Minister admits new fishing Penalty Point S.I. flawed with primary legislation on the way

Deputy Thomas Pringle posed the Parliamentary Question to Minister Simon Coveney after a number of Donegal fishermen contacted him with penalty points.

Coveney in his response admitted the new fishing Penalty Point Statutory Instrument he signed on March 1st this year, is inherently flawed.

“The Minister gave an extensive reply to my Parliamentary Question in which he indicated he will introduce Primary legislation which in his own words he claims will give a sound legal basis to a scheme that implements the EU points system for licence holders,' explains Pringle.

“If the Minister is planning to introduce Primary legislation he’s confirming the fact that the existing new Statutory Instrument is not fit for purpose” continues Pringle.

“In a separate Parliamentary Question I asked the Minister what consultation process was carried out before he signed the new instrument this month and which groups and bodies did he meet with prior to the Statutory Instrument, but he failed to answer the question.”

Pringle states that “if the Minister carried out an effective consultation process in the first place he may have signed off on better legislation which would not negatively impact on fishermen across Ireland.”

“SI No. 125 of 2016 was signed by the Minister for the Marine as part of the Common Fisheries Penalty Point System but will have very serious repercussions for the Irish Fishing industry and for individual fishermen in Donegal. Alongside my Parliamentary Question also put forward a Dáil motion calling on the Minister to rescind the S.I.” says Pringle.  

“I will be pushing for a full consultative process that’s inclusive of all relevant groups and bodies including fishermen from Killybegs and across Donegal, in the lead up to the drafting of Primary legislation. However, there is no indication as to when the Bill will progress while a Caretaker Government is in place.”

“Minister Coveney must rescind this S.I. immediately to end this scourge and prevent further court action,” concludes Pringle.

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