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11/20/2013 12:00:00 AM


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Ferris, Martin

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Fisheries Disputes

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Deputy Martin Ferris

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Snippet Contents:

Yesterday morning I went to Kilmore Quay where I met the O'Flaherty boat owners and crew members and people associated with ancillary industries in the area. Some 170 people are out of work. Most of them are self-employed and can receive no assistance from the State. Some 15 boats have been ordered ashore and tied up. The consequences are alarming and disturbing for the community and the wider industry. This is all about the denial of an adequate quota to Irish fishermen in Irish waters.
In area 7, out of a quota of 18,000 tonnes of monkfish, 58% was caught by the French, whereas the Irish caught 97% of a quota of only 3,000 tonnes. The French quota in the area is six times higher. In the same area, 33% of megs was caught by French vessels, while 92% was caught by Irish vessels. There is a ratio of more than two to one in favour of France. This year some 38% of megs was caught by French vessels, while the figure Ireland is at 81%. I cannot understand how the part of the French quota that has not been caught cannot be redistributed to Irish vessels. There is an another reason, one economically driven in favour of France which is a stakeholder in Irish waters and the Irish mixed fishery feet. This cannot be allowed to continue. This issue needs to be met head-on. We cannot have Irish fishermen with boats tied up on the shore and forced to sign an affidavit before they go back to sea. In other words, they are criminalised before they return to sea. That is a disgrace and I want the Minister to deal with the matter. Decent men and women who are striving to put bread on the table for Christmas as best they can are being effectively criminalised by inequality within the system.