Sinn Féin Councillor Conor D. McGuinness has said that the EU must announce financial support for Irish lobster fishers following a decision by the European Commission to lift tariffs on live imports of US lobster. There is a significant lobster fishery along the Waterford coast that is of regional and economic importance.
McGuinness is a member of the European Committee of the Regions, which exists to give local and regional government a voice on EU matters.
“I have written to the European Commission to demand that they provide financial support to Irish lobster fishers following the decision to lift tariffs against imports of US lobster. There was no consultation with fishing representatives in Ireland, and its clear that there no was thought given to the impact of this move on coastal communities in Ireland.
“The Irish fishing industry has never faced a more uncertain or damaging time. Decades of underinvestment and disinterest from successive Irish governments, coupled with an unequal and unfair share of fishing quota, has left the sector struggling. The decision to allow US lobster suppliers unfettered access to the European market will have a detrimental impact on Ireland;s inshore fishermen, many of whom rely on lobster pots for income.
“Financial assistance must be made available to offset the impact of this move on the Irish fishing industry.”