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So much for justice


So much for justice

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A cornerstone of the management of EU fisheries has been the implementation of a system known as ‘relative stability’ but, says the Irish Fishing & Seafood Alliance (IFSA), the EU Commission has cast aside this ‘fair’ method of allocating quotas when they recently concluded a BREXIT agreement that disproportionately disadvantaged Ireland relative to the other remaining EU member states. There was no regard for ‘burden-sharing’ - a matter that must be urgently addressed.

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How Ireland ended up being the hardest hit of any EU fishing nation is a question that continues to shock and baffle the Irish seafood industry and is an outcome that Irish industry representatives are refusing to take lying down.

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In layman terms relative stability is a representative ‘pie’ from which the divisions of fish quotas for each nation are provided and, whether this pie gets bigger or smaller with scientifically advised quota management, each nation’s share equally rises with the tide and falls with the tide – but always retains their portion regardless if the volume within that percentage alters.

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Relative stability has always been seen as a reasonable and fair method of ensuring a sustainable fishing industry for each Member State – that is until the Brexit negotiations and the EU’s complete disregard for ‘burden sharing’ resulted in new reduced quotas (without the UK) for Ireland (in its own waters) take the biggest hit of any other EU Member State.

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Ironically the EU Commission’s own website (eu.europa.eu) in the matter of relative stability officially states that “transparent and objective criteria” must be applied to and by all Member States.

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“I don’t think it’s any exaggeration to say that in Ireland’s case, the impact of Brexit and that of the EU Commission’s decisions have been neither transparent nor objective,” said Cormac Burke, IFSA Chairman.

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“Pardon the pun but I think that the ‘scales’ of justice were intentionally weighed very heavily against Ireland in this case and what has been foist upon us is simply not acceptable to a sea faring nation with a fishing and seafood industry which should be thriving but is now struggling under the burden of EU decisions that seem aimed at destructing our industry and decimating our rural coastal communities,” he concluded.

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Photo: a wide representation of vessels from all around the country tied up in Killybegs today (12/2/21) - photo IFSA

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