Eliminating illegal industrial fishing should be a priority to better protect domestic fishermen - Ní Riada
Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has emphasised that there are parallels between the concessions forced upon developing nations, without adequate consultations with stakeholders, through Fishing Partnership Agreements bilaterally negotiated between the European Commission and third-world governments, and what the Irish government yielded upon Ireland's accession to the European Union.
Speaking in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Ní Riada said;
"As in the case of Ireland before joining the European Economic Community in 1973, fishermen were excluded in proper consultations around these particular agreements
"There is a widespread perception that there wasn't even a consultation process in Mauritania and Liberia, not to mention whether the payments for access to these countries´ fish stocks is proportional to the value of said stocks being exploited by foreign vessels at the expense of indigenous fishermen, as we have seen in Ireland.
A member of the European Parliament Committee on Fisheries, Ní Riada continued,
"It is difficult to believe that the European Commission´s rhetoric on focusing on sustainability is genuine, as European vessels fishing off West Africa would have little concern other than maximizing profit, whilst at the same time ensuring that West African stocks are viable for West African fishermen.
"There is a similar situation in Ireland with foreign factory vessels, which is also worsened by persistent governmental indifference in this regard for the last few decades where the fishing sector and fish stocks were damaged due to certain institutional arrangements, similar to what is happening in third countries.
"Whilst eliminating illegal industrial fishing through control and surveillance systems should be a priority to better protect domestic fishermen and sustainable small-scale fisheries, so should investment into its much needed development." ENDS