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Concern in Killybegs Over Prevention of Danish Vessel Landing

1st April 2022
The Danish fishing vessel MV Ruth, arrived to land 1,270 tonnes of blue whiting for local processing and export to Africa but left port with the fish still aboard.
The Danish fishing vessel MV Ruth, arrived to land 1,270 tonnes of blue whiting for local processing and export to Africa but left port with the fish still aboard

The Chairman of the Irish Fishing & Seafood Alliance has accused the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority of causing serious losses and the temporary closure of a processing factory in Killybegs.

The Danish fishing vessel MV Ruth, arrived to land 1,270 tonnes of blue whiting for local processing and export to Africa but left port with the fish still aboard.

“The SFPA today has hit a new low" said Cormac Burke, Chairman, Irish Fishing & Seafood Alliance. "The Sea Fisheries Protection Authority refused landing permission unless fish were 'de-watered' which would make them unfit for human consumption. “Rather than see this ridiculous waste of a perfectly good, and valuable, fish commodity, the Skipper of the Ruth took the decision to leave Killybegs with its catch still on board and head back to Denmark. Apparently, word has spread quickly and it looks likely that future landings by Danish vessels to Irish fish processors is in serious jeopardy. The lost quayside value of approximately €350,000 euros is only the tip of the iceberg of the damage created by the SFPA in today’s actions. The processing factory which should have had 80-odd staff working over the next four or five days is now closed and these factory workers have each lost a week’s wages - not to mention the buyers of the product in Africa who are now left without a shipment.

“Many local Killybegs net and engineering companies, rely on these visiting vessels for work at a time when the Irish fleet has already exhausted their mediocre blue whiting quota and have tied up - this avenue of business may now be lost permanently,” Mr Burke posted on the Fishing & Seafood Alliance Facebook Page.

“Blue whiting is often landed in Killybegs for the local fishmeal factory and although this is also going to produce important products such as meal and fish oil, the need for water retention is not as great as it would be for processing for human consumption.”

Published in Tom MacSweeney, Fishing
Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney writes a weekly column for Afloat.ie. He presents the monthly programme Maritime Ireland on Podcast services and Irish radio stations.

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