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Fishermen should be compensated as well

I AM writing to highlight the perilous state of the Northern Ireland fishing industry and the lack of media coverage and public ignorance concerning it.

I have been a fisherman since 1984, when I left school, aged 15, to go to sea with my father.

It has been a hard life, but rewarding – until the past decade, when we were forced to tie up for 11 weeks every year with no pay and employ various technical conservation measures costing thousands of pounds at the whim of scientists, without any consultation with fishermen.

Our so-called 'leaders' do nothing except tell us how good a deal we get each year from the EMU. But the fact is our days at sea are cut each year, as well as our quota.

The past nine months have been the worst spell of bad weather in living memory and the boats have had little, or no, income since September 2012.

While people may say that's par for the course with fishing (and usually I would be the first to agree), we cannot sit back and watch as the farming industry get payout after payout from the Government for two weeks of snow, but we get nothing.

Everyone agrees that farmers work hard and earn their pay, but what about our fishermen?

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Where does all the EMU funding go? Fishermen never see a penny of it.


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