Ireland continues to gift the EU with over €1 Billion of fish annually from Irish National Waters,
Now is the time for us to consider the supposed reform of our Common Fisheries Policy.
“Never forget the importance of history. Not to know what has been transacted in former times is to always be a child” (Cicero)
“In order to know where we are going, we have to know how we got here.”
(John Nolan, Manager, Castletownbere Fishermen’s Co-Op).
It is well recognised that the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is one of the worst Man-Induced ecological disasters of modern times.
How did Ireland get involved in this disaster?
Ireland, England, Denmark & Norway, formally opened negotiation to join the E.E.C., on the 30th June, 1970. On that very same day, the original six E.E.C. members introduced Regulation 2141/70. This included the infamous clause on fisheries – “Equal access to a common resource without discrimination” – (“acquis communautaire”) and the candidates for membership would have to accept this as a condition of entry to the EEC!
This was the basic plank Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and it still is, and any subsequent regulations and rules are merely derogations.
Paddy Hillery, Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, was the person charged with our negotiations. He was ably assisted by Brendan O’Kelly, Chairman of B.I.M. Hillery resisted, O’Kelly was sent home, and next day Hillery capitulated and signed ! (reference: “Irish Times” article of 30/12/’95 by Lorna Siggins, for full account – cutting available on request).
Did Hillery sign under duress to gain entry to the EEC? Was this gunpoint diplomacy?
Did the EEC come to this with “Clean Hands”?
COLONIALISM – A policy in which a country rules other nations and develops trade for its own benefit. After a few short years of freedom, Ireland is once again under colonial rule!
Following the United Nations Conference on the “Law of the Sea” May 1975, the right of countries to declare an exclusive 200 Mile Zone around its coast was accepted. This right had also been signed away. So our Exclusive Economic Zone (E.E.Z.) and fisheries is now governed by Brussels. Irelands E.E.Z. is ten times our land mass.
(Reference: Legal Briefing letter from Ronan Daly Jermyn – Solicitors, copy available on request) Click here to view letter
By 2011, the amount Ireland receives and contributes to the EU is expected to be roughly equal. In 2012, Ireland should be a net contributor of some €500 Million per year. (David Doyle, Sec. General, Dept. Of Finance, June 2008). Add to this the value of fish taken by other nations from our waters, which is recognised as billions of Euros. We cannot afford this largesse, while we beg for funds at the same time!
We gave away our fish, worth billions of Euros, our E.E.Z., our oil and gas and now they want us to sell the ESB, Aer Lingus, an Bord Gais etc. At the same time they want to ban turf cutting!
Donegal that fishing county was the only county to twice vote “NO” to Lisbon.
Tom McSweeney, long time Marine Correspondent of R.T.E., and now Freelance Journalist, recently quotes the Marine Institute:-
“Total available catch off Ireland = €1.18 Billion – 994,155 tonnes.
Ireland is only entitled to – €0.19 Billion”
Effectively, Ireland handed over €1 Billion of its natural economic resources to other EU countries, and does so annually, as it did in the past. In the meantime we continue to beg for money from foreign banks!
The Minister keeps reminding us that we have 18% of the quota. The bulk of this is made up of pelagic tonnage. Vessels fishing for the very valuable demersal species have a mere 4% of the quota. The rest is taken by other EU vessels, as pointed out by the Marine Institute and Tom MacSweeney.
Can Ireland afford to give away €1 Billion Euro per annum while our coastal peripheral communities emigrate to Australia or Canada?
John Rodgers of Arranmore Island recently mentioned on radio, appeals for his young people who are emigrating in large numbers. They are not allowed to fish their own waters – Excuse me – European waters – European fish!
What should be done to correct this grave injustice to the economy of Ireland as a whole and not alone Fishermen and Coastal Communities? Some suggest withdrawal from the EU, others withdrawal from the Common Fisheries Policy. In England a majority vote of the Westminster
Parliament would restore their rights to their Exclusive Economic Zone. What is the position in Ireland? This could be “disruptive of Community solidarity, offensive to our neighbours and would cause grave irritation” – SO WHAT? Real Regionalisation where each Country is responsible for fish stocks in its own waters is another solution. This would be worth Billions of Euro and Thousands of jobs in Ireland.
Is Michael Noonan, our Minister for Finance, aware of this Financial Haemorrhage and will he try to stem the flow?
Can Eamon Gilmore, our Minister for Foreign Affairs, who is responsible for our relations with the EU, help?
Can our Taoiseach – Enda Kenny, who took on the Vatican, help?