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Ferris Welcomes Review of Fishing Legislation

9 April, 2008

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Fishing, Martin Ferris TD has welcomed an announcement by the Taoiseach that the punitive measures introduced against fishermen in the Sea Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act are under review. Mr. Ahern was replying to a question from Sinn Féin leader Caoimhghin O Caolain in the Dáil yesterday afternoon.

In response to the Cavan Monaghan TD's reference to widespread unease within the fishing community over the measures, the Taoiseach said that while the legislation remained in effect, that "there is an internal examination by the Minister of the administrative sanctions."

Deputy Ferris said, "I welcome the statement by the Taoiseach and hope that any review will lead to the lifting of the measures contained in the Act which amount to the criminalisation of Irish fishermen. It is unfortunate however, that it has taken the Department almost two years to come to consider administrative sanctions as was proposed unanimously by the Dáil Committee in 2006. Had the Government taken into consideration that proposal, amendments tabled by myself and others and the broad criticism and recommendations of the committee and the fishing organisations at that time then we would not have the problems which now exist." ENDS

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