I propose to take Questions Nos. 437, 438, 453 and 454 together.
The Marine Survey Office (MSO) in my Department acts in the capacity of Safety Regulator for the maritime industry.
When the owner of the vessel in question sought to operate under the Irish Flag, the MSO became aware of serious safety issues relating to the stability of the vessel. Ireland has a national safety regime for such fishing vessels which is based on the Torremolinos Convention and EU Directive 97/70, as amended.
The registration process of another State does not come under the remit of this Department. However to ensure compliance with the relevant maritime safety regime, Ireland raised a safety alert in 2013 with the Committee on Safe Seas (COSS) which deals with EU maritime matters and also brought it to the attention of the European Commission. The net point of that alert was that there was likely a number of other similar sister vessels across the EU which would pose similar safety based risks. I am aware that the European Commission communicated this risk to other relevant Member States and also attempted to secure some clarification with parties involved with the initial testing of the vessel.