Killybegs harbour facing a major crisis
Fishermen, processors, factory workers, local businesses, shop and catering staff, political representatives from all parties, and the public have been invited to attend a public meeting this afternoon, Saturday, April 9 in the Tara Hotel, Killybegs starting at 4pm to discuss the fishing crisis that has hit the town.
It has been estimated that over €1 million was lost over the past week and if the situation continues, it could seriously damage the town's reputation as Ireland's premier fishing port.
There is anger at what the local industry claims are "unreasonable demands" being made by the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) over landings that have already resulted in several vessels deciding not to land their catches for the local processing factories.
Locals argue that the SFPA’s actions and the knock-on damaging effects it is having on local processing and service companies could do untold damage at a time when high fuel costs and Brexit are already hitting the industry hard.
The meeting will be chaired by Manus Boyle of Killybegs Stevedores Ltd and in attendance will be Brendan Byrne of the IFPEA, Cormac Burke, IFSA Chairman, Aodh O’Donnell of the IFPO, and a KFO representative as well as representatives of the Killybegs Harbour Development Group (KHDG).
The public is invited to attend, give their opinion and participate in the formulation of an action plan to stop what local industry sources claim is the increasing harassment of the Irish fishing industry by the Department of Marine, civil servants, and the SFPA.
"Pressure must be put on the Taoiseach to launch an investigation into the last two decades’ operations of the Department of Marine officials and their ongoing involvement in the SFPA," a spokesperson said today.
Fishing industry sources in the town today have said they've encountered yet another boat turning away from the port today.
"It’s unbelievable that the same vessel who previously had to go to Derry because proper human consumption standards of the landing were denied him by the SFPA has returned to Killybegs with another load of fish and has once again had to leave port this morning and head to Derry."
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