Deputy Thomas Pringle has expressed his concerns about the annual return of supertrawlers off the Donegal coast.
The Independent TD said that there is an issue for local fishermen who are having their gear damaged by the huge vessels.
Deputy Pringle stated: “Annually, Supertrawlers have caused significant damage to local
fishermens’ gear such as crab and lobster pots and there are concerns this could be repeated as these huge ships return off the coast of Donegal once again this year.
“The reason for such concern is the total disregard of supertrawlers for small time fishermen in the past and the lack of any Government action since each year as these problems occurs.
“While the Irish fleet starts to tie up as they have their quota filled, fishermen will once again be forced to look out at the Dutch fleet of supertrawlers continuing to fish off the coast of Donegal.
“I have raised this on countless occasions in the Dáil and in the Committee. The Minister continues to claim he is working closely with the relevant groups at EU level and continues with the claim that the Government can’t restrict the fishing activities of these trawlers.
“I’ve also raised this issue with the SFPA who said they have no legal powers to deal with the damage to fishing gear and recommend that fishermen report criminal damage to the Gardaí. This is no use to fishermen as the Gardaí don’t have the means to investigate this kind of crime.
“While I understand the issues involved in addressing this problem the Government are not doing enough to protect the rights of Irish fishermen who every year have to see their gear towed away by these huge ships
“I’ll be raising this again in the Dáil as this is an annual problem and nothing is being done to address fishermens’ concerns” concludes