20th January
Penalty points for alleged fishing infringements to be enshrined in State law

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has told Inshore Ireland that based on advice from the Attorney General, it would not be possible to deliver on an ‘effective and dissuasive points system consistent with the requirements of the EU Regulation’ by making the assignment of points dependent on the Court prosecution process. DAFM added it had hoped that subject to addressing some important and administrative issues, ‘Ireland could move towards a system of sequential application of EU points’ in conjunction with the prosecution process’. At a parliamentary party meeting, Donegal Fianna Fáil deputy, Pat the Cope Gallagher, publically questioned the intention of Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, to introduce the SI “despite assurances given last year that such a system would not be implemented.  “It now transpires that the Minister is about to give effect to such a system and will not take into account the innocence or otherwise of the fishermen. Such is the bluntness of the proposed legislation.” Maritime solicitor Dermot Conway described the pending SI as "astounding". Full story: Winter 2017 edition    Caption: The GSI seabed mapping fleet returning home after a successful INFOMAR survey season along Ireland's east coast

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