Up to 50 trawlers protest against Brexit fishing quotas at Cork Harbour

Fishermen to march to Taoiseach’s Cork city office calling for fairer access to waters

A flotilla of up to 50 trawlers formed at Cork Harbour on Wednesday morning calling for a fair fishing quota for Irish fishermen.

A rally is due to take place later and fishermen will march to the Cork office of Taoiseach Micheál Martin in the city.

The protest was organised by the Irish South and West Fish Producers’ Organisation and is aimed at highlighting the difficulties facing the Irish fishing industry since the Brexit deal, which has reduced access to UK waters.

Trawlers are travelling in single file from Roches Point to the Cork city quays.


Patrick Murphy, chief executive of the fishing organisation, said the Brexit deal agreed on December 24th last between the European Union and the UK will result in Irish fishermen losing millions of euro in earnings if they are not given a fair share of the fish that swim in Irish waters.

He contrasted the situation in the UK, which will be able to fish for 75 per cent of the fish in their waters as a result of the Brexit deal, with that of Irish fishermen who are limited to fishing just 15 per cent of the stocks in Irish waters.

“Moreover, it is estimated that job losses of 4,000 or more in both the catching sector at sea and the processing sector onshore will inevitably follow these savage cuts,” said Mr Murphy.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue said he fully recognises the “challenges and pain” fishermen are facing in the short term and is committed to working with them.

Mr McConalogue told RTÉ's Morning Ireland he has established a taskforce to bring all voices in the sector together to mitigate against the impact of the Brexit deal.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times