Ferris calls for voluntary buy-out of drift net fishermen
The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Fisheries, Martin Ferris TD has called for the buy-out scheme for drift salmon fishermen to be voluntary as agreed by the All Party Oireachtas Committee following consultations with representatives of all stakeholders, and scientific researchers. Deputy Ferris went on to accuse the Government of being content to preside over the steady decline of the fishing sector and coastal communities.
The Kerry North TD said: "The Government's decision to proceed with a compulsory buy out of the drift salmon fishermen flies in the face of the Committee's recommendation in favour of a voluntary package. That recommendation had the support of all Fianna Fáil members on the Committee. While recognising that salmon stocks need to be preserved, the Committee was satisfied that drift netting is sustainable and an integral part of the economic and social life of coastal communities.
"While the current proposal does include the offer of a financial compensation scheme the figures mentioned are paltry in comparison to the ongoing onslaught on the life of coastal fishing communities. This Government appears to be content to preside over a scenario in which EU regulations are placing Irish fishermen in an almost impossible situation, and one which many of us suspect is designed to ultimately close down the Irish fishing sector in the interests of the carving up of Irish waters under the Common Fisheries Policy, and the preserving of certain stocks for angling tourists."