Fishing industry representatives have welcomed a commitment from the Tánaiste that Fine Gael will take a leading role in transforming the fishing sector. The commitments were secured at a series of meetings at the recent Fine Gael Ard Fheis.
“We now have a clear sense that the government is committed to reversing the decline of the Irish fishing industry over the past 20 years,” said Brendan Byrne, CEO of the IFPEA (Irish Fish Processors and Exporters Association. Members of the IFPEA , Irish Fish Producers Organisation (IFPO), and the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisations (ISWFPO) attended the Ard Fheis.
Brendan says a “healthy series of meetings and debates were on fishing was part of the schedule for the day. The Dunkineely, Bruckless and Killybegs Branch of Fine Gael were well represented in Athlone with members representing the interests of the sector”.
Brendan added it was “essential that fishing be given a renewed political focus and this political leadership is much welcomed. For too long the sector has been allowed to operate with a ‘more of the same approach’, while other member states within the European Union developed their industry. Others pro-actively developed their respective fishing sectors and often at the expense of Irish fishermen. We welcome the Tánaiste’s commitment to change this.”