CORK South West Deputy Christopher O’Sullivan has secured a meeting next week with Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, to outline the fishing community’s disappointment with elements of a new penalty point statutory instrument recently signed into law.
‘I will be sitting down with the Minister to outline the concerns of our fisheries about the new system, and to seek a resolution,’ Deputy O’Sullivan said this week.
‘Many of our fish producers, while generally supportive of a new system, are concerned about the wording of the new statutory instrument and the appointment’s process for the panel making the penalty point decisions.
‘There’s also concern - and I think this is very important - about the standard of proof required to be penalised.’
The meeting follows last week’s announcement that Taoiseach Micheál Martin also plans to meet with the heads of the four producer organisations following the appointment of Minister McConalogue.
The recently-signed statutory instrument introduces a penalty points system for fishing fleets in line with European Union law.
Deputy O’Sullivan last week made the Taoiseach aware he will be seeking amendments to the statutory instrument, or a replacement instrument that better reflects the concerns of the industry.
‘As I said last week, an administrative penalty point system can work, but it will have to reflect the needs and concerns of the fishing industry,’ Deputy O’Sullivan concluded.