Trawler owners from the southwest, south and southeast of the country held a protest in Cork Harbour, demanding a reversal of quota cuts and a renegotiation of the EU Common Fisheries Policy in Ireland's favour.

A flotilla of up to 50 trawlers steamed in single file from Roches Point, at the mouth of the harbour, to the docks in Cork city centre for a rally.

Afterwards, 15 skippers and crew members marched to the office of Taoiseach Micheál Martin in the city to hand in a list of their demands.

The Irish fishing industry is worth over €1 billion to the economy and is critical to the sustainability of coastal communities, with 16,000 local people employed in fishing and processing.

But industry representative groups claim a combination of measures, from quota cuts to Brexit to the EU's policing of the industry, are strangling the ability of trawler operators to earn a living from the sea.

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Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue said he fully recognises the "challenges and pain" fishermen are facing in the short term and is committed to working "hand in hand" with them to overcome it.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he said it is important to recognise that fisheries have been most affected by Brexit and the outcome of the trade and co-operation agreement, which, he said, will see a 15% impact on the national quota between now and 2026.

The minister said he has established a task force to bring all voices in the sector together to mitigate against this impact.