The Sinn Féin spokesperson on agriculture, food and the marine Michael Colreavy has welcomed proposals to end the practice of discarding fish from fishing vessels.
The move came during talks on reform of the Common Fisheries Policy last night.
Deputy Colreavy said:
“Due to EU rules more than one million tonnes of fish are discarded into the sea every year. These fish account for up to 90% of catches in some fisheries. This action is utter madness and a ban on the practice was overdue. The practice of discarding healthy fish into the sea illustrates how out of touch the Brussels bureaucracy was with the Irish fishing industry and the fishing industry throughout Europe. It was utterly ridiculous for healthy fish to be discarded due to EU rules and then for Irish fishermen to come under severe pressure from Europe due to low fish stocks.”
Deputy Colreavy also welcomed the increased moves towards regionalisation stating:
“I welcome the agreement made by the member states involved to allow for greater regionalisation. It is imperative that local knowledge of the fishing industry be used to create a more progressive policy. This can only be done if the red tape and bureaucracy that surrounds Brussels approach to the Common Fishery Policy is replaced by greater regionalisation. The Irish fishing industry has been done a great disservice since Ireland’s accession to the EEC and this move will hopefully be a step on the road to rectifying the current problem. For too long the Irish fishing industry has been micro-managed and this is an opportunity to allow fishermen have some form of democratic control over their future.”