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Irish boats are on the verge of extinction in Irish waters – Murphy

Aontú European candidate for Ireland South Patrick Murphy, has again raised the real prospect of Irish waters no longer being fished by Irish boats leading into 2024.  Ireland has lost 15% of its fishing quota following Brexit and all of its quota on some species of fish, pushing fishing communities to breaking point.

“Our Government has simply given away the livelihoods of fishermen in this country” said Mr Murphy.

“Despite having some of the richest fishing grounds in Europe, Irish boats have consistently been given lower quotas of fish than those from other European countries in Irish waters.  Currently, Belgian boas have a higher quota of black sole – a staple of the Irish industry – than Irish fishermen do.

At the moment, fishing communities such as Castletownbere, Dingle and Killybegs are being left with no choice but to decommission their fleet.  This is destroying the legacy of fishing families and having a devastating knock-on affect on Irish supply chains and local businesses.

Fish landed in Irish ports by those fishermen are bypassing local co-ops and bring transported straight to their home country.  There is no cumulative benefit to this country whatsoever.

Each year, the French and Spanish fleets fishing in Irish waters don’t catch their full quota – and I am fighting in Brussels for the Irish fishing industry to be given that excess to keep the trade alive. 

Failure is not an option – those communities that are being hammered by these practices are now exporting their young people who are leaving to find work.  They may never come back.

Aontú and I are working hard in the lead up to the 2026 Brexit fishing agreement renegotiation for fair play in our fishing industry – for Irish boats in Irish waters to be able to thrive, not just survive.

Those who are currently in Government in Dublin or who purport to speak for us in Brussels have simply ignored the real and lasting impact their agreements have had on communities.  That is not something that should be meekly accepted – we need a fighter in Europe who knows the industry and the people who have sustained it for generations, that is why I am running.”

By Aontú Press | 20 December, 2023

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