Cork South West Senator Denis O’Donovan will hold a series of meetings throughout West Cork next week to gauge the opinion of fishermen on Fianna Fáil’s recently launched Bill which seeks to de-criminalise minor fishery offences.
The consultative meetings will take place in Kinsale, Clonakilty and Castletownbere culminating with a public meeting on Saturday June 8th at 3pm at the Skibbereen GAA pavilion.
Senator O’Donovan commented: “Since Fianna Fáil launched the Sea Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction (Fixed Penalty Notice) Bill this month there has been keen interest from fishermen and fishing organisations.
“We plan on consulting with as many fishermen and fishing groups as possible. In addition to the fishing Bill that we have launched, I am also anxious to speak with inshore fishermen. Many of them are struggling with the current bad weather and the scarcity of fish.
“We will also meet with officials from the Department of Marine, the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) and many of the local and national fishing representative organisations.”
Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Agriculture, Food and Marine, Brian Ó Domhnaill, will address the meetings and outline the various elements contained in the Bill.
“Myself and Senator Ó Domhnaill will also provide advice to fishermen who are experiencing financial constraints on how to access fish assist payments. Any concerns and issues expressed by fisherman will also be brought back to the Oireachtas and raised in the Seanad.
“In the lead up to the last election, the Government promised to make changes to the Fisheries Bill 2009; where administrative sanctions were brought in to replace criminal sanctions for minor fishing offences. This has not been followed through and our Bill seeks to address this.”
The public meeting on Sea Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction (Fixed Penalty Notice) Bill and wider fishing issues will be held on Saturday June 8th at 3pm in the Skibbereen GAA pavilion.