Thursday, 29 April 2021
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
Fishery Harbour Centres
I thank the Ceann Comhairle for selecting this Topical Issue matter and the Minister for taking it in person.
Post Brexit, the harbour in Dunmore East has been removed as a port for British and Northern Ireland-registered fishing vessels to land their catches. Since then, seven ports have been redesignated, six on the west coast and one, Howth, on the east coast, but Dunmore East is not one of them. In response to my colleague Deputy Mac Lochlainn, the Minister previously stated that other areas were not designated because of lower landing figures but that he would keep it under review and his ears would be open to challenge. I hope they are open to challenge during this debate.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn has also engaged with the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, SFPA, on this matter, which is the body that will be responsible for operating the landing measures. The SFPA advised Deputy Mac Lochlainn that no additional resources would be required by it to reintroduce the limited hours' landing schedule that was in place previously.
This is an easy fix. It requires the Minister's agreement and signing-off. It would be very beneficial to the economy of Dunmore East and I ask him to consider it as a matter of urgency.