Ó Domhnaill Calls on Coveney to Take Action on Dutch Super-trawler presence off the West Coast

Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperon on Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Brian Ó Domhnaill has called on the Minister for  Marine, Simon Coveney to instruct the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority to begin on-board monitoring of the Dutch owned FV Margiris fishing vessel, currently fishing off the West Coast.

Speaking today the Senator said; “It is a major cause of concern that the World’s largest super-trawler continues to fish off the West Coast while the Authorities and the Minister stands idly by. We are not sure if this vessel, up to 144 metres long, using trawler nets of up to 600 metres long is engaged in legitimate fishing activities or not.”

“It is worth noting that this vessel has been expelled from Australian waters under pressure from environmental and fishing industry groups. The Margiris can process up to 250 tonnes of fish per day and can store over 6000 tonnes of frozen fish. That means the vessel can fish for months on end without coming into Port.”

“I am calling on the Marine Minister to take proactive steps to monitor the activities of this super-trawler. I believe that Sea Fisheries Protection Officers should be sent to spend time on board the vessel as observers.”

“The Naval Service cannot possibly tell what is inside a ship like this when it is freezing fish on board. Therefore, if the owners have nothing to hide and are abiding by the rules then they should have no issue with facilitating SFPA observers.”

“Vessels such as the F.V. Margiris cannot be left to their own devices. These vessels use sophisticated technology and few crew members, while taking the majority of the available fish.”

“Within Europe, small-scale fishermen have only been allocated 20% of the fishing opportunities despite the fact that they represent 80% of all fishermen in Europe. Large factory style fishing vessels like the Margiris are hoovering up large volumes of fish and I firmly believe that this is wrong.”

Posted: Mar 13, 2014     |     Categories: Uncategorized