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Failure of SFPA to engage with industry symptomatic of Government failure on fisheries – Liadh Ní Riada MEP

23 October, 2015 - by Liadh Ní Riada MEP

Speaking ahead of an international conference on fisheries Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada expressed her disappointment that the SFPA will not attend the event to discuss issues of sustainable fishing and regulations with fishermen and policy-makers.

The conference, which will be hosted by Liadh Ní Riada, takes place in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford this weekend.

Liadh Ní Riada said:

“The refusal by the SFPA to make a representative available to attend this conference to meet with fishermen and their representatives is symptomatic of the failures by this and subsequent governments to listen to fishermen and act on their behalf.

“I met with the SFPA a number of months ago and invited them to participate in the conference. I have been in touch with the Authority several times since then to reiterate that invitation. I am disappointed to learn today that they will not attend, and will not avail of this opportunity to meet with fishermen, to listen to their concerns, and to contribute to the discussion on how best to protect our fish stocks without criminalising our fishermen.

“It's in everyone's interests to promote sustainable fishing. The future of the industry depends on the careful and appropriate management of this valuable natural resource, and no-one knows this better than the fishermen whose livelihoods depend on healthy and sustainable fish stocks.”

“The failure of the SFPA to engage with Irish fishermen at this conference smacks of the dismissive and negligent attitude of this and previous Governments.

“Sinn Féin is committed to working with all stakeholders to facilitate a rejuvenated, productive and sustainable fishing industry. This conference underscores that commitment, and is an opportunity to fishermen to have their voices heard on the issues that affect them. Anyone with an interest in fisheries is welcome to attend from 9am on Saturday in Lawlors Hotel, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.”

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