Sinn Féin spokesperson on Fisheries and the Marine, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD, has started a petition calling for super trawlers to be banned from Irish waters.
The petition, addressed to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, says ‘enough is enough’ and calls for super trawlers to be banned from fishing in Irish waters and all European waters under the jurisdiction of the Common Fisheries Policy.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn’s campaign follows sightings of two of the world’s largest super trawlers fishing in the Irish Exclusive Economic Zone. The 475 foot Annelies Ilena and the 470 foot Margiris, were fishing in Irish waters off the west coast over the last week. They were joined by another super trawler, the 383 foot Helen Mary. All three vessels are owned by the huge Dutch corporation, Parlevliet & van der Plas.
Teachta Mac Lochlainn said: “The presence of these monster vessels in Irish waters is a kick in the teeth for a struggling Irish fishing industry that is facing further quota cuts, tie-up schemes and the decommissioning of dozens of vessels.
“These super trawlers are undoubtedly causing untold damage to precious fish stocks off Ireland’s coast. Last year, the Margiris shed 100,000 dead fish into the Bay of Biscay off the coast of France.
“How can anyone within the Irish government or European Commission call this method of fishing sustainable with a straight face?
“It is highly destructive and it must be stopped. These supertrawlers have been banned from fishing in Australian waters and they should be banned from fishing in all European waters now too.”
The petition can be found here: https://my.uplift.ie/