Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has been successful in passing a series of amendments in the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee which will give special protection to Irish islands.
The Ireland South MEP, who sits on the Fisheries Committee, made a series of other successful amendments to the new European Maritime fund including extra financial and safety protections for fishermen.
“This was a massive victory for Ireland and our coastal communities,” she said.
“For years in the European Parliament I have lobbied and campaigned for Ireland to get preferential treatment because of our unique maritime geography and the disenfranchisement of our coastal communities.
“It shows that when MEPs work with communities and work with indigenous industries we can affect real change in Europe.
“These amendments will allow us to much better serve Irish coastal communities. They mean that under the new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund a derogation can be applied for using public funding for operations in the Irish Islands of up to 85%.
“The next step for this legislation is the European Parliament plenary vote in April. I will be lobbying hard for MEPs to support it and given the overwhelming support it was given on the Fisheries Committee I am confident we can get it over the line and help protect our coastal and island communities.” ENDS/CRIOCH
For you information.
The critical amendments by Liadh Ní Riada for funding under the new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund were passed by the Committee and included aid for;
· Development of small ports in remote areas and peripheral areas which include the Irish islands,
· Equipping fishing vessels to improve health and safety of crew members
· Restocking waterways with fish species
· Training young fishermen,
· Facilitation of access to credit, insurance and financial instruments
· Compensation for fishermen confined to port because of dangerous sea conditions due to prolonged weather conditions
· Special aid for eligible operations in the Irish islands