Independent TD, Michael Collins has slated the Irish Government for allowing an act of piracy off Cork coast
The Irish Navy has confirmed that it has detained a Spanish-registered fishing vessel approximately 95 nautical miles south of Mizen Head.
The operation was undertaken by the Irish Naval vessel LE Róisín P51 under the suspicion of alleged breaches of fishing regulations.
The Spanish vessel is currently being escorted back to Cobh where it is expected the Gardaí will make an arrest.
The fishing vessel involved is believed to be the Punta Candieira which was involved in two incidents last Friday, 28 May inside the Irish 12-nautical mile limit off Bantry Bay, Co Cork.
An Irish trawler, the Lours des Mers, came under attack from the Punta Candiera as it was operating in a traditional local fishing area. The 32 metre longliner claimed that the Lours de Mer was trawling to close to where it had longlines set. In a series of dangerous movements, the skipper of the larger vessel tried to intimidate theLours des Mers off their fishing grounds.
When radio contact was made and skipper Kieran Sheehan took the coordinates of the Spanish vessels gear, he found that they were fishing inside the Irish 12-mile limit. He immediately contacted the Valentia Coast Guard radio station who in turn contact the Irish Navy.
The Spanish vessel cut its gear and made a run for it as the Irish Navy questioned the skipper of the Lours des Mers on the incident.
Yesterday the Punta Candieira was fishing south Mizen Head, where it is believed the Irish Naval vessel, LE Róisín caught-up with the vessel and made the notice of detention.
In a statement the Irish Naval Service said:
“The Irish Naval Service Vessel LÉ RÓISÍN 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.
“This is the fifth vessel detained by the Naval Service in 2021. The Defence Forces conducts 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.”