SFPA identifies further apparently illegal fishing at Kilmore Quay
The Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) today confirmed that it has earlier this week detected unrecorded over quota monkfish on a vessel at Kilmore Quay. The fishing vessel is one of a fleet that had provided affidavit to the SFPA to comply with regulations and fishing quotas last week and was permitted to return to sea on this basis. Non-recording of catches retained on board and landing of fish over quota is a serious infringement and SFPA is now preparing a case file detailing this landing for submission to the DPP.
The SFPA states that the vessel’s log recorded a monkfish as discarded at sea, but upon inspection the fish were present in the hold, boxed and iced as would be normal for catches to be subsequently sold as food.
According to Micheál O’Mahony, Authority Member with SFPA this vessel was one of the fleet of vessels which SFPA had recently directed to port due to repeated serious apparent infringements.
“Following discussions with the vessel owner and written affidavit from them last week assuring us that its fleet would be compliant with the regulations, the vessels were permitted back to sea. This is one of the first sailings by the vessel since our agreement. Non-recording of catches retained on board and landing of fish over quota is a serious infringement of the law. It is highly disappointing that following assurances by the vessel owners they would abide by the law of this country – one of their vessels almost immediately continues to flout the law and proceed to illegally fish above the quota.
“Our previous direction of these vessels to port was unprecedented at the time, and we provided permission to the company to return fishing based upon an objective to work with this fishing company and seek a resolution to the issue. We had accepted their assurances as honest and true, but we now need to consider how we discharge our obligation to protect Irelands national resource and the interests of compliant fishermenwhen infringements continue to be detected with such frequency.”
The work of the SFPA supports the livelihoods of some 7,000 Irish fishing industry workers the vast majority of whom operate within the requirements of the EU Common Fisheries Policy. SFPA’s role helps to ensure that national quotas are fairly and continually sustainably managed.
The SFPA stressed the importance of compliance with the quota management system to continue to provide equality and fairness in allocating national quotas amongst Irish fishermen. Monthly quota limits for fishing vessels are decided following full consultation between the industry and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
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