Deputy Thomas Pringle said reports of a Government scheme to shrink the size of the whitefish fleet show the Government “has given up on the fishing industry.”
HIs claims follow reports that Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue and Minister Pippa Hackett will seek Cabinet approval for a €66 million decommissioning scheme, following Brexit’s shrinking of Irish fishing quotas.
Deputy Pringle said: “This shows that the Government, sadly, have given up on the fishing industry. All they want to do now is manage its decline and end for Europe.”
The Killybegs-based deputy has frequently called on the Government to renegotiate the Common Fisheries Policy, saying the Government continues to “kowtow to Europe” when it comes to the fishing industry.
He said: “Europe has never respected Irish fishing rights. When will this Government right the wrongs that were done to our fishing community when we negotiated to join the EU?”
The cost of the decommissioning scheme comes to about 60 fishing trawlers, or one quarter of the whitefish fleet, The Irish Times reported.
Deputy Pringle aded: “If the Government were serious they would go and fight for our rights in Europe and put it up to them, but they won’t.”