Tuesday, 3 July 2018
Order of Business
On page 119 of the programme for Government, under the heading "Seafood and the Marine", the Government states it is committed to the development of the inshore fisheries sector. Hundreds of people attended a peaceful protest in Bantry last Sunday to do all they can to stop mechanical harvesting of 1,860 acres of kelp off the stunning Bantry Bay. BioAtlantis wrote to the Department last week stating it is to commence mechanical harvesting tomorrow, Wednesday, 4 July. Does the Tánaiste realise this will be devastating for the environment, the local tourism industry and the livelihoods of up to 50 inshore fishermen, none of whom received notification in the past week that mechanical harvesting of 1,860 acres was due to take place in their waters? In Article 12.2 of the licence granted in 2009, the Minister - in this case, the Minister of State, Deputy Damien English - can revoke this licence without cost to the State. Will the Tánaiste work with the Minister of State to have this licence revoked before irreparable damage is done to the waters off Bantry Bay?