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Ferris Questions EU Regulations on Foreign Vessels

13 February, 2008

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Fisheries Martin Ferris TD has today questioned the extent of controls that are in place with regard to illegal fishing and fishing by non EU vessels within Irish waters. Deputy Ferris was speaking at a meeting of the Committee on Agriculture and Fisheries which discussed a proposal for a new EU Regulation authorising fishing by non EU fleets within EU waters.

Deputy Ferris said:

"While any improvement to the current regulation of fishing within our waters must be welcomed, Irish fishermen will await to see whether any practical benefit ensures. As things stands there seems to be no official information on the scale of fishing in Irish waters carried out both by non EU fleets, including Japanese tuna boats, and illegally by vessels from other EU states.

"I have raised this on a number of occasion but most recently Dáil questions on anything to do with these topics are referred to the Protection Authority for whom the Minister claims she has no responsibility. Even though it is the body established by the state to deal with such matters. Irish fishermen have long called for a revision of the regulations governing the Irish fisheries in order to reduce the scale of the take by non Irish vessels and to improve both the Irish quota and stock management. It would seem, however, that these are way down the list of priorities for Brussels." ENDS

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