CORK South West TD, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony has said that it’s clear that in order to ensure West Cork fishing communities remain vibrant and viable they must receive an increased fishing quota.
Deputy Murphy O’Mahony was commenting after attending a meeting of theJoint Oireachtas Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs where the future of fishing communities was discussed with representatives of the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation from West Cork.
“While I am not a member of this committee, I felt it was important that I was there to raise the concerns of local fishing organisations. It’s clear that if we are to keep them viable into the future, they need to see an increased quota, and in particular, the mackerel quota.
“In West Cork, fishing plays a major role in economic life. Large numbers of families in Baltimore, Castletownbere, Kinsale and Schull rely heavily on the income generated from working on the boats.
“On the Beara Peninsula, nearly 9 in 10 jobs are dependent, either directly or indirectly, on the fishing industry.
“During my contribution to the committee, I said that the importance of the fishing industry to the local economy could not be emphasised enough.
“Additionally, there is a deep worry across fishing communities about the impact of Brexit on their livelihoods. As we head into the formal negotiations, the needs of fishing families must be put front and centre by the Irish Government.
“With Britain leaving the Union, major discussions about access to waters, and quotas, need to take place. I am urging Minister Creed to ensure that West Cork fishing communities don’t lose out when the final agreement is reached,” concluded Murphy O’Mahony.