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Fishermen to stage protest in Dublin to highlight threat to income

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Vessels dock in Cork Port as part of a protest against the challenges facing fishing, which have been exacerbated by Brexit and quota cuts. Photo: Daragh McSweeney/Provision

Vessels dock in Cork Port as part of a protest against the challenges facing fishing, which have been exacerbated by Brexit and quota cuts. Photo: Daragh McSweeney/Provision

Vessels dock in Cork Port as part of a protest against the challenges facing fishing, which have been exacerbated by Brexit and quota cuts. Photo: Daragh McSweeney/Provision

FISHERMEN are to stage a major demonstration in Dublin city centre to highlight the threat to incomes from Brexit and EU fish quota cuts.

The protest will take place on Wednesday, June 23 and will include boats from Dublin, Louth, Donegal, Wexford, Waterford, Kerry, Cork and other counties.

It follows a major equality protest by fishermen in Cork last month.

Boats will gather from 3am and then travel from 5am upriver through the East Link Bridge, to John Rogerson's Quay, where a special 'show and tell' event will be staged to explain the plight of Irish fishing families.

It will conclude with a noon rally at Guild Street Park, at Spencer Dock.

After the rally, fishing representatives will hand deliver a letter outlining the plight of the industry to Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

Irish fishing groups warned their livelihoods are now at stake because of quota cutbacks and the impact of the Brexit deal.

"We want a renegotiation of (EU) Common Fisheries Policy so that Ireland is allocated a fair share of fish quotas that reflect the contribution of our fishing grounds to the EU," a spokesperson said.

"The Brexit/TCA agreement between EU and UK was both unfair and unjust and penalised Ireland's fishing industry. There must be equal burden sharing throughout the EU member states.

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"On the issue of enforcement, we submit that penalty points for fisheries offences should only be applied to license holders and skippers following a court conviction."

Irish fishermen have also demanded that traditional access to fishing grounds around Rockall be reinstated immediately.

"Fishermen who spend in excess of 24 hours at sea must also be granted equal rights with all seafarers and marine workers under our revenue and taxation laws."

The planned protest is supported by major Irish fishing groups including the IS&WFPO, KFO, IS&EFPO, IFPO, IFP&EA, IIMRO, IFSA and inshore fishermen.

All Covid-19 restrictions and social distancing requirements will be observed by participants.


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