Ryan's eel fishing ban criticised by colleague


GREEN PARTY deputy leader Mary Whitehas criticised as “fundamentally flawed” the decision of her party colleague Minister for Natural Resources Eamon Ryanto agree a 100 per cent ban on eel fishing until 2012.

Government backbencher Mary O’Rourke(FF, Longford-Westmeath) was even more critical and described the move as an “utterly shameful, despicable action”.

Ms White said that “we could have an eel ban forever in this country and it would not solve the problem because the problem is outside of Irish waters” and there was a need for a Europe-wide study on the issue.

Ms O’Rourke said that “without any consultation of depth” the Minister and officials agreed a 100 per cent ban on eel fishing, when a European directive sought 40 per cent, and this decision would “kill off the eel fishing industry”.

Ms O’Rourke said she had spoken to Mr Ryan and he said that “only a few people in short-term jobs were affected”.

But Ms O’Rourke insisted that given the recession “those jobs are the only economic mainstay of many a family in this country”.

“There is to be no compensation. Their rights were wiped out overnight with absolutely no compensation yet nobody is creating a fuss. Then we wonder why people did not support the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty,” said Ms O’Rourke.

Minister of State Áine Brady, replying for Mr Ryan, told the deputies that “we owe it to future generations to do whatever we can to save this vulnerable species”.