Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (944, 945, 946)

Brian Stanley

Question:

944. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on the intentions behind and intended implications of the European Council Directive 2017/159/EU concerning the implementation of the Work in Fishing Convention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45045/19]

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Brian Stanley

Question:

945. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the range of proposed changes to be made to the existing legal and regulatory framework and requirements imposed on the fishing industry (details supplied) under the implementation of the European Council Directive 2017/159/EU by his Department. [45046/19]

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Brian Stanley

Question:

946. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the changes to be made in the area of protection for workers in relation to EU Council Directive 2017/159/EU (details supplied). [45047/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 944 to 946, inclusive, together.

The ILO Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 was adopted at the 96th session of the International Labour Conference on 14 June 2007. The Convention aims to ensure decent conditions of work in fishing with regard to minimum requirements for work on board; conditions of service; accommodation and food; occupational safety and health protection; and medical care and social security.

In May 2012, the EU social partners in the sea fisheries sector reached an agreement concerning the ILO Work in Fishing Convention. The agreement aimed to, promote the ratification of the ILO Work in Fishing Convention; create a level playing field within the EU fishing sector; improve the living and working conditions fishers on board sea going fishing vessels. On 31st January 2017, Council Directive 2017/159 on the implementation of the social partners' agreement on the ILO Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 was published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJ No. L 25, 31.1.2017, p.12).

The Directive comprises seven articles and an Annex which sets out the Agreement concerning the implementation of the Convention. My Department supports the Directive which aims to enhance the working and living conditions for fishers working on vessels registered in an EU member state. In particular, the Directive seeks to improve health and safety for fisher’s within the EU and establishes a consolidated legal framework suited to working conditions in the commercial fishing sector.

Work on the transposition of Council Directive (EU) 2017/159 is at an advanced stage. At present, my officials are working closely with the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel on the drafting of a package of Regulations in order to ensure the transposition of the Directive. The Regulations will provide for decent working and living conditions for the fishing sector and will deal with a range of issues such as:

- Hours of work and rest

- Manning

- Medical Examinations

- Fishing vessel owner liability and repatriation

- Food and accommodation

- Minimum safety and health requirements for improved medical treatment on board vessels.

Marine Notice 42 of 2019 was published on 9th October to provide key stakeholders with further information on some of the main changes that will come into effect from 15 November. However, the full range of changes to be made to the existing legal and regulatory framework is subject to the finalisation of the draft legislation.