Independent TD for Donegal Thomas Pringle is today urging all in the fishing community in Donegal to contribute to the public consultation currently underway by the Department of the Marine.
The consultation is to seek opinion from the public in relation to trawling activity inside the 6 Nautical Mile Zone. Currently there are limited restrictions on certain vessel sizes within 3, 6 and 12 miles of the Irish Coast.
Speaking on the consultation, Deputy Pringle said: “The issue is that the bigger boats have been trawling within the 6 mile zone which is negatively impacting on smaller vessels trying to make a living. This consultation is about restricting access to those bigger vessels in inshore waters. This should ensure that fish in inshore waters will be more available to local fishermen.
“I’m urging all those that have concerns and have a view on the consultation to take part. It’s vital that the Department is informed of the level of interest of fishermen on this and subsequent issues.
“The consultation process is a direct result of my and other members’ ongoing work on the Fisheries Committee Report on Promoting Sustainable Rural Coastal and Island Communities. I am happy to see that we’ve progressed this far but it’s important to keep the process going by taking part in the consultation process. While the structures aren’t ideally what we would like it’s important to make sure that they work for the benefit of fishing communities in Donegal and across Ireland.
“I’m hoping that the Department will prioritise the needs of smaller fishermen and smaller vessels as a measure to ensure the sustainability of all our fishing communities while also protecting the stock and reducing the environmental impact of trawling.
“The public consultation ends on Monday 11th June by 5pm so I would urge interested parties to get their submission in time for the deadline” concludes Pringle.