Belfast Telegraph

Extinction Rebellion calls on Irish Government to end over-fishing

The campaign group said the country must put a halt to the practice by January 1 2020 as part of a legal requirement.

Leah Rossiter (left) and Ceara Carney dressed as mermaids during the protest (Niall Carson/PA)
Leah Rossiter (left) and Ceara Carney dressed as mermaids during the protest (Niall Carson/PA)

By Aine McMahon, PA

Activists from the Extinction Rebellion group have called on ministers to end the practice of over-fishing in Irish waters.

About 50 demonstrators gathered outside Leinster House in Dublin on Monday.

The protest is the latest in a series of “direct action” demonstrations by the environmental group, which held a week-long campaign of “civil disobedience” in October.

Two of the demonstrators were dressed as mermaids with costumes made of seashells, recycled items and fishing nets while others dressed as fishermen.

Overfishing at current levels takes a terrible toll on fish populations, marine life and on the ocean’s ability to sequester carbon, and thus help slow down global warming Extinction Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion called on the Irish government to uphold the law and end over-fishing.

In a statement, the group said ending over-fishing by January 1 2020 is a legal requirement for members of the European Union.

“The European Council’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) was revised in 2013 to include a law to force member states to eliminate over-fishing by the start of next year.

“Yet, on the eve of this deadline, the Irish Government appears to have no plans to end business as usual when it comes to over-fishing.

“Overfishing at current levels takes a terrible toll on fish populations, marine life and on the ocean’s ability to sequester carbon, and thus help slow down global warming.

“Ireland has continuously been identified as among the worst nations for negotiating fish catches above scientific advice on sustainable limits.”

The group said inaction to ensure sustainable fishing levels to date has created a situation where significant cuts in fish quotas and even closure of fisheries must now be considered to meet the EU’s binding 2020 deadline to end overfishing.

Padraig Fogarty, campaign officer with the Irish Wildlife Trust, said: “We’re trying to highlight the dire state of the ocean and over-fishing is something that has taken an enormous toll on marine life over the last decade.

“We have a law now that states that it has to stop by the end of January and it does not look like we are anywhere near that deadline.

“What we’re saying today is – enough is enough. The Minister for Agriculture and the Marine Michael Creed has to uphold the law.

“Ireland has one of the worst records in the European Union for over-fishing.

“We have a climate and bio-diversity emergency so it is vital the Government starts treating these issues seriously and that we stop over-fishing and restore the health of the oceans.”

PA

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