Ireland in love with the EU PUNISHED as fishermen beaten – ex-diplomat turns on EU | Politics | New
Mr Bassett, Ireland’s former ambassador to Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas, spoke after the European Union confirmed it had revoked a concession that allowed Irish fishermen to weigh catches far from the place landing, as in fish processing plants. Instead, their fish catches are to be weighed at or near the jetties where boats return from the sea, with the EU seeking to justify its decision by citing a lack of confidence in the Irish monitoring system after an alleged underreporting.
No vessels from other EU countries will be subject to the rules, but will be allowed to weigh their catches upon returning to their home ports, the Times reported.
Mr. Bassett said Express.co.uk: “This is another example of Brussels directing sections of Irish society directly.
“The sweetness of the Irish response makes one cringe.
“Instead of defending our hurried fishermen, it would seem that our authorities consider their role as a simple implementation of the diktats of Brussels”.
The EU move is the latest in a series of setbacks for the Irish fishing industry, already facing a 15% overall reduction in quotas due to Brexit.
Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue is in talks with the European Commission on a “return on investment” for pelagic quotas due to underreporting.
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“This does not excuse any transgression but it can help explain them.
“It is particularly maddening for our fishermen to see large factory ships in Irish waters, flying the flags of other EU Member States, sucking up huge quantities of fish.
Addressing the lukewarm response from Mr McConalogue and Irish Taoiseach Michael Martin, Mr Bassett said: ‘These new restrictions from Brussels and the savage cuts imposed on the Irish fleet as a result of Brexit should, in normal society, trigger a major reaction from the Irish. authorities and a renegotiation request by the Irish share of the marine resources in Irish waters.
“Some experts have estimated that the Irish share in our own economic zone is less than 20%.
“However, the europhilia and myopia of our leaders probably mean that we will accept this latest blow to our fishworkers.”
Dr Susan Steele, President of the Irish Marine Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA), said: “Accurate weighing of catches remains the responsibility of the industry.
“The EU’s decision, however, will involve changes in weighing practices.
“We will strive to ensure that the industry can introduce them effectively and in a way that ensures compliance with EU regulations.”
National Inshore Fishermen’s Association (NIFA) Secretary Alex Crowley added: “We expected the sanctions to apply only to the pelagic area, as this is where the irregularities were discovered. .
“A large number of small boats landing fish would transport their catch to the first point of sale themselves, so we are waiting to see what the implications of the EU decision will be.”