Sinn Féín MEP Liadh Ní Riada has welcomed the approval of a series of amendments she proposed to the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).
The Ireland South MEP, who is acting as a negotiator and rapporteur on the EMFF, proposed a series of amendments designed to improve EU fisheries funding and protect coastal communities during a Budget Committee vote on the fund.
Ní Riada, who sits on both the Budgets Committee and the Fisheries Committee welcomed the support for her amendments, which she said will prove crucial when it comes to the future of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
“This vote comes at a critical juncture,” she said. “With many aspects of the Common Fisheries Policy currently being examined it is crucial we put protection for fisheries and coastal communities at the heart of that debate.
“These critical amendments will prove crucial when it comes to contributing to future, badly needed reform of both the CFP and EMFF.
“I am pleased that the majority of the amendments I put forward were accepted and the fact that support for them spanned across MEPs from all nationalities and political groups shows that they were sensible, practical proposals.
“I have always said that nobody is better placed to protect our oceans than our fishermen and our coastal communities, which is why before submitting my amendments I consulted with Irish fishermen and affiliated organisations, producers and local communities.
“Fishermen operate in an increasingly challenging environment, politically, professionally and bureaucratically. The widespread support for the amendments I made will act as a warning to the European Commission that their positions towards ordinary fishermen must change.
“Fisheries are vital to the livelihood and cultural heritage of our coastal communities and islands, in particular where small-scale coastal and inshore fishing play an important role.
“The resounding support for these amendments from the influential Budgets Committee means the EU can no longer pretend to be ignorant of that fact.”