined in both BIM and Bord Bia annual Reports on our Sectors.

We cannot understand why Coastal states such as Norway and potentially Iceland are given more rights to the fish in our waters, to catch these fish spawning and growing here in far greater quantities than Irish men and women, while reciprocal fishing rights are given to other EU member states for their fleets to get fish in Norwegian and UK waters and not to us should be properly challenged.

We are asking our Government the European Parliament MEPs and European Commission to finally recognise Ireland’s Marine resources; we suggest they should be viewed by us all in the same light as the Arabic Governments value their finite Oil resource.