The Governments soft-touch approach on access to Rockalls fishing waters for Irish boats is totally unacceptable, a former state marine scientist has said.
As Times.ie reports today, Dr Peter Tyndall has also called on the government to push for a renationalisation of European waters to allow coastal states greater access to their own fish stocks.
He said the EU could still handle the management of shared and migratory stocks under a more honest Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
Dr Tyndall, formerly a BIM gear technologist, was commenting after last months warning by Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney and Minister for Marine Charlie McConalogue of increased risk of enforcement action by Scottish authorities around Rockall while engagement continues.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney
Their joint statement was issued four days after Donegal vessel Northern Celt was boarded by a Marine Scotland fisheries patrol while fishing within 12 miles of Rockall.
Ireland has never made any claims to Rockall, located some 230 nautical miles off north-west Donegal, nor has it recognised British sovereignty claims or a 12 nautical mile territorial sea limit.
Ireland is due to bear the brunt of a return of EU quotas to Britain, at a 15 per cent overall reduction in Irish quotas.
Tyndall said that the CFP, which is due for review in 2023, is clearly a failure.
He said he Irish government should now engage the best legal minds before 2023 to challenge a management system which is in breach of the Treaties of Europe on the rights of fishing communities to an income.
The CFP is rife with injustices and the British Tory party actively worked this emotive subject to influence votes in the Leave campaign, he said.
The effect that the CFP has had in Europe is totally disproportionate to its economic contribution. Norway rejected EU membership on two occasions while Iceland decided not to join. Greenland, a home rule dependency of Denmark, pulled away, Tyndall recalled.
Even with the new agenda of reducing carbon emissions there is a strong argument that those closest to the resource should access them proportionately, he said.
Irelands leaders should have the courage to initiate this conversation with our European partners in the knowledge that it can lead to a fairer system and healthier stocks which would be more in keeping with the stated aspirations of European partnership, Tyndall said.
Asked to comment, the Department of Foreign Affairs referred to Mr Coveneys Dil response on February 3rd
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