Independent TD for Cork South-West Michael Collins has launched a scathing attack on the presence of the Dutch owned super trawler The FV Margiris off the Cork and Kerry coast.
The Independent TD has also called for clarification on whether the vessel, which can deploy drag nets up to 1 kilometre in length, is being subjected to the same level of robust regulatory supervision or searches by the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority as Irish fishing vessels are:
“Every time this monster of a vessel enters Irish waters it casts a shadow of destruction over the local fishing fleet,” said Deputy Collins.
“It hoovered up thousands of tonnes of fish in Donegal in 2020 and now it is here off the Cork coast to engage in similar levels of catching that Irish fishermen haven’t a hope of competing with.”
“It is outrageous that we have vessels of this scale freely entering and operating within Irish waters at a time when our own fishermen and fisherwomen are being forced to either decommission their own boats or are being asked to operate with one hand tied behind their backs in terms of the paltry quota limits ‘negotiated,’ or more accurately, surrendered, by our own incompetent Government.”
“There is no place for this type of vessel in Irish waters and its future entry must be restricted.”
“The first priority of the Irish Government and indeed the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine should be about ensuring that such a restriction is given the force of law so that Irish fishermen and fisherwomen can have their already tenuous livelihoods protected,” concluded Deputy Collins.