The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine was this afternoon told that a new points system for serious fishing infringements would be administered in a proportionate and commonsense manner.
11 March 2014
Representatives from the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority were before the Committee to discuss a new points system for those found in breach of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in Irish waters. Authority Chair Susan Steele was accompanied by fellow Members Michéal O’Mahony and Andrew Kinneen in outlining Statutory Instrument No. 3 of 2014 – European Union (Common Fisheries Policy) (Point System) Regulations 2014.
The Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) is responsible the establishment of the new system and the assignment of points for serious infringements.
Committee Chairman Andrew Doyle TD says: “The Committee received a full, frank and knowledgeable insight into how the new regulations will be enforced from SFPA Members this afternoon. This is a significant Statutory Instrument, with considerable implications for the Irish fishing fleet.Members emphasised the imperative that the points system, a requirement under European legislation, must be implemented in an even-handed manner across the European Union. The Committee was told that the Authority fully understands the difficult few months that fishing communities have faced in recent months and appreciates the need to apply sanctions to those in breach of the CFP regulations in a proportionate manner.
“While the past relationship between the Authority and fishermen had been sometimes fraught, it was acknowledged that considerable progress had been made in overcoming these challenges. The Committee was told that the SFPA’s compliance strategy was based around education and communication, with on-going dialogue with the sector a core part of this work. With another points system – for more minor offences - being provided for in upcoming national legislation, the Committee will continue to carefully consider how these regulations for serious offences are enforced, with the SPFA procedures to be made available to the Committee once they are published in the coming weeks.”
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