confirms to Deputy Pringle fishing penalty points to be introduced
Pringle raised a Dáil question with the Minister for Agriculture
regarding a fishing penalty points regime which Minister Creed has
indicated will be introduced shortly. The Minister confirmed he
hopes to introduce the regime by Christmas.
Novem ber 2017
point system intends to apply to the Licence Holder of a sea-fishing
boat when a serious infringement of the Common Fisheries is detected.
Statutory Instrument (S.I.) No. 125 of 2016 will be amended to change
the make-up of the Determination Panel set up under previous legislation
and will determine the probabilities of a serious infringement having
occurred. No exact date has yet been given by the Minister.
on the penalty points system Deputy Pringle says while this
piece of legislation mainly deals with licence holders, there are
still implications for skippers and Im disappointed that the
Minister is going ahead with this without proper consultation with
the wider fishing community. A few questions remain after the Dáil
exchange today, which were partially addressed by the Minister himself.
while the Minister has clarified that the penalty points system
will apply to boat holders, ie: not skippers or crew, the implication
of boat holders losing their fishing licence means skippers and
crew will lose work as a result. This leads me to believe that the
Minister has not considered all the implications in full says
the Minister has confirmed that drafting of primary legislation
introducing a separate penalty points system for skippers is at
an advanced stage. This is cause for concern for many fishermen
in Killybegs as we have yet to determine what the implications of
this new regime will be. Since there is no EU Law forcing the Government
to act on this we need to ask why the Minister feels the urgent
need to draft new legislation before the fishing community has been
consulted. I will be scrutinising the contents of the Bill as it
comes before the Agriculture Committee in due course says
while I welcome the opportunity for boat holders to appeal the decision
made by the Points Determination Panel I question the independent
nature of the three nominees to the Panel itself as they will be
appointed by the Attorney General while the Adjudicator will be
directly appointed by the Minister himself. I dont believe
this brings great confidence that the new system will be fair and
impartial which again needs to be teased out before being enforced.
This needs to be clarified, continues Pringle.
I will be looking at upcoming legislation in closer detail as a
Member of the Agriculture Committee and will press upon the Minister
the need for effective consultation with fishing communities across
the country concludes Pringle.