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Facing the Reality of Ireland's Maritime Economy After Brexit - Arthur Reynolds (PODCAST)

14th January 2021
Arthur Reynolds, the founding editor of The Skipper magazine Arthur Reynolds, the founding editor of The Skipper magazine Credit: Niall Duffy/The Skipper

Why do Japanese fishing vessels steam halfway around the world to catch tuna on the Irish Continental Shelf edge, and why do Norwegian vessels hunt for highly valuable blue whiting in these waters?

Arthur Reynolds, the founding editor of The Skipper magazine, believes it is because these countries value Ireland’s coastal resources more than we do ourselves.

Reynolds (91), a former Bord Iascaigh Mhara board member who is now living in Bergen, Norway, believes the outcome of Brexit is so serious for Ireland that a major effort now has to be made to secure long term political support for a maritime economy.

"Other countries value Ireland’s coastal resources more than we do ourselves"

Changes in world agriculture are already having an impact on Irish beef production, he notes, and the Government must “face up to this reality” and plan for a future which involves greater control of and sensitive management of our marine resource.

Senior marine journalist Arthur Reynolds believes Minister for Foreign Affairs and former Marine Minister Simon Coveney is the one politician who understands the complexity of the issue now facing Ireland’s maritime economySenior marine journalist Arthur Reynolds believes Minister for Foreign Affairs and former Marine Minister Simon Coveney is the one politician who understands the complexity of the issue now facing Ireland’s maritime economy

Irish mackerel skippers who pioneered their fishery are highly regarded in Norway and Norwegians can’t understand why Ireland does not have better access, he says.

Under the Brexit deal, the EU hands back 25 per cent of the total EU fleet catch taken from British waters.

The biggest loser in this is Ireland, particularly in relation to mackerel and prawns with annual losses calculated by the industry at up to 50 million euro annually already in first sale value - and that may be a conservative estimate. However, industry representatives have rejected Government soundings on another decommissioning scheme.

Reynolds spoke to Afloat's Wavelengths podcast and you can listen below

Published in Wavelength Podcast
Lorna Siggins

About The Author

Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Search and Rescue: True stories of Irish Air-Sea Rescues and the Loss of R116 (2022); Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004); and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010). She is also co-producer with Sarah Blake of the Doc on One "Miracle in Galway Bay" which recently won a Celtic Media Award

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Afloat's Wavelengths Podcast with Lorna Siggins

Weekly dispatches from the Irish coast with journalist Lorna Siggins, talking to people in the maritime sphere. Topics range from marine science and research to renewable energy, fishing, aquaculture, archaeology, history, music and more...