The Irish fishing industry must be supported in each and every way possible to ensure the continued inclusion of fisheries as part of trade negotiations, no reduction in our share, the retention of access to UK waters and that the status quo is ultimately maintained post-Brexit.
That was the forceful message from An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar following a meeting with the Irish fish producer organisations.
These included the KFO, the IFPO and the ISEFPO as well as processors which was also attended by An Tánaiste, Simon Coveney and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed.
CEO of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation, Seán O’Donoghue said Irish fishermen are extremely anxious that the legal text of any Brexit agreement must reflect their demands.
“Today’s clear commitment from the Irish Government to the industry is most encouraging and another big step forward on a long, turbulent and uncertain road which happened upon us on June 23rd, 2016.
“This was a historic meeting in many ways, a first for our organisations to meet with Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Agriculture Minister simultaneously. We couldn’t have asked for more by way of Government attentiveness and support.
“It is imperative now that we all unite to ensure no slippage in terms of this political support and to provide the certainty that more than 14,500 people working in the €1.15billion Irish seafood sector, require and deserve.
“Maintaining reciprocal access to waters and resources as agreed in the guidelines should be at the heart of the post-Brexit relationship in fisheries given the historic ties and inextricable links between our countries and industries.”