Wednesday, 13 March 2019
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
Peter Fitzpatrick (Louth, Independent)
Irish fishing vessels cannot fish within 12 miles of the Isle of Man and are excluded from fishing inside the six-mile exclusion zone around the entire British coast but the Minister wants to allow UK vessels access to Ireland's six-mile fisheries exclusion zone. This is unacceptable to the Irish fishing industry.
The Minister also stated that all Irish-registered fishing vessels of 18 m and over will be excluded from fishing inside Ireland's six-mile fishery limit from 2021 onwards, yet the Government is attempting to fast-track legislation that will allow vessels from Northern Ireland to fish inside Ireland's six-mile fishery zone. The UK has already stated that it is leaving the London fisheries convention, severing the existing arrangements which allow for access to inshore waters between neighbouring member states. Irish fishing organisations and fishermen are totally frustrated. It is hoped that the Bill is at least delayed until the outcome of the Brexit negotiations is known, and there is time for proper consultation with stakeholders.