24 February 2015
By Bryan Smyth
Speaking in Brussels today Liadh Ní Riada welcomed the huge support
for her report on the proposed Seafarers Directive. The Sinn Féin MEP
had been chosen by the Fisheries Committee to author a report on the
proposed EU legislation. The Committee today adopted her opinion
report by a large majority.
Liadh Ní Riada said:
“The proposed Seafarers Directive seeks to bring rights and protection
for those who work at sea into line with those enjoyed by other
workers in Europe. I welcome the move to create a true level playing
field for those who work the sea, and I believe that seafarers should
be afforded all the same rights as shore based employees in terms of
equal pay for equal work, irrespective of nationality or place of
“I have stressed in my report that the ‘one size fits all’ approach to
regulation does not work, and cannot be applied in this case. This
proposed directive needs to take into account the realities of the sea
fisheries sector in Ireland. A small fishing boat cannot be treated
the same as a container ship or tanker, and I welcome the exclusion of
micro-enterprises from the directive.
“Small and family-run enterprises may require additional support to
adapt to changing regulations, and upgrading of on-board technology
for smaller boats might be necessary to fulfill new guidelines. My
report calls on the Commission to facilitate this. Funding needs to be
made available for small fishing boats.
“Irish fishermen have long been the victims of regulation. It was
important to me that the Fisheries Committee should have its say on
this proposed EU legislation and that as Ireland’s only MEP on that
committee, that I should author the report.
“I gave a commitment to stand up for Ireland in Europe, and to stand
up for our rural and coastal communities. I will continue to work on
behalf of fishermen and their families, and the Sinn Féin team in
Brussels will continue to put Ireland first.”