Social Democrats TD for Cork South-West, Holly Cairns, has welcomed confirmation that the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine has lodged an appeal against a court decision to allow large trawlers fish inside Ireland’s six-mile limit.

Holly, who is the party’s spokesperson for Agriculture and the Marine, said:

“The overturning of the fishing directive banning some inshore fishing has been of considerable concern for many smaller fishermen and women and those concerned with ensuring a healthy marine ecosystem. I immediately raised the matter with the Minister, who has taken the right decision to appeal the ruling.

“The prohibition of trawling by large boats in coastal waters was designed to ensure sustainable fishing practices and to protect the livelihoods of small-scale and island fishermen who rely on inshore fishing. It represents the type of policy we need for sustainable fishing which will ensure that coastal and island communities make a decent living.

“There is a broad range of support for this law, including the two main inshore fishing organisations, Bird Watch Ireland, An Taisce and the other groups. Local tourism operators and others who depend on coastal waters for employment also got in contact with me after the six-mile limit rule was overturned in court.

“Unfortunately, the legal process can take time. In the meantime, it is incumbent on the Government to put in place supports for inshore fishing communities.

“Over the past few months, the previous and current Government have failed to provide satisfactory support for the sector and have introduced an unfair penalty points system.

“Lip service is paid to the industry, but when it comes to providing certainty and engagement, the Department and Government have repeatedly let the fishing community down.”

November 13, 2020

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