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Why does the national media show such little concern about coastal communities and the fishing industry?

AODH O’DONNELL, CEO, IRISH FISH PRODUCERS’ ORGANISATION

For our coastal communities, the seafood sector is similar to a large software plant in the capital. Seafood and fishing and fishing communities and the industry generally underpin a wide range of social activities. These are sometimes intangible and hard to qualify, but certainly the decommissioning is going to have a long-term effect on our coastal communities.”

So says Aodh O’Donnell, Chief Executive of the Irish Fish Producers’ Organisation. It is the longest-established fishing industry organisation in the country. He is expressing his opinion during a discussion on MARITIME IRELAND about the low level of interest shown by the national media in the fishing industry and the coastal communities, which are facing loss of jobs and loss of businesses.

Decommissioning, the forced scrapping of fishing vessels under a Government and EU project to reduce the size of the Irish fleet, is going to have a long-term effect on coastal communities, according to him.

“The decommissioning in the whitefish fleet will have a major impact on the industry and coastal communities. Up to a third of that fleet will be decommissioned permanently

“That is going to have very significant impacts on coastal communities generally, in terms of unemployment, on the supply of seafood and also on the service industries that support these vessels. This is a permanent blow to these communities. They are coastal, they are peripheral. There is a very important social dimension to all of this.”

Listen to him on the Podcast.

It is interesting to note that, after the January edition of the Podcast was broadcast at least one section of the national media took notice of the fishing industry. The Irish Examiner published a two-part ‘special report’ on the fishing industry.

Where MARITIME IRELAND leads, others follow!

Tom MacSweeney

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