Fish and chips fans face urgent warning with nation’s beloved dish under threat unless major action taken now
- 19:27, 5 Jul 2022
- Updated: 19:47, 5 Jul 2022
IRISH chippers have called on the Government to step up to the plate – as they’re been codswalloped by rising fish prices.
Leo Patmami, who owns Presto chipper in Beggars Bush, Dublin, says he’s been left with no choice but to push up the price of a fish and chips supper as cod prices have doubled.
This weekend, he will raise the price of his fish and chips by 10 per cent as fishermen say that rising fuel costs are stopping them going to sea.
He said: “Fish prices have gone crazy, it’s now double the price. I have a good supplier so I can still get it, but this weekend, I will have to put up the price which I haven’t done in a long time.
- “At the moment for fish and chips, it’s €10 but this weekend I have to go up to €11.
“It’s expensive, but the price of fish has literally gone crazy.
“I hate to do it because I have always been very reasonable but unfortunately it’s very hard with the way the prices are at the moment.”
The 60-year-old, originally from Italy, said the government have to step in to help Irish fishermen who say they need urgent supports to allow them to continue to fish.
He said: “They have to do something to help, it’s getting crazy.”
Leo’s demand comes as fishing industry workers say boats are struggling to go out to sea, due to rising fuel costs.
But the crisis could be avoided if the government fork over funds that are ‘owed’ to the industry.
Last month, the EU agreed to allow member states to use whatever is left of their EU Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) 2014-20 allocation to cover up to 30 per cent of fuel rises since Russia invaded Ukraine.
Unlike French and Spanish governments, the Irish government has not allocated the funds.
According to the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation, the sum of money available is around €6million.
So industry workers are calling on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, to grant access to the vital funds to offset rising fuel prices.
Speaking to Patricia Messinger on C103’s Cork Today Show, Patrick Murphy from the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation said the industry is facing the ‘perfect storm’ of circumstances that must be addressed urgently.
He said: “We were told there is €6million there that hasn’t been spent, and that’s the money we’re looking for.
“The EU have given the ability to draw down on this money and if it isn’t spent, it goes back to them. We need it to be allocated so boats can keep fishing.
“For fisherman to go to sea, his expenses are huge and what we’re trying to do is get this aid to reduce that cost to allow them to go to sea, because if he doesn’t go to sea, he’s in quicksand. He doesn’t earn anything and if the crew leaves, they go and it’s very hard to get them back.”
Patrick says fuel prices have skyrocketed for the fishing industry from 30c per litre to €1.20 per litre in recent months.
So the supply of Irish-caught fish will dwindle quickly if boats can’t go out to sea.
He said: “We’re going to expire as an industry if the minister doesn’t act now. We’re not saying this without a credible argument, fuel is the biggest expense of going to sea and there just isn’t enough fish to cover the expenses.
“Lads are going out hoping the prices will be better when they come in.
“We’re in danger of losing fish from the Irish side, the Irish boats won’t be supplying it because they won’t be fishing and that’s the truth. And the public is going to pay for that.”