Wednesday, 12 October 2005
Eamon Ryan (Dublin South, Green Party)
Prior to my election to this House, I spent my entire working life on the Donegal coast and I know exactly what the Minister of State is talking about and I appreciate the need for social development. However, it is in the interests of those people as much as those of everybody else that we follow scientific advice and protect the species for the long-term future of those people. While the Minister of State spoke of partnership, ultimately we live in a democratic Republic and certain decisions, as with this one on whether to continue drift-netting, must be made at a political level by the Minister of State. If he fails to make that decision nobody else will make it for him. We cannot put it off for another year which would result in exactly what the Minister of State has said. Three years ago we caught 200,000 fish and this year it will be 100,000. If the Minister of State continues as he has done, next year this could reduce to 50,000 which would finish off the stock forever.