Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Department of Agriculture, Marine and Food
Fishing Vessel Licences
Simon Coveney (Minister, Department of Agriculture, the Marine and Food; Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
Following on from my reply of 25th May 2011 in relation to this matter, I have again consulted the Registrar General of Fishing Boats, who is the Licensing Authority responsible for the licensing and registration of sea fishing boats and who acts independently in the exercise of his functions. The Registrar General has informed me that he has two pieces of correspondence from the person referred to in your question and has taken account of them in his examination of the matter. The first is a letter dated 7th February 2008 to the Registrar General referring to past contacts with officials in relation to an application that the writer had assisted with in the 1990s. The letter did not provide any information that enabled an application to be traced. The second was submitted to the Registrar General by the vessel ownerâ€™s solicitor in April 2009. This is a hand-written cover note which is dated 1 October 1999 accompanying a copy of a report of a survey of the boat carried out on 2 September 1999. The letter refers to an application under this scheme having been made â€œa good number of years agoâ€, but there are no other details that would assist in tracing an application or ongoing correspondence at the time.
The closing date for receipt of applications under the scheme was 17th February 1995, and the licensing and registration process for each vessel had to be completed by 16th March 2006. Other than those referred to above, no correspondence or other communication with any party has come to light in relation to this matter in the period between the launch of the scheme in March 1994 and September/October 1999, and between September/October 1999 and early 2008, despite extensive searches. The Registrar General further informs me that even if an application had been made before the closing date of February 1995, the licensing and registration process would have had to be completed by March 2006 when the Scheme closed in order for capacity to be awarded under the Scheme.
It is open to the vessel owner to apply to license and register the vessel under current licensing policy.