Welcoming the announcement yesterday by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, that funding will be made available to repair storm damage to piers and fisheries infrastructure as well as to help fishermen replace lost gear, Sinn Féin spokepersons on Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Affairs, Martin Ferris TD and Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh have said the minister needs to do more to keep fishermen afloat.
According to Ó Clochartaigh:
"We are glad that the minister has taken note of the concerns of the fishing industry, particularly small inshore fishermen.
"However, the minister has underestimated the extent and amount of money needed and will have to make more money available. This was not the last storm of the winter.
"The scheme cannot deal with the full extent of the losses of gear and it does nothing for the damage to vessels, engines and other tackle. We are calling him to extend the scheme to ensure that active fishermen can be returned to the situation they were in before the storms.
"We would hope that the scheme will be efficient and not over cumbersome with paperwork as at this stage fishermen are under a lot of pressure financially and personally to get back on the sea and earning a living."