Industry representatives attended the meeting today, Wednesday 16 September, where they emphasised that unity with other EU member states and institutions is key.
They also expounded on the serious implications for the Irish fishing industry and coastal communities without a fisheries agreement with the UK — or any deal which grants the UK’s demands for a greater share of fish stocks and restricted access to UK fishing grounds.
In response, Minister McConalogue said he would continue to “press for a fisheries agreement with the UK that protects the mandate and upholds both existing quota shares and existing reciprocal access to UK waters”. He acknowledged the importance of such an agreement being linked to any future trade deal.
The minister also listened to industry concerns regarding the Statutory Instrument on points for serious infringements of the Common Fisheries Policy.
He explained Ireland’s position and noted the commitment of all to effective controls to protect the valuable fishing resources in Ireland’s 200-mile zone, and the need for the country to meet its EU obligations in the area.
Speaking later, Minister McConalogue said: “I was very glad to have the opportunity today to meet with the fishing industry representatives.
“We had a very useful exchange on the challenges for the sector posed by the UK’s exit from the EU and the Statutory Instrument on points. I intend to continue this close engagement with the fishing industry going forward.”