The Russian military plans to carry out missile tests less than 300km from Cork’s coast.

Cork says no to Russian missiles

Fishermen based in Cork are preparing to stage a peaceful, yet potentially dangerous protest, against a Russian military exercise in Irish waters.

CEO of the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation in Castletownbere Patrick Murphy said the live gunnery and missile firing exercise, planned for the first week in February, could result in catastrophic environmental damage.

The exercise is set to take place approximately 240km off the Cork coast and coincides with reports that Russia is preparing to invade the Ukraine.

He said: “We believe the impact of military sonar and live missile launches has the potential to severely disrupt the annual migratory path and breeding season of fish like mackerel, tuna and blue whiting in the waters of our continental shelf whilst also causing untold damage to marine wildlife like whales and dolphins.”

Mr Murphy said it is his understanding that live fire exercises cannot take place if fishing vessels are engaged in fishing in the area.

He said: “We believe the seas around Ireland are our workplace and while it can be a dangerous and hostile environment to make a living from, we and our natural resources deserve the right to protection from unnecessary and dangerous actions by foreign powers.”