Sinn Féin spokesman on fisheries, Martin Ferris TD, has called on Minister Simon Coveney to ensure that the Naval Service is very vigilant of a Lithuanian-registered super trawler, the Margiris, which is off the west coast.
Deputy Ferris said:
“I am gravely concerned at the news that the Fisheries Protection Authority has confirmed that this ship, which was previously banned from Australian waters, is off our coast.
“The Irish Naval Service has seen the vessel’s log and confirmed that it has a 5,000 tonne quota for blue whiting.
“However, this is the second biggest fishing vessel in the world and now it is registered in Lithuania so it can fish in European waters. This begs the question if the Lithuanian flag is a flag of convenience.
“Irish fishermen and women are constantly monitored by the Naval Service to ensure that they are not fishing over quota or for fish for which they do not have a quota.
“I hope that the same vigilance will be employed on this super trawler for as long as it remains in Irish waters and that a physical inspection of its catch will take place.”