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Forgotten fishing communities need a voice – Carberry

15th April 2024 - Fine Gael Press Office

Nina Carberry, Fine Gael European Election candidate for Midlands North West, has said there is a need for strong voices for fishing communities in the next European Parliament, amid concerns across coastal towns in the region that the sector has been forgotten and marginalised.

On a visit to Killybegs in Co Donegal today (Monday), Carberry vowed to be an advocate for coastal communities in Europe. During a meeting with the Irish Fishery stakeholders, the detrimental impact Brexit has inflicted on the industry was highlighted, along with the need to revisit the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) under the next European Commission.

The call comes in response to recent developments, including Fisheries Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius’ commitment to undertake a comprehensive evaluation of the CFP. While Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue has welcomed this initiative, Nina Carberry heard from sector representatives who stressed the need for a realistic approach, considering the impending transition to a new Commission.

Nina Carberry said: “The definite sense among the sector is the announcement of an evaluation is a step in the right direction. However, they are concerned that it has limitations and that it may not result in tangible changes. During my visit, I saw clearly the significant challenges faced by the Irish fishing industry. These have been exacerbated by Brexit and its impact on fishing opportunities and coastal employment.

“I have given an undertaking to work with the sector, particularly on the concerns raised around the CFP and imbalances to quota distribution.”

Brendan Byrne from the Irish Fish Processors and Exporters Association (IFPEA) welcomed the engagement with EU candidate Nina Carberry. He said: “We had an excellent discussion of fisheries and the challenges facing our sector.”

Aodh O’Donnell, CEO of Irish Fishing Producers Organisation (IFPO), also attended the meeting. He said: “We had a beneficial and worthwhile meeting with Nina, highlighting the curses we are facing post Brexit. Positive re-engagement and resetting is required with the EU and the Commissioner.”

Nina Carberry added: “Ireland holds a significant portion of EU waters but receives a much lower share of quotas. The sector fears this imbalance jeopardises our fishing sector and vital coastal jobs. A united effort from all levels of government is required to address the challenges facing the industry and I am committed to playing my part in that.”


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