Sinn Féin TD for Kerry and party spokesperson on fisheries, Martin Ferris, was a guest speaker at a session of the Defence and Protection of Small Scale, Artisanal and Coastal Fishing Conference at the EU parliament in Brussels.
Deputy Ferris spoke on workers rights and safety at sea.
“As a former fisherman myself I am well aware of the many dangers faced by our fishing communities on a daily basis, while the conditions aboard our fleets have vastly improved since my time, many of the risks faced by my generation are still being taken by today’s crews,” said Deputy Ferris.
Ever Increasing Costs
“Legislation and education, along with modern technological innovations, have improved the conditions on board our vessels. However with the improvements have come ever increasing costs which have meant ever increasing demands to remain viable.
“This has led to regulations being ignored and unfortunately has cost lives in some instances. The burden cannot be wholly sustained by our fishermen and women, governments and the commission must recognise the enormous contribution that our fishing communities give each year.
A Pilot Project
“I fully support and endorse the efforts of Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada who is a member of the European Fisheries Committee.
She has proposed a pilot project to the EU Commission for the creation and implementation of a Single Boat Payment Plan for the fishing industry.
“It is absolutely necessary for fishermen to be provided with some sort of support, similar to what is being provided to our small farmers and there is scope for this Single Boat Payment scheme to be funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.”
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