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Ferris welcomes indication of possible change to fisheries sanctions

1 May, 2008

Sinn Féin Fisheries Spokesperson, Martin Ferris TD has welcomed an indication by Minister John Browne that there may be a move away from criminal sanctions in cases related to alleged illegal fishing.

The Kerry North TD was speaking following an adjournment debate in the Dáil. The Minister stated that the EU Commission was likely to move towards harmonised sanctions and that this would have significant implications for the recently introduced system being applied here under 2007 legislation.

Deputy Ferris said: "The Government has given a number of signals recently that it is taking on board the massive unease felt among the fishing community regarding what they regard as the criminalisation of Irish fishermen under the new legislation. I contrasted this to the perception that little is being done to tackle illegal fishing on a large scale by non Irish vessels.

"Minister Browne's statement is to be welcomed and I would urge that the Government act immediately and amend the legislation rather than waiting for any decree from Brussels." ENDS

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