Smoke and mirrors
Yet another unfounded media attack on the Irish fishing industry
The article below, published by the Irish Examiner today, is once again a repeat of the same regurgitated story that keeps coming out in the media from time to time - and once again it is biased anti industry propaganda and without any research into the facts or without seeking a comment from anyone in the fishing industry.
And, coincidentally, this same story pops up in one of the national media every time the Department of Marine are receiving most criticism from the industry - in a bullying tactic of trying to silence the growing voice of anger of the people at how Ireland’s fishing industry is being mismanaged to the benefit of all other EU nations by once again trying to brainwash the public into thinking that this fishing industry is crooked from top to bottom.
Despite the big headline, this story is a pure case of ‘smoke and mirrors’ - no one is quoted; lots of things are ‘reportedly stated’; the conclusion that fishery controls were unsatisfactory is that, according to a PWC official report, the SFPA were incapable of carrying out standard control & monitoring due to “inefficiencies” within that organisation.
And, ultimately, this article doesn’t actually report anything that hasn’t already been said in previous, equally unfounded, articles in other carefully selected newspapers.
It’s about time that Ireland’s mainstream media were made accountable for what they report and at the very least give fishing industry representatives and POs the right to reply!
Irish Examiner 27th March 2021
EU losing patience with Ireland’s inability to prevent lawbreaking in relation to fishing quotas
An investigation by the EU — received by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue late last year — has concluded that fishery controls were “unsatisfactory”.
As a result, the country faces losing tens of thousands of tonnes from its fishing quota and around €40m in funding annually.
No cases sent forward for prosecution
The EU investigation reported that, during a four-year period, 33 cases of suspected fraud in relation to fishing quotas were sent to the DPP.
None of the cases was sent forward for prosecution. The DPP either determined there was insufficient evidence or too much delay in bringing the cases. The EU now wants to examine each of these cases to determine why exactly none was prosecuted.
The Irish Examiner has also learned that, five years ago, a number of the biggest fishing operators in the State were found to have falsely reported the size of catches, but was told files were not going to be sent to the DPP on this occasion.
It was also informed that the value of the suspected fraud would not be calculated.
The issue was under-reporting the size of catches, both by having larger storage facilities on trawlers than permitted, and through interference in the official weighing of catches.
Estimates vary, but industry sources suggest the frauds perpetrated ran into tens of millions of euro worth of fish each year.
A protected disclosure made to the Irish Examiner alleges that a blind eye has been turned by authorities to the persistent lawbreaking.
The disclosure is the second in recent years — from different individuals — alleging this malpractice.
“Fishery officers became very concerned about the validity of the figures being provided by the processors and the likelihood of illegal fish being landed,” the protected disclosure reads.