The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Simon Covenney has promised to meet with 40 fishermen from Arainn Mhor island after their lobster pots and other equipment was washed away or destroyed by storm Udo.
The fishermen estimate they have lost more than €100,000 worth of fishing equipment during the storm which wreaked havoc earlier this week.
And now they face complete financial ruin because they cannot replace their pots because of a backlog of orders with lobster-pot makers.
Spokesman for the fishermen on the island Gerry Early said they have been left devastated by their loss.
“We knew it was going to be a bad storm but we never thought it would cause such damage. The older fishermen said it was the worst in their lifetime.
“The men are sitting round twiddling their thumbs because fishing is all they can and now they can’t do that,” he said.
Since 2006 the fishermen have been banned from fishing almost 50 species and now depend mostly on lobster and crab fishing.
They say that if these new regulations were eased, then they could make a living with other fishing gear.
“We could get up and running in just a couple of days. But the bottom line is that the Government simply will not allow us.
“Our hands are tied and the island will simply die if we are not allowed to get back to the sea. What other employment is there on an island?” asked Mr Early.
A meeting of the fishermen on the island, which has a population of just over 500, heard how some of the younger fishermen say they are willing to break the law and risk going to jail by fishing for banned species including salmon.
“We all have to live within the law and we have done so since 2006. But the reality is that families will either starve or have to leave the island if they are now allowed to fish,” added Mr Early.
He appealed to all politicians to come to their aid or the island could die, he warned.