Fisherfolk in Kilkeel, Co Down, have had to fight inclement weather on the seas for weeks, along with the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. Unlike their counterparts in Britain, however, they are not being buffeted by the consequences of Brexit.
“For the fishermen on the quayside, their main issue has been the weather. If it blows an easterly gale, the guys can’t get to sea. Then, it’s Covid, which has had a significant impact on seafood markets around the world,” says Alan McCulla, who leads local collective SeaSource.
“Then, in third place, comes Brexit,” he goes on, adding that he booked space on ferries leaving Rosslare for Dunkirk in December, thus avoiding some of the problems faced by exporters who have used the “land bridge” to the Continent, in other words routed through Britain.
“The traditional route has been to send it across from Belfast or Larne to Cairnryan, then down to Dover and across to France, ” McCulla says. Now, his langoustines and oysters travel through the Republic, avoiding checks, delays and paperwork.
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