Fishing authorities have moved to ease fears over the presence of the world’s second largest trawler in Irish waters — the same vessel which has been banned by Australia from fishing in its waters.
The Lithuanian-registered Margiris was previously refused entry to Australian waters but has this week sailed up the west coast of Ireland.
Just this week Australian prime minister Tony Abbott said the ship would remain excluded from its economic zone and that a fresh ban would be implemented once the current two-year ban has elapsed in November.
“It was banned,” Mr Abbott said on Tuesday. “It will stay banned.”
At 143m long, the FV Margiris is the world’s second-largest fishing vessel, after the Dutch-registered Annelies Ilena — formerly the Atlantic Dawn.
Yesterday the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority said the Margiris is now in European ownership and registered under the Lithuanian flag, whereas at the time of its ban in Australia, it was not.
A spokesperson said: “As a European registered fishing vessel, it is permitted to operate in any European waters and can fish in any area, and retain on board any fish for which it has a nationally assigned European quota.”
The authority said the Margiris entered EU waters which are under Irish jurisdiction approximately 60 nautical miles south of Cork Harbour on February 27 and moved across the south and south-west coasts.