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Irish fishermen deserve equality of treatment – Ferris

20 May, 2015 - by Martin Ferris TD

Sinn Féin Agriculture spokesperson, Martin Ferris TD, has spoken out against the unfair treatment of Irish fishermen, following the detention order for the Atlantic Fisher vessel. The Atlantic Fisher, an Irish owned boat, received much greater scrutiny than French Spanish fishing vessels which were on Dingle port at the same time.

Deputy Ferris said;

“Atlantic Fisher’s skipper, Mr John O Connor, was landing his fish at Dingle port alongside three French Spanish vessels. On inspection, the SFPA inspectors claimed they had a query regarding the logbook of the Atlantic Fisher, resulting in the Mr O’ Connor being brought before the court in Killarney and being released on a bond of €45,000.  

“The inspection was carried out on the Atlantic Fisher, because he was landing his fish locally. I have been reliably informed that that this inspection was far more forensic than that which has been carried out on the French Spanish vessels.

“The Atlantic Fisher was supplying a local fish processing plant. It also gives employment to 20 people. The French Spanish vessels’ catch was going directly into lorries for export, out of the country, creating no employment locally.

“The policy of this government is to criminalise Irish fishermen; decent, hardworking people, who try to work for a living for themselves, their families and their communities.

“The government’s failure to get an adequate quote for Irish fishermen is further evidence of their ineptitude.

“I will be raising this with the Minister and raising it when the Dáil sits Tuesday next.

“Irish fishermen deserve equality of treatment and not the continuation of being the whipping boy of the Department and the AFPA.”

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