Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has called for the introduction of a ‘Single Boat Payment’ system for fishermen akin to the Single Farm Payment received by farmers.
She said: “It has been recognised at EU level that our farmers need subsidised support due to the nature of their business and its importance to feeding our citizens.
“This recognition should similarly be extended to fishermen who regularly risk their lives to ensure fish is an available food source for families.”
She said she believed small fleets were being left to decline whilst larger fleets on the continent prospered.
“Ireland is an island nation and our fishing industry is vital to us and requires support.
“Therefore I believe that a regular subsidised payment similar to that given to farmers would give the industry sufficient resources to see them through the hard times such as now when the weather is affecting our fleet’s ability to put to sea,” she said.