Following protests held in Cork and Dublin earlier this year, Irish fishermen have enlisted the help of Sean Moroney of Santander Media from Kilmore Quay to document and highlight the continuing issue of the unfair and disproportionate share of fish that Irish boats can catch in their own waters.
Sean Moroney is the creator of The Fishers Voice, a social media initiative created to garner support for the plight of Irish fishermen who feel they go unheard by our government and representatives.
With the support of Skipper editor Niall Duffy, Sean travelled the country to record the voices of Irish fishing communities in crisis.
The result of this collaboration is a 26 minute documentary screened to T.D’s before being released on social media to the public. Invitations were sent to all the political party leaders, fisheries spokespersons and coastal community T.D’s to attend the screenings.
Five months in the making, this documentary lifts the lid on decades of unfairness, whereby under the CFP, 85% of the TAC is allocated to mainland European countries, despite the majority of this fishing taking place in Irish Waters.
The Fishers Voice highlights the effects on entire coastal communities of Irish fishermen denied the equal rights and equal opportunities to fish in Irish waters, while having to watch French, Dutch, Belgian, Spanish and other EU vessels land fish on Irish piers to be trucked away for processing in Europe, all with the full backing of the Irish government over decades.
Belgium, as a case in point, has 0.1% of EU fishing grounds while Ireland has 10%. Yet the Belgian fleet has a greater quota for some prime species in Irish waters than Irish fishermen.
In the documentary, individual fishermen and business owners, who rely on the fishing industry for their income, speak out about how the continuing lack of access to the raw material – fish in Irish waters – is causing a crisis in coastal communities where some towns derive as much as 90% of the local economy from fishing.