Tuesday, 11 June 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
Michael Collins (Cork South West, Independent)
On 3 April I raised serious concerns on the Sea Fisheries (Amendment) Bill with the Taoiseach. I felt it was being rushed through the Dáil without any pre-legislative scrutiny. I pleaded that we would have more time to weigh up all concerns but Fine Gael, joined by Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin, voted to hand over our fishermen's rights in the zone up to six nautical miles off our coastline. Only weeks later, we have found out that the Tánaiste, Deputy Coveney, and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, Deputy Creed, have both received a formal letter from the Scottish Government stating that it will ban any Irish vessels fishing within 12 miles of Rockall. Irish fishing vessels have operated unhindered in the Rockall zone for many decades, fishing haddock, squid, and other species. The actions of the Scottish Government to protect what it regards as its own waters will have a detrimental effect on the livelihoods of many Irish fishermen. Will the Taoiseach intervene and achieve an urgent solution to this worrying crisis?