Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle says there is a solution that could return vessels to land catch in Killybegs

Pringle says there is a solution that could return vessels to land catch in Killybegs

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, said there is a potential solution to recent instances of vessels not landing their catch in Killybegs due to Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority conditions.

Deputy Pringle said: “There is a solution to that issue. The landing plan says that weighting equipment cannot be industry-owned or operated, so therefore the weighting equipment could be handed to the Department of the Marine or Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA), or a non-processing sector business in Killybegs, and problem solved. The minister should put that to the SFPA and see what their answer is.”

Deputy Pringle attended a meeting in Killybegs on Saturday with representatives of the fishing sector that drew hundreds of people.

The deputy said: “The meeting was called in light of the fiasco of the last few weeks, because vessels have left Killybegs rather than land under the conditions that the SFPA insist on.”

Deputy Pringle said: “I said that this will just be one of a long line of meetings, if the Government and Department do not support fishing communities. It was in the Agriculture Committee in the Dáil where officials stated to me that they administer European waters not Irish waters.

“When that is their view, how can fishing communities expect a fair chance?” he asked.

Deputy Pringle has repeatedly addressed the Dáil to call on the Government to renegotiate the Common Fisheries Policy.

Deputy Pringle said: “The review of the CFP will take place this year and represents the last opportunity to undo what has been a historical wrong done to fishing by governments and the EU. The industry and minister are meeting on the CFP, but unfortunately these meetings seem to have no vision of an outcome that would mean a substantial and positive change for Irish fishing.”