They are working in a hazardous industry which is very often under attack from far bigger vested interests.
Now a scheme is to be introduced whereby it is planned to reduce the number of fishing boats because of a shortage in fish stock.
To achieve this, a compensation scheme will be introduced whereby fishermen are induced to take their boats out of commission.
The scheme has the blessing of the Irish Fish Producers’ Organisation (IFPO). But the scheme could founder before it begins because, according to IFPO chief executive Lorcan Ó Cinnéide, it is underfunded.
If he is right, then under the scheme announced by Minister of State Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher only e8 million to e9m was being provided for the decommissioning and that would make little impact.
The fishermen are entitled to be treated as equitably as farmers were when they were induced to accept schemes for reducing production rates.