The decision by a Danish vessel to leave Killybegs without landing their fish was described as a “sad indictment of the SFPA”.
Deputy Thomas Pringle was commenting on the situation which occurred on Thursday when the vessel left the port without unloading its haul of more than 1,200 tonnes of blue whiting.
This occurred after a rule introduced by the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) imposed a different manner of weighing the catch.
“The vessel was going to land fish in a way that is done in every other port in Europe, but that wasn’t good enough for the SFPA,” he said.
“This leaves factories in Killybegs without work for their staff and shortens the season for them, making it more difficult for workers to live in the area.”
The deputy said the SFPA, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and the government need to make sure there is a level playing field for all fleets.
He said this would make more blue whiting available to extend the working season for factory workers, and make the fishery more viable for crews.
“All it requires is for the SFPA to act fairly for everyone. Surely that is not too much to ask,” he concluded.