Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has called on the Irish government to work towards a settlement that ensures Irish fishing rights off Rockall.
MacManus’s comments were made in response after a Donegal fishing vessel was boarded by Scottish fishing authorities and told they could no longer fish off the uninhabited island. The skipper of the Greencastle-based Northern Celt was told that he was not authorised to fish within 12 nautical miles of Rockall as an EU vessel.
Speaking from Brussels, MacManus said: “Rockall has been an historic fishing ground for generations of Irish fishers.
“The news that an Irish fishing vessel was boarded by Scottish authorities and advised it could no longer have access to those grounds is entirely unacceptable.”
The Midlands Northwest MEP called for dialogue on the issue:
“Iceland, Denmark, Britain and indeed Ireland all claim to have access to fishing rights around Rockall, and I call on the Irish government to work with their Icelandic, Danish and British counterparts to work towards ensuring Rockall as a shared resource for us all and thus protect the rights of Irish vessels to continue fishing in these historic fishing grounds.
“Our fishing communities must not be subjected to this kind of harassment again.”