Watch some 60 loud ships sail up Cork Harbor to send a message to the government
About sixty trawlers sailed up Cork harbor as fishermen around Cork demanded a change in quotas off the Irish coast.
Many Leesiders were awakened by the ship’s constant horns this morning as the flotilla headed from Roches Point and all the way to Kennedy Quay were people lined up with signs supporting them.
The group says the UK-EU Brexit deal will result in huge losses for Irish traders who could lose millions unless they get a fairer share of the quotas.
Jim Maloney of Swan-Net Gundry at Union Hall told CorkBeo the industry is “in trouble” unless things change.
He said: “Right now we are making trawls for these boats – but if they stop fishing they will stop ordering it, so we are in trouble. We will not have a job.
“As it stands we are allowed to catch one and a half in ten fish in Irish waters. So there are eight and a half fish on other boats.
Tony O’Sullivan, who is a founding member of Castletownbere Swan-Net Gundry, said the outlook is “very worrying” and now is the “hardest moment” of his 35 years.
Castletownbere Fishermen’s Co-operative Director John Nolan said: “Today is the culmination of the frustration between how we were treated in Europe and how our politicians were not. managed to represent us. Brexit was the last straw.
“Brexit was nobody’s fault, but it cost the EU 178 million euros, or 5.8 percent of everyone’s quotas. 15 percent of this is expected to be which is 45 million euros while our actual loss is 15 million euros.
“No one represented us and that left complete and utter frustration with the fishermen who ultimately said enough is enough.
“We are an island, but in our waters, the French get 70% of the single quota and we get seven. You go to French waters and we get nothing, but they can have 65% of the quota of their waters.
“I have no doubt that if Switzerland joined the EU it would get a quota in our waters, but no one is fighting for us.”
This morning, Agriculture, Food and Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue told RTE that he recognized the “challenges and suffering” that families are going through and had promised to work “hand in hand” to make them better.
He added that he had created a working group to bring those concerned around the table.