West Cork Fishermen call for access to EU fund
Fishermen in West Cork claim that the EU has made a fund available to help fishermen deal with the rising cost of fuel – in an attempt to maintain food security.
However, they say that unlike the French and Spanish governments, the Irish government has not accessed it.
The CEO of the Irish South & West Fish Producer’s Organisation, Patrick Murphy, says fishermen are so exasperated by the government, that they are considering going “on strike”.
Along with other fishing organisations, they are meeting with the Minister for the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, next week, to try to get the government to provide similar state assistance for fuel as that given to French and Spanish fishermen.
The County Council heard reports that the skyrocketing cost of fuel is preventing trawlers from going out to fish – because expenses are wiping out profits.
Speaking to RedFM News, Patrick Murphy says Irish fishermen just want a level playing pitch.
“The European Commission wants vessels to stay fishing right around the community because they’re afraid of food security, but this is money from Europe. So we have the European fisheries fund, so there are new laws brought in and guidelines to allow our government to access this funds to give subsidies are fuel to our fishermen.
“This is European money and there is €6 million at the moment in the kitty that if it’s not spent will be given back to Europe.
“All we’re looking for is the same provisions to be made available to us as to our French colleagues and our Spanish colleagues.”
RedFM News has contacted the Department of the Marine for comment.