Sinn Féin spokesperson on Fisheries and the Marine, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD, has strongly criticised the presence of the 447ft super trawler and factory ship, the FV Margiris, in waters off the south west of Ireland in recent days.
He has repeated his call for super trawlers to be banned from fishing in Irish and EU waters.
Teachta Mac Lochlainn said:
“The presence of this vessel in Irish waters is a kick in the teeth for an Irish fishing industry on its knees and facing further quota cuts, tie-up schemes and decommissioning of vessels.
“It is the second largest trawler in the world, and is undoubtedly causing untold damage to precious fish stocks off Ireland’s coast. Last year, this vessel shed 100,000 dead fish into the Bay of Biscay off the coast of France.
“For anyone within governments or authorities across Europe or Ireland to call this method of fishing sustainable with a straight face is laughable.
“It is highly destructive and it must be stopped. I am reiterating my previous calls that super trawlers be banned from fishing in all European waters as is the case in the waters around Australia.
“In the meantime, I will be again writing to the Ministers for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, requesting that the strictest supervision of this vessel and its’ fishing activities is undertaken while it is present here. The sooner this vessel leaves Irish waters, the better for all concerned.”