Senator Paschal Mooney has called on the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney TD to allow the fishing fleet out of Killybegs to fish for herring in the Celtic Sea.
The Leitrim Senator questioned Minister Coveney at a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture and Fisheries yesterday about why his new policy excluded 18 out of 22 pelagic fishing boats in Donegal from the largest herring pelagic fishery in the Celtic Sea.
Senator Mooney explained, “As a result of new criteria set down by Minister Coveney for herring fishing opportunities in the Celtic Sea, the Donegal fishing fleet has been denied access. The criteria are based on providing access to those with a recent track record in herring fishing. The quota wasn’t fished in ‘track record’ period by vessels the affected as the quota was too low.
“This has had a serious impact on the local economy. As a result of the fleet being denied access to the Celtic Sea herring stock, 200 to 300 workers employed in fish processing facilities in South West Donegal will lose several weeks work as no herring is being processed,” he stated.