Dáil debates

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Ceisteanna - Questions - Priority Questions

Fishing Industry

9:50 am

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

We try to have ongoing consultation between the Department, the Minister and the industry. It would be very difficult to do this with individual vessel owners because there are so many competing interests in the fishing industry. This is why it is always very difficult to manage politically. If something is given to one boat another boat will lose because this is a finite resource. The gross tonnage and engine power kilowatt figures are as they are for our entire fleet. For many years as part of the Common Fisheries Policy countries have been required to stay within these limits, so the capacity of their fleet to catch fish does not increase and their quota is limited on an annual basis. The Commission's fear is if boat owners state they will not catch any more fish but want to put in a more powerful engine to make the boat safer it would create increased power capacity to tow larger nets which would create the capacity to catch more fish which is a concern for the Commission. It is trying to insist we match the catching capacity from a power, size and tonnage point of view with the appropriate amount of fish a country should be catching for sustainable catches. The case has been made to me by many owners that if they must steam for long distances this has implications for safety.


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