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Britain’s Fisheries announcement a shot across the bows of the Irish fishing fleet - Martin Kenny TD

3 July, 2017 - by Martin Kenny TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture, Food and the Marine Martin Kenny TD has expressed his concerns at Britain’s announcement that they will be pulling out of Britain’s expressed intention to withdraw from the London Fisheries Convention.

Speaking today, Teachta Kenny said:

“This announcement by Britain is a shot across the bows of the Irish fishing fleet and is bringing home to us all the reality of Brexit.

“The London Convention gives rights to neighbouring countries to fish in each other's fishing zones based on historic fishing activity. It pre-dates EU membership but was incorporated into the Common Fisheries Policy. It allows vessels from Ireland, France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands to fish within six and 12 nautical miles of the British coast.

“In 2015 Ireland caught 100,000 tons in those waters amounting to half the Irish catch. Under present arrangements we can only catch five percent of the catch in EU waters. It would be a disaster for the Irish fleet if this prevailed.

“It had been hoped that with the advent of Brexit, the Irish fleet would have a reciprocal arrangement with Britain regarding Irish waters. However, Irish waters are EU waters, so our government has to make that case in Brussels for the Irish fleet.

“Unfortunately, in this State we have a history of government negotiators not standing up for Irish rights in EU negotiations. This time, it is vital that Minister Creed makes sure that the voice of the Irish fishing fleet is heard and in the wake of this announcement must demand that non-Irish vessels displaced from British waters are not automatically redirected into increasingly crowded Irish waters.”

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