Written Answers. - Fishing Vessel Licences.

Michael Ring

Question:

128 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources if tonnage is available for a young person starting off in the fishing industry; and, if so, the way in which such a person can apply. [4948/00]

It is a condition of Irish fishing boat licensing policy, reflecting binding EU obligations on fleet capacity, that a licence will only be granted if the applicant removes from the fishing vessel register tonnage and engine power equivalent to that of the boat for which a licence is sought.

It is a matter for the licence applicant to source and acquire the tonnage and engine power to be removed from the register to allow his-her vessel to be licensed. Apart from the special scheme for regularising the position of small fishing boats, which closed for applications some years ago, there is no capacity available to my Department for allocation to fishermen.