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Coalition boost for Inish fishermen 07.03.11

INISHOWEN Labour councillor, Martin Farren, has welcomed proposals for coastal communities contained in the new coalition's Programme for Government.
He said the most important proposal would do away with "draconian legislation" brought in by Fianna Fáil that criminalised fishermen for minor technical offences.
“No longer will Irish fishermen be faced with having to provide a criminal court with a €40,000 bond for the so-called crime of leaving a line blank in a log sheet," said Cllr Farren. He said hard working fishermen were being criminalised in their own country for simple mistakes made in their daily work while fishing boats from other countries were being dealt with more leniently in the lower courts for much greater offences.
Minor fisheries offences will in future be dealt with by way of administrative sanction. “This will remove a great burden of stress from fishermen simply going about their daily work," added the Moville-based representative.
Other proposals accepted by the incoming Fine Gael-Labour Government include support for the development of sustainable aquaculture projects by streamlining the licensing process and by reducing the current bureaucracy involved.
All marine responsibilities will be merged under one government department to create better co-ordination in policy
Cllr Martin Farren
delivery and to develop an integrated marine and coastal planning process to maximise the potential of Ireland’s coastline in fishing, aquaculture, ocean energy and tourism.
Each year a Fisheries Sustainability Impact Assessment report will be prepared by consulting all the major industry stakeholders. Meanwhile, safety at sea and decent working conditions will underpin development in the marine sector. There will also be increased resources for the Irish Coast Guard.
“Most of these proposals are low-cost items but their implementation should yield a lot of benefit to our coastal communities. Cost savings achieved should be channelled into enhancing sea safety around our coast.
"These proposals represent a substantial improvement for our local community and show that Labour in government can promote beneficial change," added Cllr Farren.
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