Plight of Eel Fishers to be addressed at Athlone seminar organised by Matt Carthy MEP
Midlands Northwest Sinn Féin MEP, Matt Carthy, will host a seminar in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Athlone this Friday, 22nd February, at 2pm that will discuss proposals to address the ongoing plight facing Eel Fishers in Ireland. Eel fishing has been banned in Ireland since 2009. Following extensive lobbying by Carthy and representatives of Eel fishers, the government agreed to introduce a ‘hardship’ scheme in late 2018 although issues have arisen with terms of that scheme and the overarching concerns that have been expressed by Eel fishers regarding the outright ban remain unaddressed.
Ahead of Friday afternoon’s event Carthy said:
“Westmeath, Roscommon and significant portions of the Irish Midlands were severely affected by the EU Eel fishing ban which was implemented in 2009. This ban was a short-sighted, ‘one-size fits all’ measure that decimated a way of life for many families in Ireland. Worse still, evidence suggests that the ban has been ineffective in restoring Eel stocks.
“Support schemes can only go so far in addressing the fallout from the ban. We must escalate our fight on behalf of Eel fishing communities and speak with one collective voice at a domestic and European level. I look forward to meeting Eel fishers to engage in a thorough evaluation of current eel regulations and the EMFF and collectively present tangible solutions for the immediate future of Eel Fishing in Ireland.
With imagination and political will it is possible to develop a scheme that will preserve and enhance our eel stocks while also supporting those whose livelihoods have depended on this sector. Friday’s seminar will, I hope, mark an important step in developing that scheme.”
The seminar, entitled ‘Rights for Eels Fishers’ will take place in Athlone’s Radisson Blu this Friday, 22nd February, at 2pm.