Thursday, 15 July 2021
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
21. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a new control plan has yet been submitted to the EU that would allow fish to be weighed at the factory rather than the quayside; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37164/21]
As the Deputy will be aware, the strict legal position in relation to the revocation of Ireland’s control plan is that the monitoring and control of fishing vessels within Ireland’s Exclusive Fisheries Zone are matters for the Irish control authorities. Under the Sea Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act, 2006, all operational issues of this nature are exclusively for the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) and the Naval Service. I am expressly precluded from getting involved in operational matters such as this.
In the context of an Administrative Inquiry conducted under Article 102(2) of the 2009 EU Fisheries Control Regulation, Ireland was notified in April 2021 of a Commission Implementing Decision revoking the approval of the Irish control plan submitted for the weighing of fishery products.
The SFPA has advised me that following a public consultation on a revised Control Plan for submission to the EU Commission, the Authority has decided that the plan will cover all landings, including bulk pelagic landings. The Authority advise that it is prioritising the development of this revised plan to ensure that it addresses the specific risks that have already been identified and led to the Commission’s decision to revoke the previous plan and provides enhanced controls in that regard. The SFPA has advised that this work is likely to take a number of months before a submission is made to the Commission.