Thursday, 29 April 2021
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
Fishery Harbour Centres
I corresponded with the Minister as far back as 19 January and I have raised it with him personally since then. The decision made by his Department to designate five additional ports for Britain and Northern Ireland-registered vessel landings for both illegal, unregulated and unreported, or IUU, and North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission, NEAFC, purposes, while omitting Dunmore East, means that, in effect, there is no designated port to serve UK-registered boats anywhere between Castletownbere and Howth, as my colleagues have pointed out, leaving the entire south-east coast unserved. This has an impact not only on the port of Dunmore East and the fish processing services that rely on the port but also on the fishers through higher operating costs and carbon emissions, as Deputy Shanahan mentioned. Furthermore, I worry about the risk to the safety of ship crews, who may choose in the event of bad weather to make for a port where they can land their catch over the nearest safe harbour. In conjunction with my colleagues, I ask the Minister to find a resolution to this issue, if possible.