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Heritage fishing licences would arrest islands’ population decline - Martin Kenny TD

1 May, 2018 - by Martin Kenny TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture and the Marine Martin Kenny TD began the pre-legislative scrutiny of the Island Fisheries (Heritage Licences) Bill, 2017 with an opening statement to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Deputy Kenny said:

“The aim of the Bill is to arrest the decline in island populations where fishing has been a central pillar of the economy. 

“The objective is to allocate quota and to provide for the issuing of heritage licences to island fishermen to facilitate the continuance of traditional fishing practices on Ireland’s offshore islands.

“All over Europe small-scale fisheries are under threat and in some cases measures such as marine reserves with preferential rights for local fishers and non-transferable community quotas are being used to protect dwindling fishing communities.

“These communities are under threat from large industrial fleets, super trawlers, internal competition for quota within the EU and even, in some cases, recreational fishers.

“Sustainable fishing methods, such as the provision and introduction of heritage licences for small-scale island fishers, would be a significant support to these communities in the context of these threats and this is the context in which this Bill is proposed.”

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