Irish fishermen are under no obligation to move their fishing gear for surveys despitesays solicitor Dermot Conway
As the push of offshore wind farm surveys continue, Irish fishermen have been reminded that they are under no legal obligation to move their fishing gear unless they wish to do so and are compensated for their actions.
The reminder comes from Cork-based maritime solicitor Dermot Conway of Conway Solicitors, following his engagement by fishermen who developed concerns over information they were receiving regarding proposed offshore wind farm developments.
The Fishing Daily contacted Mr Conway after we were approached by a vessel owner in the area who said that were being ordered to move off their fishing grounds for offshore windfarm surveys.
Fishermen around Ireland could lose valuable traditional fishing grounds if proposed offshore wind developments get the go ahead. The silent creep of surveys has been backed by the Irish government who is seeking to cash-in on the Green Energy Boom, at a terrible cost to the future of Irish fishing communities.
Liaison companies have engaged local people in many instances as go-betweens so they can press ahead with their plans to grab valuable marine space.
Fishermen should be also be aware that liaison personnel have no legal standing. They may call themselves officers, but they are not constituted under any law in Ireland, so fishermen do not have to speak or engage with them and are under no obligation to move their fishing gear for any surveys.
Dermot says, “There is no obligation on them to talk to the liaison officers, so I’m advising, don’t talk to them.
“There’s no obligation to cooperate. I am advising don’t cooperate.
“There’s no obligation to move your gear. I’m advising don’t move your gear, and there’s no obligation whatsoever to cease your business activity, and I’m saying don’t cease your business activity.
“If the fishermen are presented with a package that compensates them adequately and the fishermen will accept that package. That’s a different matter.
“But I’m very crystal clear at this stage and anybody who asks me anyone who asks me “Stop talking to these people”.
“They’re the ones who want this. We don’t want it.”
This was confirmed by Paul Hand, Senior Press Officer at the ESB Head Office, who told The Fishing Daily, “Fishermen are not obliged to remove their gear.”