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Written Answers. - Fishing Vessels.

Wednesday, 6 February 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 547 No. 4

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 39. Mr. Howlin Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin  asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources Information on Frank Fahey Zoom on Frank Fahey  if he responded to the infringement proceedings initiated by the EU Commission against Ireland in regard to a super-trawler (details supplied) by the stipulated deadline of 24 December 2001; the main features of the response; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3495/02]

Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources (Mr. Fahey): Information on Frank Fahey Zoom on Frank Fahey I can confirm that a response to the formal notice of infringement proceedings by the Commission was forwarded before the deadline of 24 December 2001. The response set out the background to the status of the fishing vessel concerned in the context of the long drawn out negotiations on the proposed decision to adjust Ireland's fleet objectives to take account of new additional fishing opportunities in international waters. The response also noted the negotiations in train in relation to the excess power capacity in the pelagic segment of the Irish fleet. The Commission was of course already aware of all aspects of the issues dealt with in the response which have been the subject of ongoing discussion for over a year. The response concluded that timely delivery of actions recently agreed by the Irish authorities and the EU Commission would fully address the substantive issue in the letter of formal notice, namely the registration of the vessel concerned on the Irish and EU fishing boat registers.

The Commission has recently adopted the decision crediting the Irish pelagic segment with additional fleet capacity and effort to take account of additional fishing opportunities in Mauritanian waters. This step, in conjunction with arrangements currently being finalised to address the power overcapacity in the pelagic segment, will enable the vessel concerned to be fully licensed and registered. The infringement proceedings are therefore likely to become redundant in the short-term.

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