----- The Voice of Ireland's Fishing Industry and Maritime Community - Published Monthly, Established 1989 -----

Sea Fishing Boat Licencing Policy Review

April 2017 Issue Vol 29 No. 11

Marine Times Newspaper

Dear Sir,
In an effort to highlight the seriousness of what may be about to happen as a result of the “so called” public consultation on reviewing our fishing boat licence policy, a number of us fishermen have decided that we can no longer remain silent while PO’s, governments and state agencies continue to mismanage Ireland’s fishing industry for the benefit of a small number of players in return for political advantage. Let us be very clear here. This is not in any proper way a public consultation as there is still a majority of vessel owners who are not even aware of what’s going on, not to mention crew members and aspiring boat owners.

For something having such huge potential consequences for the entire fishing industry, the very least to expect would be that every boat owner and fishing capacity holder would be notified by letter from the Department, as well as public notices in the fishing papers and one national newspaper, if consultation and balance was desired. This hasn’t happened nor has it happened in the past, therefore we refuse to recognise this as public consultation.

However, in order to try to give the wider public and public representation a flavour of what’s happening and the different forces and agendas that often determine the direction and fate of our little industry, we would like to touch on a few things of relevance here, while acknowledging that the consequences of this and previous reviews have such wide-ranging effects that it would be impossible to expose even a fraction of them in this missive.

The Department states that because 1: a request by the ISWFPO to change 100% capacity rule to 80% and 2: the KFO requesting a review of the effort regime for RSW vessels, a review is called for. While it is not clear if the KFO are looking for the days at sea (time) element removed or changed or want to increase their tonnage and engine power, it is clear that the ISWFPO want to increase the tonnage / kw of some of the very segments that they proposed should be capped during the herring fishery review in 2011 / 12 in order to “Save the herring stock while it was healthy”.

We can state confidently that this review succeeded in effectively privatising the herring fishery “akin to the plantation of Ulster” but failed utterly in saving the herring stock. As a result of this new management and culture the Celtic Sea herring is in danger of collapse if it hasn’t already.
The compound of this on the Celtic Sea whiting last season which were caught in large numbers (40mm mesh) while trying to reach the hard caught herring quota is enough for us to ask who is driving this show where there is no vision or care of fair play when it comes to fishery management and participation.

Political elections and the party first comes to mind, coupled with greedy rogue fishermen / developers taking advantage of the political donations culture that speaks all languages in this country.

Also, it is fair to add that both the proposal of 2010 and the request / proposal of 2015 from the ISW were made against the wishes of the wider membership. Many people within the industry are becoming very disillusioned with the very system of how the PO’s work which lends itself to being hijacked and this is hugely contributing to our sorry state. Remember the film “Atlantic” and take note. The kangaroo style policy making has not only got to stop but some of it must be reversed.
The courts and tribunals are already overstretched with no sign of any easing and we’d prefer not to have to go down that route to show that the various ministers may have exceeded their powers.

Yours in trepidation
(Please note that this is not a full list of the names as not all signed copies of letter have been returned as you go to press)
John Healy; Gerry O Donovan; Ger Foley; Mick Byrne; Tomas Arundel; Brendan Walsh; Gerald Sharkey; Patrick O Sullivan; Jimmy Hurley; Gerald Foley; Des Foley; Padraig O Sullivan; John O’Brien; Freddie Locke; Jamie Fitzgerald; Paul Harte; John Dwyer; Gerry Moore; Shane McIntyre; Aidan Moore; Joe O’Shea; Eamon Dixon; Brendan Devane; Denis Harding; Denis O’Donoghue.

April 2017 Issue - Vol 29 No.11

April 2017 issue in all good stockists

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Marine Times Newspaper
Editor: Mark Mc Carthy
Assitant Editor: Tom MacSweeney

Features Editor / Advertising: Anne Murray

The Marine Times Newspaper is published by Marine Media Ltd.
Cranny Road, Inver, Co. Donegal
T: 074 9736899 / 9732635
E: marinetimes@eircom.net

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March 2017 Issue (Vol 29 No 10)

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November 2016 Issue (Vol 29 No 6)