Sinn Féin MEP for Midlands North West, Chris MacManus, and spokesperson on Fisheries, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD, have both demanded that the Minister for the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, resists moves by the Norwegian government and their fishing industry to gain unfettered access to catch blue whiting stocks in Irish waters.
Chris MacManus MEP said:
“The attempts by the Norwegian government and fishing industry to gain unfettered access to Ireland’s territorial waters is intolerable and completely unacceptable.
“There is zero reciprocal access being offered to Irish fishermen and our Minister must stand firm and ensure that there are no more sell outs of our fishing communities.”
Teachta Mac Lochlainn said:
“All of this is happening when the Irish Government are reducing our whitefish fishing fleet again to one third of what it was back in 2005 with hundreds more jobs lost
“Irish fishermen are currently permitted to fish for 3% of blue whiting stocks. Norwegian fishermen are permitted to catch up to 18%. The total catch of blue whiting stocks available in Irish waters is estimated to be between €160m and €200m.
”Minister McConalogue must stand firm in the current negotiations between the EU and Norway and ensure that the sheer injustice of how Irish fishing communities ended up shouldering 40% of the entire loss of income from fish in the European Union due to Brexit is not repeated again.”