Sinn Féin Seanad Spokesperson on the Marine, Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has welcomed the decision of the Seanad not to facilitate the full passage of the controversial Sea Fisheries (Amendment) Bill today but instead to to compel the Minister for the Marine, Michael Creed to engage in meaningful consultation with fishermen around the coast and to genuinely attempt to address their concerns.
The Donegal Senator said:
“The Government have parked this controversial legislation for two years now and in that time, they have failed to consult with the range of fishing organisations around our coast or to attempt to address their concerns.
“The Minister must respect the opinions and real concerns of our fishing communities.
“These concerns are that this legislation will give a legal footing for companies from anywhere to fish inside Ireland’s six mile limit and it will give a legal footing for multi-national corporations to come in and plunder Ireland’s natural resources such as our our mussel fishery as they have been allowed to do in the past.
“They are also concerned that the British Government may be about to withdraw from the London Fisheries Convention and the Common Fisheries Policy so they ask why are the Irish Government proposing to open up the precious fisheries within our six mile limit without reciprocal legal reassurances and actions by the British Government?
“Sinn Féin absolutely supports legislation that opens up all waters within the six mile limit around the Irish coast to all of our Irish inshore fishermen, but there must be a level playing pitch across the island and our fisheries must be managed responsibly and fairly.”