Greed will destroy the Irish fishing industry – Ferris
Speaking at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine yesterday, Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris warned that greed would destroy the fishing industry if the sector’s leaders did not look to the common good. Deputy Ferris was discussing distribution of the national quota and the dominance of some producer groups within the sector.
Deputy Ferris said:
“I recognise that there has been huge investment and there is huge money involved, but someone has to be looking at the bigger picture and thinking of the common good. There is an onus of responsibility on stakeholders to work for that and for coastal communities.
“There are two people trawling out of Fenit now,” he said, referring to his own home port. “There were 15 or 16 people at it 20 years ago. Government policy is decommissioning of boats, but is that the way ahead? Is that what ye want?”
“There is a responsibility on the leaders of this sector and if they don’t take it on, the 23 or 27 boats fishing for mackerel and polyvalent sectors now might be a lot less in 20 years and the 2,000 others, the smaller operators, might be gone altogether.
“The powerful fishing organisations have a responsibility to the fishing sector and fishing communities. What’s wrong with giving some quota to the weaker sectors, will someone explain to me? It’s up to you to solve it.
“A viable industry has to be for the many and not for the few.”