Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (484, 485, 486)

Martin Ferris

Question:

599 Mr. Ferris asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources the entitlement which the Atlantic Dawn currently has in Irish waters. [1533/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources)

As part of the overall agreement which facilitated the introduction of theAtlantic Dawn, the Atlantic Dawn company permanently withdrew MFV Veronica from the Irish-EU fishing fleet and retained the annual quota and fishing effort entitlements in EU waters associated with the Veronica. The company is utilising the Atlantic Dawn to take up these entitlements. These entitlements represent the annually determined allocation of mackerel and herring, access to horse mackerel and blue whiting, and the annual fishing effort — days at sea — allocation — the Atlantic Dawn was last year permitted to fish for only 92 days in EU waters. In 2003, the Atlantic Dawn was allocated under a national quota management system 4.98 % of the Irish mackerel quota and 5.59 % of the north-west herring quotas. Individual catch limits were not applied to the horse mackerel or blue whiting quotas. These entitlements all relate to EU and contiguous waters rather than Irish waters and under the terms of its sea-fishing boat licence, the Atlantic Dawn is precluded from fishing within 12 miles of the Irish coast and from fishing in the Irish Sea.

Martin Ferris

Question:

600 Mr. Ferris asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources the tonnage and kilowatts allocated to the Veronica; and what happened to it. [1534/04]

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By way of background, the European Commission's agreement to facilitate the introduction of the MFVAtlantic Dawn into the fleet was subject to resolution of an outstanding over-capacity engine power situation in the Irish pelagic fleet segment. To address this long-standing problem, which was not caused by the Atlantic Dawn company, the company removed the MFV Veronica from the Irish and EU registers and its engine power capacity was permanently deleted. The tonnage capacity of the pelagic segment was already within the EU capacity limit and, in the circumstances, the Atlantic Dawn company was allowed to retain the tonnage capacity of the Veronica. The use of this capacity is, however, subject to advance approval and must not conflict with legal or fleet policy obligations. Sea-fishing boat licensing policy permits the use of a maximum of 4,474 gross tonnes of the capacity formerly associated with the Veronica, subject to approval. I understand that the independent licensing authority has to date approved the assignment of a total of 2,703 gross tonnes from the Atlantic Dawn company to pelagic vessel owners, for use as additional replacement capacity required in the proposed licensing of larger replacement vessels.

Martin Ferris

Question:

601 Mr. Ferris asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources the register the Atlantic Dawn was placed in; and the percentage of the Irish pelagic quota the Atlantic Dawn has at present. [1535/04]

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The MFVAtlantic Dawn is entered on the Irish fishing boat register, the EU Community fishing fleet register, and the general register of Irish ships, known as the mercantile marine register, as is legally required. In 2003, the Atlantic Dawn was allocated under a national quota management system 4.98 % of the Irish mackerel quota and 5.59 % of the north-west herring quotas. Individual catch limits were not applied to the horse mackerel or blue whiting quotas.