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Liadh Ní Riada MEP calls for an effective ban on super trawlers in Irish territorial waters

22 June, 2016 - by Liadh Ní Riada MEP

Sinn Fein MEP Liadh Ní Riada has called for the Irish Government to implement an effective ban on super trawlers in Irish territorial waters. Speaking following a meeting with Minister Michael Creed, Liadh Ní Riada said:

“Super trawlers cause immense damage to our maritime environment and the sheer scale of their fishing operation is undermining our domestic fishing industry. These ships catch vast quantities of fish from our waters, which is processed and frozen on board, meaning that the Irish economy receives absolutely no return on our natural resources.

“Super trawlers are seldom if ever boarded and seem to be immune from any form of inspection, which stands in stark contrast to the treatment of Irish fishermen, who are subject to very regular oversight and who are routinely punished for even the slightest discrepancy in record keeping.

“I have asked the minister to implement an effective ban on super trawlers in Irish waters through the imposition of relentless monitoring of their fishing activities whilst in Irish waters.

“For years Irish fishermen have been harried and harangued by authorities, with their boats repeatedly boarded, their catches inspected again and again, or their gear detained. In many instances fishing boats have been detained and escorted to port, where they have been tied up for weeks awaiting a decision from the DPP. These actions over time have had the net effect of preventing Irish boats from fishing for days, weeks or months.

“If the Minister wants to protect fish stocks and give Irish fishermen a break, perhaps a good place to start would be to direct the SFPA to lay off Irish boats and to instead engage in very close monitoring and inspection of the super trawlers that have been destroying our fish stocks with impunity for years.”

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