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Irish South And West To Challenge Constitutionality Of Penalty Points

The Irish South and West Fish Producers’ Organisation has decided to “challenge the Constitutionality of the new Statutory Instrument Penalty Points system.” This makes legal action unavoidable.

The ISWFPO decision was accompanied by a statement containing strong criticism of the Taoiseach who signed the new Statutory Instrument. The SI described it as “Taoiseach Michael Martin’s unconstitutional law.”

“This is not just an attack on fishermen and women! This is an attack on everything we as a society hold dear, on our Independence and on our Sovereignty that tears up our Constitution” said the ISWFPO.

Full story in the October edition of the MARINE TIMES.

Marine Minister Meets EU Commissioner

For the first time since his appointment, the Minister for the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, T.D., met on Tuesday with EU Fisheries Commissioner Virginius Sinkevicius in Brussels. The focus of the meeting was on fisheries within the overall Brexit negotiations. The Minister a stressed the central importance of the fishing industry in Ireland, as an island nation, making it clear, said a Department press release, that Ireland’s industry is in a particularly precarious position as it shares its main fish stocks and its waters on three sides with the UK. “The Minister emphasised that any outcome in the future relationship negotiations that results in a loss of quota share for the EU would cause permanent damage to our fishing industry.”

“He said that the EU negotiating team must defend existing quota shares and access arrangements, by linking the overall economic partnership and the conclusion of a fishing agreement to the fullest extent. The Minister expressed confidence that the Commissioner and Michel Barnier would continue to defend Irish and EU fishing interests and relayed the strong message from the Irish fishing industry that unity and cooperation are vital among the European institutions and the Member States.

“I was very glad to meet Commissioner Sinkevicius and outline the negative social and economic impacts for fishing and coastal communities in Ireland, if a fair and balanced Fisheries Agreement is not reached with the UK. I welcome the opportunity to continue this close engagement with Commissioner Sinkevicius going forward,” said Minster McConalogue.

Further Grant Awards by EMFF Fisheries Local Action Groups

The award of further grants worth €1.2 million have been made to 56 local community groups and micro enterprises by the seven Fisheries Local Action Groups established under Ireland’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Programme. The grants are co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union.

Announcing the grant awards, Minister McConalogue said: “I am delighted to announce today a further 56 coastal projects to benefit from EMFF funding through the seven Fisheries Local Action Groups established as part of my Department’s EMFF Programme supporting the development of our seafood sector and coastal communities. These latest grant awards mean a total of €2.7 million FLAG funding has been awarded this year alone to 155 coastal projects”.

Minister McConalogue added: “Many of the projects benefitting from EMFF FLAG funding are non-commercial projects benefitting the whole community in their coastal area. Such projects can often secure up to 80% of the project cost, making a real difference to the viability of such projects. This is just one of the ways in which my Department’s EMFF Programme is making a real difference for our coastal communities”.

Details of the FLAG scheme and how to apply can be found at www.bim.ie/schemes/