04 Jul 2022

Talks on Killybegs fish landings crisis start tomorrow

Industry representatives to meet SFPA online

Talks on Killybegs fish landings crisis start tomorrow

A selection f the crowd that attended last Saturday's fishing crisis meeting in Killybegs

Crucial talks on the future of weighing rules on fish landings in Killybegs will start tomorrow, Wednesday.

It comes following heated exchanges at a meeting in the town last Saturday involving the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Donegal TD, Charlie McConalogue and representatives of the fishing industry.

The meeting was confirmed by the chief executive of the Irish Fish Processors and Exporters Association (IFPEA), Brendan Byrne that while there had not been any further contact with the minister, they had received an e-mail from the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) on Monday afternoon stating they would attend a virtual meeting with the industry group this afternoon.

"We are hoping common sense will prevail. We are not looking for any new rules, we are looking for the rules that are there to be implemented fairly equally across all EU member states. That's clearly not the case in Killybegs and needs to be corrected by the SFPA," said Mr Byrne.

He added it was the industry's view that this was self-inflicted, over the interpretation of the rules or trying to put a rule in place that did not exist.

Mr Byrne said while it was a step in the right direction one had to take this gesture with a pinch of salt.

"We have met with the SFPA 17 different times over 60 hours of negotiation already. Like the phrase coined in Northern Ireland some time ago, it is talks about talks, it may not talk about solutions."

He added they were entering into this in good faith and in a constructive way. We all want Killybegs to be allowed to function the same as any other port in Europe and this nonsense has to stop."

Speaking on Monday afternoon following the official launch of the Killybegs Marine Cluster Minister McConalogue said it was going to be important for everyone to work together.

"As I said on Saturday it would be important for the representative group from that meeting to engage in discussion with the SFPA and I've no doubt they will be happy to facilitate that and have a two-way discussion," he added

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