Fishermen condemn proposal to scrap BIM
Bord Snip Nua's proposals to abolish An Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), "totally inappropriate" says fisherman's group
14 August 2009
Offshore fishermen and fish farmers have condemned the McCarthy report’s proposals to abolish An Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) as “totally inappropriate.” The Federation of Irish fishermen (FIF) has said the proposed closure of BIM and “essential” BIM ice network in fishing ports, is underpinned by “no rational basis or analysis.”
Ireland’s seafood sector currently employs 11,000 people in coastal communities and had total seafood sales of €731 million in 2008. FIF chairman Seán O’Donoghue said the group therefore strongly disagreed with the proposal to subsume BIM into the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (DAFF), as “there is no evidence” it would prove an effective development body.
The Irish Farmers Association Aquaculture division (IFA Aquaculture) also acknowledged an “overhaul of services and supports for the fish farming, fishing and processing sectors was long overdue.” However, it stated the McCarthy report had “conveniently overlooked glaring inefficiencies and blockages to job creation and export development.”
The FIF added however: “Government spending on the sector cannot be immune to the current crisis in the public finances,” but said An Bord Snip Nua’s contribution was “only one input into what will need to be a considerably more informed and nuanced approach.”