LÉ William Butler Yeats detained two fishing vessels from Greencastle, Co Donegal over alleged breaches of fishing regulations
The Irish fishing vessels detained 75 nm southeast of Cork on Thursday, 10 September have been reported to operate from Greencastle, Co Donegal.
The two trawlers were detained by the LÉ William Butler Yeats (P63) for alleged fisheries offences whilst they were operating off the west coast of Wales. According to a report in the Irish Times the two vessels were among 25 Irish boats operating in the area known as ‘The Smalls’ when they were detained just before midday Thursday.
Both vessels, one of which left Greencastle on 04 September and the other of which left Dunmore East in Co Waterford on 06 September were fishing for prawns and whitefish when they were boarded, inspected and put under notice of detention. The two vessels were then escorted to Cobh harbour and were handed over to the Garda Síochana to be charged. It is believed that both vessels have since left Cobh and are heading back out to sea.
‘The Smalls’ is a popular fishing area in the British Economic Zone (EEZ) which Irish fishing vessels have traditionally fished but will see them excluded from the grounds and the end transition period in December if no agreement is reached in post-Brexit trade talks. The grounds have seen an increase in activity from Irish fishing boats since the closure of the prawn fishery on the Porcupine Bank.
LÉ William Butler Yeats entered the British EEZ water on Thursday after notifying UK authorities of its intention to monitor Irish trawlers’ activities in the area.
Under the Common Fisheries Policy, Member States are allowed to send their respective navies into other States’ waters, with prior notice, in order to check vessels of their own nationalities.
Arrangements such as the above will come to an end on 01 January 2021 with the UK terminating the Common Fisheries Policy.