Cormac Burke is chair of the newly formed IFSA Photo: IFSACormac Burke is chair of the newly formed IFSA Photo: IFSA

A new organisation has been formed to represent the needs of Irish fishing and coastal communities following the ‘catastrophic’ effect of Brexit.

With the motto of ‘your voice in our industry’ the Irish Fishing and Seafood Alliance is a self-funding, non-profit, non-partisan organisation which aims to be the spokesman for all individuals, vessels, fish companies, retailers and ancillary service companies involved in the industry nationwide.

Taking the helm as chair is ex-fisherman and editor of The Irish Skipper, Fishing News, and Fishing News International, Cormac Burke. He is also managing director of consultancy and PR firm, FishComm.

The UK’s exit from the EU has wreaked havoc across the fishing and seafood industries, reducing access to markets and threatening livelihoods. “The spiral of decline in our traditional fishing ports will be greatly accelerated if our government is not prepared to support the decent people that are proud to be part of our industry,” said Mr Cormac. “This latest challenge is catastrophic.

“We cannot countenance a situation whereby vessels tie up, companies close down and once-thriving coastal towns and villages will face economic collapse.

“Many people in the seafood and fishing sectors believe that the only hope for progress is to unite the industry – a tough task given the challenges of existing regional representation and political restraints on many of the current representative groups – but hopefully IFSA can now be that unrestricted voice that the industry so badly needs,” he added.

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