For far too long, a few big players have been allowed to dominate

Unfair quota allocations continue to impact the livelihoods of those involved in the inshore fishing sector, according to Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns.

Deputy Cairns, who is the party’s spokesperson on Agriculture, Food and the Marine, told the Dáil today:

“Inshore fishing has been badly neglected by this and previous governments. In terms of vessels, the number of people employed, distribution and cultural heritage, this is the most significant part of the industry.

“But despite this, Government policy and quota distribution vastly favours larger vessels. The clearest example of this unequal system and appalling disparity – designed and enforced by the Minister and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine – is the mackerel quota.

“Currently, only 2% of this quota is assigned to vessels under 15 metres, while 98% is given to a small number of larger boats. This equates to 100 large vessels getting the lion’s share, with 2,000 small boats receiving a miniscule allocation.

“The Government is presiding over unfair trading practices by limiting the capacity of the inshore fishing sector, which is screaming out for fairer quota allocations and targeted supports.

“With inshore fishing greatly impacted by Brexit, a more equitable and realistic distribution of quotas is required in the interest of fairness.

“For far too long, a few big players have been allowed to dominate the sector. This is manifestly unfair on inshore fishers and cannot be allowed to continue. The Government must act now to tip the balance in their favour.”

January 25, 2023

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