Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Questions (397)

Pat the Cope Gallagher


397. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans for introducing a penalty points system for fishing infringements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38830/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

As the Deputy is aware, the 2009 EU Fisheries Control Regulation 1224//2009 and EU Commission Implementing Regulation 404/2011 introduced points systems for serious infringements of the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy committed by the licence holder of a fishing vessel and also separately, the master. These are intended to complement sanctions and promote compliance and were required to be in place on 1st of January 2012.

I signed into force the European Union (Common Fisheries Policy) (Point System) Regulations 2018, S.I. No. 89 of 2018 on March 20th 2018 which fully met the requirement of the relevant EU regulation insofar as the licence holders were concerned. However, the S.I. was annulled by Dail Eireann on 29 May 2018. Given this annulment of the Statutory Instrument that I am satisfied fully met the EU rules, I met Oireachtas representatives during July 2019 to discuss a way forward. Having regard to these discussions, I am at present considering, with my legal advisors, the next steps.

In relation to the masters point’s draft heads have been prepared and sent to the Attorney General for advice. This draft Bill has been listed for inclusion on the Governments Autumn 2019 Legislative Programme.

I can assure the Deputy that I am fully committed to delivering on Ireland's legal obligations in this regard at the earliest possible date.