MEMBERSHIP OF THE EU HAS BEEN GOOD FOR IRELANDS FISHING INDUSTRY
Some campaigner’s for a No vote to Lisbon refer to Irelands fishing industry and suggest that without EU membership we would be a wonderfully rich country from our fishing industry. This is simply incorrect.
1. Since our membership of the EU, the value of fish caught by Irish boats has increased 5 fold. Irish boats have also increased their catch of fish in foreign waters by a factor of four. 78% of Irish fish exports go to the EU and this explains the huge increase in Irish fish catches, basically the EU provides a tariff free market for Irish fish. Therefore no Irish fishing industry would exist (on the scale it does) because we couldn't compete.
2. Irish waters are not that fertile or large. The best fishing grounds are the UK's and Denmark. This is easily explained as the North Sea is shallow and is rich in nutrients and can therefore support more fish. Only 8% of fish caught in the EU waters is caught in Irish waters which are generally deeper and poorer in fish stocks.
3. Since we joined the EU foreign boats took €8.5 billion Euros worth of Irish fish. I am not sure what value of fish Irish boats has taken from foreign waters. Against this the EU has pumped money into the Irish fishing industry in the form of new boats, grants, harbors, fishery protection aircraft, sewage treatment plants (to protect water quality and therefore fish stocks) etc, etc. Also the EU has transferred €90 Billion to Ireland in other ways.
I could go on and on but basically there is no argument, Ireland hasn't given up much in letting other boats fish in Irish waters (in fact we can fish in theirs) compared to what we have gained. ‘No voters’, who talk of Ireland losing €200 billion in our fishing industry would therefore seem to have the same I.Q. as fish and should be ignored.
NB. The EU supports every worker in the Irish fishing industry to the tune of €6,000.
All figure quoted from Inshore Ireland magazine.