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SFPA targets inshore vessel

SFPA makes mockery of Minister’s claims that he supports the inshore fleet


Once again Killybegs is witnessing the blatant discrimination and injustice against fishermen by the Sea Fisheries Protection ‘Authority’ as the inshore vessel Westbound landing herring today was subjected to a rigorous and ‘full monitor’ normally reserved for the large pelagic fleet.

For the Westbound, the only one of the Donegal inshore herring boats to land in Killybegs today, this is her second SFPA full monitor in less than a week.

As recently as last August Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue proudly announced his decision to alter the Herring Management Policy of 2012 so that for 2023 and future years, the Policy would be modified, and a set quantity of herring will be made available for non-ringfenced vessels (vessels less than 20m in length overall), at a level of 350 tonnes.

“This change will improve fishing opportunities for the inshore fishing families that are the linchpin of rural coastal communities,” McConalogue said.

So, in an almost identical situation to when the Minister said that he hoped more pelagic vessels from other nations would land in Killybegs, and immediately the SFPA set about making life difficult for such visiting vessels and discouraging them from coming to the port, there now exists the situation where a local inshore boat is clearly being targeted to discourage that vessel, and others, from coming to Killybegs.

Before McConalogue comes out with his usual ‘get out’ response by saying that he has no control over the SFPA it is likely that inshore fishermen will be wondering what exactly does he have power over?

The festive spirit is apparently not within the walls of the SFPA as fishermen try to benefit from the “improved fishing opportunities” that the Minister previously proclaimed.

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