One in five fishermen will be forced to quit without EU policy change – fishing boss

Existing rules allow foreign vessels to catch up to 85% of fish in Irish waters

Existing quotas limit Irish boats to just 15 per cent of the catch, said Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation CEO, Patrick Murphy and this is not longer sustainable. Photograph: iStock

Existing quotas limit Irish boats to just 15 per cent of the catch, said Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation CEO, Patrick Murphy and this is not longer sustainable. Photograph: iStock

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Up to a fifth of Irish fishermen will be forced to quit unless changes are made to the European Union Common Fisheries Policy that allows foreign vessels to catch up to 85 per cent of fish in Irish waters, the industry has warned.

Existing quotas limit Irish boats to just 15 per cent of the catch, said Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation CEO, Patrick Murphy and this is not longer sustainable.

A documentary Exploiting Irish Fishermen – the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy will be screened on Wednesday for members of the Oireachtas in a Dublin city centre hotel.

The film was made by Sean Moroney of Santander Media and highlights the troubles facing the Irish fishing industry.

Ireland has the richest fishing grounds in Europe but other countries from the continent of Europe, namely France, Spain, Belgium, Holland, Portugal, Denmark and Poland are coming to our waters to take our quota, our share of our natural resource, back to their countries,” said Mr Murphy.

“We don’t get the same reciprocal access to fish in their waters and that is the reason why we are in the situation that we are in – one in five of our vessels will have to be put out of service and one in five families will have to be told there is no future for them in the industry.”