16 February 2016
By Elaine Murphy
New Dáil candidate says Fianna Fáil will strengthen economic capacity of seafood industry
Cork South-West election candidate Margaret Murphy O’Mahony has said the government is under-utilising the economic capacity of Cork’s fishing and coastal communities. Councillor Margaret Murphy O’Mahony says Fianna Fáil’s proposals will deliver a strong, sustainable and profitable seafood industry.
Margaret said: “We need to value our coastal communities and I believe there is huge potential in the fishing industry to contribute greatly to our local and national economic recovery. Fisheries and marine resources are key contributors and in prioritising the fishing industry we will recognise its capacity to achieve balanced regional growth.
“Food Harvest 2020, which was initiated under Fianna Fáil in government, provides a medium-term vision and strategy for the development of the Irish agri-food and fisheries sector. The proposals we are putting forward for the fishing sector aim to build on the measures included in that programme.
“Central to our proposals is a commitment that coastal communities will maintain and increase jobs in the catching, supply and processing sectors. This will allow the fishing industry in coastal communities in west Cork to prosper in the years ahead. Fishing opportunities must be enhanced along with processing capacity, aquaculture development, as well as marine tourism and rural recreation activities.
“Fianna Fáil will continue to fight for maximum sustainable quotas for the Irish fishing industry in the annual fixing of EU catches and quotas. We will also protect Ireland’s interests in any reformed EU Common Fisheries Policy and will seek to achieve this in future reviews with a view to enlarging our fishing opportunities.
Other recommendations include:
Securing a level playing field for all fishing activities in Irish controlled waters while introducing a more flexible and proportionate approach to inspections;
A commitment to appointing a Minister with full responsibility for fisheries;
Encourage sustainable and high quality aquaculture development and establish an independent body to adjudicate and administer the current licensing system;
We will build on the success of the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ by exploring the creation of an ‘Irish Way’ on an all-island in co-operation with Northern Ireland to bolster tourism in coastal communities.
“The coming years offer a real opportunity for the fishing sector. I want west Cork to be central to the growth and expansion to come – offering high quality affordable produce to consumers across the globe as an expanding export sector. Any balanced regional recovery must ensure that coastal communities are at the centre of government policy and Fianna Fáil’s plan provides a platform towards achieving this.”