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Flotilla of Irish fishing boats to assemble in Cork harbour to protest new EU regulations

A flotilla of Irish fishermen are set to descend on Cork port in protest of new EU regulations which have been dubbed “unmanageable”.

The protest, which is scheduled for 7 a.m. on Wednesday the 26th of May, will begin in the harbour and proceed up the river in what organisers call a “show and tell” event.

Reportedly, organisers coordinated with both port officials and Gardaí to minimise disruption to the harbour’s commercial traffic.

“The fishing industry is a vital part of our coastal economy and we need our communities to show their support by attending the public address on the quays in Cork City and 12:00 midday,” organisers said in a statement, adding that “Our future is your future.”

Speaking in a Facebook post, Wexford Aontú Councillor Jim Codd expressed his support for the event.

“I fully support the fishermen and the flotilla of boats that will sail to Cork City on Wednesday to highlight the huge strain on the industry at the moment,” he said.

“Fishing communities like Kilmore Quay are on the brink of utter destruction due to unmanageable new EU regulations. These new measures which will require fishermen to unpack and weigh their catch on the Quay before repacking and re-icing the load and transporting it two hundred yards up the road to the factory are just the latest attempts to erode away our fishing communities.

“Our trawler crews working in the most dangerous of jobs now see a box of Whelks, which was fetching €100, now only getting €55-€60 while Lobster pots have risen from €50 to €80.

“Diesel has gone from 30 cent to 54 cent per litre in the course of the last year. A box of haddock is getting £100 in Peterhead across the water. Fishermen here are lucky to get €20 a box with prices falling to €12 a box last week.

“Things have gone so bad that they are using the haddock in the Lobster pots now. Prices go up while wages drop creating an unsustainable situation.”

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