Deputy Pearse Doherty has called on all members of the Oireachtas to support Sinn Féin’s ‘Heritage License Bill’ which is due to come before the Dáil on the 18th of January.
Speaking during a visit to Tory Island yesterday where he met with island fishermen and members of the island’s Comharchumann, the Donegal Deputy urged cross-party backing for the legislation which, if enacted, will recognize island based fishing communities.
Deputy Doherty said “I am happy to be visiting Tory island today along with Cllr John Sheamais Ó Fearraigh and to have this opportunity to meet with fishermen as well as with the island’s Comharchumann in order to discuss this important piece of legislation.
“The Heritage License Bill, which Sinn Féin launched last July on Arranmore Island, has now been selected for second stage and will come before the Dáil when it returns next week.”
This legislation aims to ensure that island based fishing communities have their rights to practice long established traditional fishing methods and practices protected and recognised in law.
“Of course, the failure of successive governments to stand up for our island communities has meant that they’ve been unable to make a living as existing Common Fisheries Policy rules prevent them from fishing their own coastal waters.
“However, through working closely with the Irish Islands Marine Resource Organisation, IIMRO, Sinn Féin has developed this Bill which, if enacted, will see the allocation of a dedicated quota to the islands.
“The Bill also seeks to facilitate the continuation of traditional fishing practices on our offshore islands, and will provide for the issuing of licences to island fishermen who are habitually resident on an island and engaged in small-scale coastal fishing.
“We expect the bill will get the support of the majority of the Dáil as the concept for this Bill came from the Agriculture and Fisheries joint Oireachtas report on making Island Communities sustainable.
“The Bill will be debated in the Dáil on Thursday the 18th of January, and I am again calling for all Oireachtas members to lend their support to this legislation.
“I also want to take this opportunity to thank all those who’ve continued to work closely with the party on this important issue, including our coastal fishing communities here in Donegal, and I want to also thank the local Comharchumann here on Tory who facilitated today’s meeting on the island.”Tags: