Ferris raises super-trawler ‘pillage’ off Donegal coast
Deputy Martin Ferris, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on the Marine, today moved two motions at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine regarding the super-trawlers fishing in Irish waters.
Deputy Ferris said:
“At the moment there are reports of 12 pelagic factory boats fishing off Donegal. Up to 70% of their catch is being discarded, according to reports on Dutch television. They are freezing the prime fish only.
“One of those vessels, the Margiris is the second largest trawler in the world and is banned from Australian waters after protests by the Australian government, fishing representatives and environmental groups.
“Stood on its end, this vessel would be higher than Ireland’s tallest building and its net would cover a football field.
“It is not acceptable that these super trawlers can come and plunder Irish fish stocks while Irish fisherman are being denied adequate quota and are watching from the shore as their livelihoods disappear into the nets of these huge vessels.
“This issue is well-known to the EU Commission, the Irish fishery authorities and to Minister Simon Coveney but nothing is being done to stand up for the Irish fishing industry and to protect it against this pillage.
“Minister Coveney will be going over to Brussels to negotiate fishing quotas soon. I hope he does not come back telling us that he has done well by accepting cuts to our quotas, while crowing that it could have been worse.
“It is not just the fishing community is angry about this, the Irish people resent the way these Dutch boats can come and take what they like from our waters while the government watches our own industry shrink and sits on its hands and does nothing.”