During a meeting of the Fisheries committee today Sinn Féin MEP for Ireland South, Liadh Ní Riada called for the Commissioner-designate hearing to be asked to explain why the Commission has not honoured its commitment to pay for scientific data research to determine fish quota.
Speaking after the meeting Ní Riada emphasised that by not fulfilling their obligation they have put fishing communities in an impossible position where they are expected to pay for this themselves. Ní Riada also said that at the next meeting she will highlight the plight of our fishing communities as a result of the Russian Ban.
Ní Riada said:
"Yesterday I met with representatives from the Federation of Irish Fishermen who raised serious concerns with me regarding the effect that the Russian Ban is having on fishermen. The importation of a list of seafood including fish, lobsters, molluscs, shrimps and other invertebrates has been banned and this action is causing current and real economic problems to these sectors. Based on figures from 2012 the direct economic losses caused by the withdrawal of the Russian market amounts to 153.8 million Euros. Similarly the EU market faces further distribution as Russia seeks alternative markets such as South America.
"I understand that The Directorate-General for Agriculture has reacted rapidly by requesting a potential impact analysis from its officials, approved exceptional measures to assist farmers and called a management committee meeting. On the other hand, we have The Directorate-General for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs (DG MARE) who has not been vocal on the issue and this is directly affecting the fishing industry.
"I will be calling on the Institution to take responsibility and to urgently address this issue which is having a detrimental effect on the lives and livelihoods of fishermen, aqua culturists and the whole supply chain".