Dáil debates

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Ceisteanna - Questions - Priority Questions

Fishing Industry

9:50 am

Photo of Thomas PringleThomas Pringle (Donegal South West, Independent) | Oireachtas source

I know there is a trade-off and a balance must be struck, but this proposal would not increase capacity because capacity is already there with regard to tonnage and kilowatts in the national fleet. It is a question of how it is used to maximise quality and safety at sea. The Minister has placed much emphasis on safety, and rightly so, but this could and would improve safety for those fishermen already fishing, who have a quota and are not looking to increase it through this measure. I understand the Commission is concerned that a more powerful engine might lead to demand for an additional quota, but everybody knows it will not be available. This is about boats being able to catch and land good quality fish to maximise their income. With a finite quota it is vital for the sustainability of their businesses that they can maximise their income. There have been instances where boats, because of their size and the weather conditions this year, have only recently completed their mackerel quota. The weather did not allow them to get out when the fish were right beside them. They had to steam further to get them. These issues could be addressed with balance, improving safety and earnings without impacting on quota or capacity of the overall fleet.


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