Written answers

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Fisheries Protection

Photo of Clare DalyClare Daly (Dublin North, United Left)
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95. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine to detail the number of reports or communications his Department has received from any source relating to alleged unlawful landings of quota controlled demersal stocks of commercial fish for each of the years 2010 to 2014 inclusive; and the action taken in respect of each allegation. [1913/15]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Minister, Department of Agriculture, the Marine and Food; Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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All matters relating to the operational enforcement of sea fisheries law are, by Statute, matters appropriate to the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA). The SFPA is the independent law enforcement agency of the State for sea fisheries law. From time to time I receive allegations or such allegations are sent to the Department in relation to illegal fishing activity. In every instance, these allegations are sent to either the SFPA and/or An Garda Síochána, as appropriate, for investigation. In 2014 I received letters relating to allegations of illegal fishing from three persons. I arranged to have all three letters referred to an Garda Síochána and to the Chair of the SFPA and asked that an Garda Síochána examine all matters set down in the letters  as appropriate and asked that the SFPA work, as appropriate, in conjunction with an Garda Síochána in this examination.

As Minister, I do not have a role in operational matters in relation to sea fisheries control under the Sea Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act, 2006. In the event that policy issues arise in respect of this examination or any other such instance, I expect to receive a report in accordance with Section 43.1(e) of the Sea Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act, 2006 and in relation to any corporate governance issues that may arise.

Photo of Clare DalyClare Daly (Dublin North, United Left)
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96. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if any discussions or communications, formal or informal, have taken place between his Department, the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, the Marine Institute or Bord Iascaigh Mhara in respect of allegations of unlawful landings of quota controlled demersal stocks of commercial sea fish. [1914/15]

Photo of Clare DalyClare Daly (Dublin North, United Left)
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97. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his Department issued any instruction or advice, formal or informal, to the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority in respect of alleged unlawful landings or quota controlled demersal stocks of commercial sea fish. [1915/15]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Minister, Department of Agriculture, the Marine and Food; Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 96 and 97 together.

All matters relating to the operational enforcement of sea fisheries law are, by Statute, matters appropriate to the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA). The SFPA is the independent law enforcement agency of the State for sea fisheries law. In the normal course, the SFPA do not report or discuss specific allegations of unlawful fishing or landings with me or my Department formally or informally. Neither I, nor my Department instruct the SFPA in relation to operational matters of fisheries control. The Marine Institute and BIM have no role in fisheries control.

From time to time I receive allegations or such allegations are sent to the Department in relation to illegal fishing activity. In every instance, these allegations are sent to either the SFPA and/or An Garda Síochána, as appropriate, for investigation.

As Minister, I do not have a role in operational matters in relation to sea fisheries control under the Sea Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act, 2006. In the event that policy issues arise in respect of this examination or any other such instance, I expect to receive a report in accordance with Section 43.1(e) of the Sea Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act, 2006 and in relation to any corporate governance issues that may arise.

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