Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Questions (548)

Declan Breathnach

Question:

548. Deputy Declan Breathnach asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the way in which, in the absence of effective rules on maximum hours of work and minimum hours of rest on sea-fishing vessels the Marine Survey Office plans to protect workers on such vessels against exploitation and overwork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51723/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

At present, the maximum hours of work and minimum hours of rest on sea-fishing vessels are governed by S.I. No. 709/2003 - European Communities (Workers on Board Sea-Going Fishing Vessels) (Organisation of Working Time) Regulations 2003. These Regulations prescribe maximum hours of work and minimum hours of rest for workers on board sea-going fishing vessels, require records to be kept of their hours of work or rest and provide for enforcement measures. The Marine Survey Office’s surveyors are authorized officers for the enforcement of these Regulations. The MSO supports the objective of protecting workers on board fishing vessels, and in this context, currently carries out inspections in relation to hours of work and hours of rest under the existing Regulations in the course of the survey and flag State inspection regime.

My Department is currently transposing Council Directive (EU) 2017/159 which implements the Agreement concerning the implementation of the Work in Fishing Convention, 2007. My Department is supportive of the Directive’s objective to enhance the working and living conditions for fishers working in the fishing sector on vessels registered in an EU Member State.

Article 11 of the Annex to the Directive set specific limits on fishers’ hours of work and rest. New regulations to reflect the provisions of the Council Directive are currently under legal review by the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel. It is intended that these Regulations will prescribe maximum hours of work and minimum hours of rest for workers on board sea-going fishing vessels, require records to be kept of their hours of work or rest and provide for enforcement measures. It is expected that these new regulations will come into force in the coming weeks.