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Storm bound fisherman call for compensation scheme

Friday, 21st February, 2014 6:52pm
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Storm bound fisherman call for compensation scheme

Eibhlín O’Sullivan, IS&WFPO.

Eibhlín OSullivan, IS&WFPO.

BY HELEN RIDDELL

ONE of the country’s leading fishing organisations has called on the Minister for the Marine to instigate a compensation scheme for fishermen following the recent series of Atlantic storms, which has wrecked havoc throughout Ireland.

Eibhlín O’Sullivan, CEO of the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation (IS&WFPO) commented, ‘since early December 2013 Ireland has been subject to a relentless cycle of storms which have had a devastating impact in particular on our fishermen. For inshore fishermen, it has been a double blow as many have lost tens of thousands of euros worth of gear and in addition, have been unable due to the severe weather to even try and earn and a living.

‘These ongoing storms have left the majority of fishermen unable to fish for some two months now. No fish means no income for these fishermen, their families and the rural coastal peripheral communities who rely on them and this situation is exacerbated by the fact that as most are self-employed they have no access to any sort of Social Welfare.’

Inshore fisherman are also facing an uncertain future following the storms, continued Ms O’Sullivan, ‘for the many Inshore fishermen who have lost the gear or had it so badly damaged that it is useless, the cost of replacement is so high and their access to any source of finance so limited that it makes the situation impossible and many are now facing an uncertain future as without new gear they will be unable to continue to fish and face looking for alternative employment.’

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