No joy for fishermen as Government rejects Bill to licence small-scale fishing

‘Bill not compatible with EU Law and Common Fisheries Policy.’

Sligo News File

A proposal to licence fishermen on offshore islands to carry out small-scale fishing activities has been shot down by the Government.

TDs who moved a Bill on the issue submitted that it was designed to put in place a non-transferable licence specifically for fishermen who live on offshore islands and who gain their incomes from island fishing.

The content of the measure focussed on small-scale coastal fishing occurring within a six-mile territorial limit, including the baseline.

Only a small number of people would be involved with no appreciable impact on the national quota limit.

The promotors said the Bill aimed to bring about introduction of “a non-transferable community island quota.”

However, the move was rejected. Minister of State Andrew Doyle said the Department’s legal advice “is that the Bill is not compatible with EU law and the provisions of the Common Fisheries Policy.”

Pat the Cope Gallagher, one of the TDs to support the Bill commented that “…the fishing industry paid too great a price for membership of the Union.” Which is exactly what
Nigel Farage noted when during his visit here he added: “The perception of the media across Europe is that Ireland is…very servile to the demands of Brussels.”

The Dail finally agreed to pass the Bill to the Select Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine