Ireland believes that there should be strict EU measures to address the current difficulties being experienced by fishermen across Europe and, particularly, in Ireland. Killeen’s demand also echoed by a number of other Member States in expressing the view that there was an urgent need for a pan-European approach to resolving the short and medium-term difficulties.
According to Killeen other Member States consider the problem and the EU Fisheries Commissioner Borg has undertaken to come back to the next Council meeting on 15 July with definitive proposals so that further progress could be made. Killeen said that a considerable progress has been made in a number of other areas of concern to Irish fishermen, which he had discussed on a number of occasions with the Federation of Irish Fishermen (FIF).
According to Killeen strick measures should be taken in the areas of restructuring the industry, action to combat illegal fishing and a possible increase in access for Irish fishermen to Cod stocks in the Celtic Sea. He informed that the Irish government is working hard to implement a major restructuring of the Irish whitefish fleet. He said that the completion of the current planned decommissioning measure must be our first priority.
The Minister also asked the European Commission to examine new initiatives at EU level to increase the return received by fishermen at the quayside and improved labelling to assure consumers. Killeen pressed the Commission to bring forward initiatives on research and innovation into ways to develop more fuel-efficient engines and fishing practices.
Minister Killeen said the estimated €1.1 billion of illegal imports annually in the EU was a cause of concern as it had the effect of depressing the price of fish within the community as well as causing serious environmental damage.