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Five more Irish ports to allow Northern Ireland fishing vessels to land from next month

The five new ports designated are Ros a Mhíl, Greencastle, Howth, Rathmullen and Burtonport.

Fishing boats docked along Howth pier
Fishing boats docked along Howth pier
Image: Sasko Lazarov via RollingNews.ie

UK REGISTERED NORTHERN Ireland fishing vessels will be allowed to land in five additional Irish ports from next month. 

The five new ports designated are Ros a Mhíl, Greencastle, Howth, Rathmullen and Burtonport. They join Killybegs and Castletownbere which continue to be designated for landings from vessels of any third country origin. 

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has confirmed he is working to make sure the necessary notifications and requirements are in place to have these ports operations from Monday, 1 February. 

Under the new designations Ros a Mhíl and Howth will be able to accommodate landings of demersal fish from vessels under 24 metres and will operate Monday to Friday from 10am to 10pm.

Greencastle, Rathmullen and Burtonport will be designated for non-quota species landings from vessels under 18 metres and will operate from 2pm to 8pm from Monday to Friday.

Since 1 January, the UK has been considered a third country and as a result it is subject to Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) legislation and North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) requirements.

This means that any UK, including Northern Ireland, registered vessels must comply with third country landing requirements when landing in the EU, including Irish port.

This is a direct result of Brexit and is included in the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.

Up until a conclusion of an agreement on the future relationship between the UK and the EU on Christmas Eve, it remained unclear whether Northern Ireland vessels that had access to Irish waters would continue to do so.

“This is an important decision which will allow fishers in small vessels to continue their livelihoods in a safe manner,” McConalogue said. 

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“Following Brexit, it is important, now more than ever, to support our fishers and fishing communities and to do all we can do to help them continue their livelihoods,” he said.

“I thank the SFPA for its work to putting in place the arrangements necessary to provide for these additional port designations and I am glad that the outcome will mean that many of those fishers who were unable to operate following the outcome of Brexit will now have the capacity to access a number of extra ports.” 

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