The Workers’ Party has said it fully endorses the stand taken by fishermen today as they tie up their boats in protest against the cost of fuel, the size of the percentage they get from fish prices and a number of other grievances.
Workers’ Party spokesman Denis O’Connor (Cork) said that coastal communities were already being decimated by falling fish stocks, a discriminatory EU quota system and he believed that the rocketing price of fuel could be “last straw” for Irish fishermen.
Mr O’Connor said that the fishermen had been given no alternative but to take action, not just because of the fuel price increases, but because of years of neglect of the Irish fishing industry by successive governments and the European Union.
"The Workers Party condemns the EU and Irish government’s attempts to criminalise Irish fishermen who have seen their quotas slashed in recent years due to the over-fishing of Irish territorial waters by EU and third-country fleets.
"There has been an ongoing policy of harassment of Irish fishermen and the fishermen have rightly highlighted the fact that despite Ireland having a territorial claim over huge sections of EU waters, our fishermen have the smallest allocation under the EU quota system," said Mr O’Connor.
Mr O’Connor also highlighted the planned closures of Valentia and Malin Head coastal radio stations and the downgrading of the old Department of the Marine, which now has its functions controlled by three government departments, as part of the attack on coastal communities.