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Ní Riada welcomes Fisheries Committee support for her Seafarers Report

24 February, 2015 - by Liadh Ní Riada MEP

Speaking in Brussels today Liadh Ní Riada welcomed the huge support for her report on the proposed Seafarers Directive. The Sinn Féin MEP had been chosen by the Fisheries Committee to author a report on the proposed EU legislation. The Committee today adopted her opinion report by a large majority.

Liadh Ní Riada said:

“The proposed Seafarers Directive seeks to bring rights and protection for those who work at sea into line with those enjoyed by other workers in Europe. I welcome the move to create a true level playing field for those who work the sea, and I believe that seafarers should be afforded all the same rights as shore based employees in terms of equal pay for equal work, irrespective of nationality or place of work.

“I have stressed in my report that the ‘one size fits all’ approach to regulation does not work, and cannot be applied in this case. This proposed directive needs to take into account the realities of the sea fisheries sector in Ireland. A small fishing boat cannot be treated the same as a container ship or tanker, and I welcome the exclusion of micro-enterprises from the directive.

“Small and family-run enterprises may require additional support to adapt to changing regulations, and upgrading of on-board technology for smaller boats might be necessary to fulfill new guidelines. My report calls on the Commission to facilitate this. Funding needs to be made available for small fishing boats.

“Irish fishermen have long been the victims of regulation. It was important to me that the Fisheries Committee should have its say on this proposed EU legislation and that as Ireland’s only MEP on that committee, that I should author the report.

“I gave a commitment to stand up for Ireland in Europe, and to stand up for our rural and coastal communities. I will continue to work on behalf of fishermen and their families, and the Sinn Féin team in Brussels will continue to put Ireland first.”

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