Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Charlie McConalogue has lodged an appeal against a Court decision to allow large trawlers fish inside Ireland’s six mile zone.
In December 2018 the then Minister announced that vessels over 18 metres would be excluded from trawling in inshore waters inside the six nautical mile zone and the baselines from 1st January 2020, following a public consultation process in which over 900 submissions were received.
A three-year transition period for vessels over 18 metres targeting sprat was allowed to enable adjustment for these vessels, as the sprat fishery is concentrated inside the six nautical mile zone.
A Policy Directive was issued by the Minister to the independent Licensing Authority for Sea Fishing Boats under Statute and was intended to give effect to the measures announced by the then Minister. A Judicial Review was taken by two applicant fishermen challenging the validity of the Policy.
The High Court’s ruling of Judicial Review proceedings which relate to the Policy Directive has been appealed by the State to the Court of Appeal and a stay is being sought on the orders granted therein.
‘As this matter is sub judice, I am not in a position to comment on the Policy until the matter can be resolved before the Courts,’ Minister Charlie McConalogue said.
‘However, I am committed to the sustainability of fishing in Irish waters and to implementing the commitment made in our Programme for Government that inshore waters continue to be protected for smaller fishing vessels and pair trawling be prohibited inside the six-mile limit.’