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Liadh Ní Riada MEP questions accuracy of report accusing Ireland of overfishing

12 February, 2016 - by Liadh Ní Riada MEP

Sinn Féin MEP for Ireland South, Liadh Ní Riada, has raised questions on a new report “Landing the Blame” by the New Economic Foundation regarding the placement of Ireland being at the forefront of overfishing.

Ní Riada said;

“Fishermen, particularly smaller Irish fishermen, are at a fundamental disadvantage as they lack the ability to gather their own scientific data to contest the scientific data and advice of other organisations.

“The claims in this report by the NGO highlights the need for the reform of fisheries management structures and to make them more democratic by involving fishermen in the collection of independently verifiable scientific data.

“We agree with the NEF that a move towards more sustainable fishing is required, and that an emphasis on sustainability would not only safeguard our stocks, but also be of immediate benefit to fishermen and fish producers in Ireland.

“Insofar as overfishing is taking place in Irish waters, it is due to the easy access that large-scale, foreign registered boats have to our waters.

“Any insinuation that Irish fishermen are more culpable than anyone else of overfishing is highly contentious and inaccurate.

“Irish fishermen, especially in small scale fisheries, are very compliant with the already harsh control and enforcement regime that the authorities here operate, whilst factory vessels operated by foreign multinationals fishing in Irish waters are not subject to the same scrutiny and are more likely to overfish.

“It is on that basis that I find the recent RTE headline that “Ireland is ranked the worst offender for overfishing” hard to fathom.”

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