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27/09/2021

Court of Appeal decides to temporarily reinstate the exclusion of large fishing vessels

This applies to vessels trawling in inshore waters within six-miles of the coast

Court of Appeal decides to temporarily reinstate the exclusion of large fishing vessels

Large vessels have been excluded from trawling in inshore waters within six-miles of the coast until a full court hearing in June

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue TD, has welcomed the decision of the Court of Appeal to temporarily reinstate the Policy Directive excluding large vessels from trawling in inshore waters within six-miles of the coast.

This will apply at least until the full hearing of the case by the Court of Appeal in late June.

After hearing the motion on Friday, March 19 last, the Court was persuaded that the balance of justice leaned in favour of the State at this time and granted a stay on the order of the High Court up until the hearing of the substantive appeal in June, at which time the matter of the stay will be reconsidered by the Court.

Minister McConalogue said today he is pleased to hear that the Court of Appeal has allowed for the reinstatement of the Policy Directive.

"This decision will mean that vessels over 18 metres in length are prohibited from trawling inside our six-miles zone, at least until late June, except for a restricted sprat fishery, which would usually not occur during the late spring/summer period. The stay has only been granted up until the June hearing.”

The Policy Directive was introduced in March 2019, following the decision of the then Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine that from January 1, 2020 all trawling by large vessels, over 18 metres in length overall, in coastal waters inside Ireland’s six-mile zone was to cease, other than for a sprat fishery which was to be phased out during 2020 and 2021.

A Judicial Review was taken by two applicant fishermen who successfully challenged the validity of the Policy Directive.

On October 6 2020, the High Court made an order in favour of the applicants and the Policy Directive was declared void/or of no legal effect.

A stay on the order was refused by the High Court on December 10 last.

The Court of Appeal has now reinstated the Policy Directive at least until the full hearing of the appeal. The substantive hearing by the Court of Appeal is due to take place on June 22 and 23

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