A Spanish vessel harassed a fishing trawler in Cork within the 12 mile limit and “it seems nothing has been done about it”.
The crew of a Castletownbere fishing trawler said they were harassed by a Spanish vessel which “was screaming on the radio and circling us” within the 12 mile limit for the local fishery.
A video of the serious incident off the coast of Cork sparked concern online when it was posted by Irish trawler skipper Kieran Sheehan, who told CorkBeo that despite initial promises nothing seems being made about the incident by the authorities.
“We were fishing within the 10 mile limit off Bantry Bay, where foreign trawlers are not supposed to fish, when my crew got too close to a Spanish longliner called Punta Candieira that had pulled its gear into our waters. and fished illegally.
“When we radioed, the ship’s captain got aggressive and started yelling over the line,” Kieran said.
Although Kieran and the crew of his trawler the Lours De Mers have been able to avoid the immediate danger of hitting the Spanish nets, or the 274 tonne longliner itself, they want action taken against the Spanish crew for them. having upset and violated the 12-mile limit.
“They were circling around us and were able to give us the coordinates of their equipment but couldn’t figure out that they were inside the boundary.
“We fish within 10 miles of the coast because as soon as you hit the 12 mile limit there are so many foreign nets that it is almost impossible to fish, the Irish government cannot allow them to start pushing on the limit too, ”he said.
The Irish Navy rushed to the scene upon hearing reports of the Coast Guard incident, but Kieran says only his crew were questioned.
“The Spanish gillnets took off and cut their lines in ten minutes and ran for it, I tried to call the Irish Navy afterwards but haven’t heard anything since we filed our report.” , did he declare.
Kieran said the incident comes at a time when the Irish government must tackle the disparity in regulations between Irish and foreign vessels because “no one seems to care how much fish and how much illegal fish foreign ships land, they are not checked regularly enough and we do not know what they are fetching. “
Irish Nay told CorkBeo that last Friday, after being briefed on the incident, “the naval service of the day visited the location of the two fishing vessels involved to gather information as part of their analysis on the matter. The area was searched by the Navy for fishing gear in suspected locations with nothing found. Analysis of the potential violation of the Fisheries Regulations is underway. “
This follows a big protest by Cork fishermen against the quotas Irish trawlers face off the Irish coast, pictures of which you can see here.