In the ongoing discussions about Iceland’s bid to fish in Irish waters, fishermen are expressing frustration over the lack of transparency. Patrick Murphy, CEO of the South and West Fish Producers Organisation, criticized the secrecy surrounding informal talks between Iceland and the EU about fishing in EU waters. Concerns are mounting that a similar deal to Norway’s, allowing extensive fishing in Irish waters, could be struck.
The fishing industry, initially opposed to involving mackerel or blue whiting in any deal, changed its stance during negotiations. However, confusion arose when the EU Commission’s proposal for mackerel and blue whiting was withdrawn due to a lack of support from larger EU states. Murphy described the situation as a “complete and utter mess.”
Irish Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue defended his actions, emphasizing his commitment to representing Irish interests in European negotiations. However, industry insiders remain skeptical, demanding more openness and fearing the potential adverse effects on Irish fishermen. Share your perspective on this contentious issue.