Irish Fishing Boats Plan To Thwart Russian Military Exercises Off Ireland
IRELAND - Angered by Russian military live fire exercises being announced off the coast of Ireland, Irish fishing boat captains say that they plan to thwart the Russian military by maintaining a presence in the area that they will be carrying out the drills.
The military drills, which will be taking place 240 kilometers, or roughly 149 miles off of the coast of Ireland will include live fire missile exercises which the fishermen fear will cause seismic shocks may alter the migration pattern of tuna for years to come, as well as other marine life in the fishing region.
Patrick Murphy, chief executive of the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organization stated, "This is the livelihoods of fishermen and fishing families all around the coastline here. It’s our waters. Can you imagine if the Russians were applying to go onto the mainland of Ireland to go launching rockets, how far would they get with that?"
"We want to act. We’re not going to face down boats, we’re not going to take them on that way, but we are definitely making a point here and we want our government to do something for us" Murphy stated.
Murphy reportedly informed POLITICO about the intentions of the fisherman. "Our boats will be going out to that area on the first of February to go fishing".
"If that is in proximity to where the [military] exercise is going, we are expecting that the Russian naval services abide by the anti-collision regulations.” The Irish fishing industry has taken “as much as it can possibly take" he stated.
The Irish Foreign Ministry had said on Monday that Russia's plans for drills in the region is 'not welcome'. Although the drills will be taking place in international waters, the Russian ships will still be within Ireland's exclusive economic zone.