A Spanish trawler has been detained for illegally fishing in Irish waters by the Irish Naval Service, which is a blow to the EU’s Fisheries Policy.
The Spanish trawler was allegedly fishing in Ireland’s 12-nautical mile limit, in Irish waters of Banty Bay.
The milage allows Irish fishermen with exclusive rights to fish within those water under EU rules.
The Navy said in a statement, “The Irish Naval Service Vessel LÉ Roisin has detained a Spanish registered Fishing Vessel approximately 95 Nautical Miles South of Mizen Head.
“The detention was in relation to alleged breaches of fishing regulations.
“The vessel will be escorted to port, where on arrival it will be handed over to An Garda Síochána [Irish police].
“This is the fifth vessel detained by the Naval Service in 2021.
“The Defence Forces conduct at-sea fishery inspections in line with the service level agreement with the Sea Fishery Protection Authority, as part of its delivery of government services to the state.”
Ireland’s Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) said the Spanish fishing trawler was “operating within the waters of Bantry Bay and therefore within Ireland’s 12-nautical mile limit.”
The Irish South and West Fish Producer’s Organisation blasted the action and said the Spanish vessel was endangering lives and was acting “extremely dangerous at sea.”
Chief Executive, Patrick Murphy said, “This was an attempt to force Irish boats off our own fishing grounds. It is intimidation.
“Our authorities must take action against this vessel acting extremely dangerously at sea and endangering life.
“It is appalling.
“This was a threat to life at sea, so action must be taken against the vessel which tried to do the ramming.
“The Spanish boat should be arrested and stopped from fishing in Irish waters.”