Fianna Fáil spokesperson on the Marine and Fisheries Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher has tabled a motion on behalf of his party to rescind the recently published statutory instrument which was set to introduce a penalty point system for fishing infringements.
The measure to introduce the statutory instrument was moved late last year by Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Michael Creed.
Deputy Gallagher said the government has attempted to introduce a similar statutory instrument on fishing infringements on two previous occasions, but it ended up in the Supreme Court where it was subsequently struck down.
“Fianna Fáil as a party is supportive of the introduction of a penalty points system for fishing infringements as requested under the EU control regulations providing the rights of the individual are respected, that natural justice is allowed to occur and our common law rights are upheld.
“It is therefore essential that any new points system for fishing infringement must work within the remit of the Irish courts.
“The statutory Instrument placed before the Dáil by Minister Creed seriously undermines the rights of individual fishermen and vessel owners throughout the country, and it bizarrely bypasses both the Circuit and District Courts by establishing a new structure which is answerable to no one other than the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority.
“Despite being strongly directed by the Supreme Court, the government has failed to provide for the right of appeal to the individual, to deal adequately with the onus of the burden of proof, or to separate the powers and independence of the SFPA and the processes which will determine whether an infringement has occurred or not," he said.