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Driftnet ban would have a devastating effect on our fishing communities - Ní Riada

23 September, 2014 - by Liadh Ní Riada MEP

Liadh Ní Riada, MEP for Ireland South raised her concerns regarding the proposed ban on driftnet fishing during a fisheries committee meeting today in Brussels.

This proposal from the European Commission would mean that a full prohibition to take on board or use any kind of driftnets would be introduced as of 1 January 2015 in all EU waters and by all EU vessels.

Speaking after the meeting Ní Riada said:

"I find this proposal to be extremely worrying for a number of reasons. First of all, the Commission´s impact assessment reporting on this issue is poor and lacks any sort of in-depth analysis of the socio-economic and cultural impacts of the proposal. Secondly, there is a level of ambiguity associated with what exactly defines a drift net.

"Whilst I agree that there is a need to protect potential unauthorized catches, I do not believe that this EU wide ban is appropriate. This proposal pays little heed to the uniqueness of each country or indeed region´s fishing practices and in fact claims that such factors are ´irrelevant´.

"This is simply not acceptable and it is clear that they do not understand the detrimental effect that this ban would have on our fishing communities who rely on this method of fishing. If this prohibition were to be implemented it would be a further nail in the coffin to those within the fishing industries which is an industry that is already over regulated.

"The Commission need to take these factors into consideration instead of implementing a blanket wide ban on driftnets and this is something I intend to pursue with them."

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