Thursday, 30 November 2006
Dáil Eireann Debate
94. Mr. M. Higgins asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources his views on the impact of an Irish grant aided fishing factory ship on the livelihoods of coastal communities of African countries such as Mauritania and Mozambique; the terms of this grant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39533/06]
Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources (Mr. Browne): The European Community has Fisheries Partnership Agreements with both Mauritania and Mozambique. Irish vessels do not operate under the EU-Mozambique agreement. Under the agreement with Mauritania, agreed on 21st July last, Ireland secured pelagic fishing opportunities for non-freezer pelagic vessels. Applications have been received from three Irish vessel owners to avail of these opportunities. These applications are currently being processed by the European Commission and the Mauritanian authorities. I wish to advise the Deputy that none of these vessels have received grant aid. Under the previous EU-Mauritania agreement there were no fishing possibilities available to Irish vessels. However, during this time an Irish vessel did fish in Mauritanian waters under a private agreement. This vessel did not receive grant aid.
I would like to assure the Deputy that both parties to the EU-Mauritania agreement are committed to responsible fishing and are promoting the introduction of responsible fisheries to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources in the area. Irish vessels fishing in Mauritanian waters under this agreement will be subject to the laws and regulations in force in Mauritania.
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