A robust debate in the Dáil last night in relation to Concerns flagged by the Irish fish processors and exporters over the change in regulations to the weighing of catches.
The EU have imposed new rules through the Sea Fisheries protection Authority which makes it compulsory for all fishermen to weigh catches on the pier on landing rather than in the factories which had been the case since 2005.
Sligo Leitrim Fianna Fail TD Marc MacSharry raised the matter with the Minister for state at the Department of Agriculture Martin Heydon in the Dáil yesterday evening.
Minister for Agriculture, Donegal TD Charlie McConalogue was unavailable for the exchange due to European commitments in Brussels.
The Sligo based Fianna Fail TD says that the government are failing to honour commitments made to the industry in the programme for government and as a result are putting thousands of jobs at risk:
In response Minister Haydon outlined how the new regulations are leading to ‘practical challenges for fishermen’ however he says it’s also an issue where Minister Mc Conalogue nor the Irish government are in apposition to intervene:
Deputy MacSharry was far from happy with the response from Minister Haydon. The Sligo based TD insisted the Government must seek transitional arrangements pending agreement on a new overall control plan that works for all stakeholders.
Deputy MacSharry urged the current Agriculture Minister and party colleague, Charlie McConalogue tofollow the example of another Donegal TD, the former Marine Minister Pat the Cope Gallagher and go directly to the European commissioner and lobby him to address the situation: