Sinn Féin spokesperson on Fisheries and the Marine Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD has slammed the government for rushing the National Marine Planning Framework (NPMF) through the Dáil this week.
Mac Lochlainn TD claims the government rejected calls for the representatives of Irish fishers to be consulted on the finalised framework at an Oireachtas Committee.
Teachta Mac Lochlainn said: “The voice of fishers has been ignored again.
“It is reckless and arrogant for the government to reject appeals from Sinn Féin and others for representatives of Irish fishers and environmental NGOs be invited to outline their response to the final NPMF at the Oireachtas Committee tasked with scrutinising this framework that will have far reaching consequences for coastal communities.”
Deputy MacLochlainn said that a balance must be found that protects traditional fishing grounds and the marine eco-system, while there is widespread support for the further development of renewable and off-shore energy.
He added: “Unfortunately many fishers feel that their rights are being trampled on, and that they are being squeezed out of fishing grounds that have provided a sustainable living to them, their families and communities for generations.
“Environmental NGOs also have real concerns.
“The government were being asked to delay the passing of the NPMF by just a few more weeks so that this vital planning framework can strike a fair balance. They have chosen to ignore those appeals, and they have willfully insulted our fishing communities once again.”