Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Questions (24)

Martin Ferris


24. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the action he will take to ensure the super trawler (details supplied) fully complied with all regulations during its time in Irish waters; and if he availed of the facility to put officers of the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority on board to observe its activity in Irish waters. [13205/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The TAC and Quota Regulation EU No. 43/2014 sets out the quotas for each stock available to Member States. In addition to the fishing opportunities allocated in the Regulation, Lithuania may exchange quota with another Member State under the normal arrangements for exchanging quotas. All fishing vessels must also comply with all EU Regulations relating to the Common Fisheries policy, including reporting of catches and respecting technical measures such as mesh size.

Control of the fishing within Ireland’s Exclusive Fishery Zone is a matter for the Irish control authorities. Under the Sea Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act, 2006, operational issues concerning sea fisheries control are a matter for the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) and the Naval Service. The prosecution of fisheries infringements are carried out on behalf of the State by the Director of Public Prosecutions. It is the responsibility of the Control Authorities to monitor and control the activities of fishing vessels which are operating within the Ireland’s Exclusive Fisheries Zone.

In recent years, fisheries control within the EU has been structured so as to deliver a level playing field across Member States. In October 2009, the EU adopted a new regime dealing with fisheries controls in the EU. Council Regulation 1224/2009 establishes a Community control system for delivering compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy. Control and inspection is now focused where it is most effective through an approach based on systematic risk analysis. Inspection procedures are standardised and harmonised.

This Control Regulation complements the IUU fishing regulation Council Regulation 1005/2008 which establishes a Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. These regulations were introduced to support a level playing field across the EU and to ensure that IUU fishing activity is effectively addressed.

I have full confidence that the SFPA and Naval Service will exercise appropriate and effective fisheries control procedures in accordance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy for all vessels operating within our Exclusive Fisheries Zone.