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Super trawlers cannot be allowed to wreak havoc – Kenny

31 March, 2017 - by Martin Kenny TD

Speaking on his return from the ‘Inequality in Fisheries’ conference at the European Parliament in Brussels, Sinn Féin TD for Sligo, Leitrim, West Cavan and South Donegal Martin Kenny said that what Irish fishing needs is strong government which will stand up for Ireland and its fishing industry.

Deputy Kenny said:

“I was delighted to attend and speak at the conference this week in Brussels. I had the opportunity to meet with fish producers’ organisations from all over Ireland and to elected representatives from coastal communities.

“It was an eye-opener to meet with like-minded people from the fishing industry in Spain and Portugal also, and to hear that their problems are the same as ours; lack of quota and a perception that they are ‘over policed’ while super trawlers seem to be able to wreak havoc in our oceans with no regulation or consequences.

“We heard evidence of the amount of fish that these huge vessels, the size of a football pitch, discard, never mind catch, off the Irish coast and the damage they do to the seabed, to all marine life in their path, and to the livelihoods of fishers trying to make their living in the inshore sector.

“The constant refrain from the Irish Government is that we can do nothing about this. However, by the end of the conference, there was resolve to start to do something at home and in Brussels to stop these vessels doing what they like and destroying the environment and people’s livelihoods.

“I would like to give special thanks to my Sinn Féin colleague, Liadh Ní Riada MEP, for organising the conference and inviting such a wide range of people representing various interests in the sector from Ireland and abroad.” 

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