Safety tonnage which relates to the volume of the vessel not to tonnes of fish covers enhanced safety measures on aboard the fishing vessel such as shelter decks, raised wheelhouses, increasing the freeboard and improvements to crew accommodation.
The Chief Executive of the KFO Sean O’Donoghue said on hearing the ruling:-
“I am delighted but not surprised in light of the Advocate General’s opinion given in January 2016 that the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice has ruled to reject the Commission appeal to General Court’s decision of 2014. I wish to congratulate the owners on the outcome and for the courage to appeal the Commission’s flawed decisions in the first instance and to continue this long and very arduous battle relating to their safety tonnage applications. I also wish to thank the excellent legal team of Eileen Barrington SC and Noel Travers SC and DP Barry & Company Solicitors for a job well done.” He added” this has gone on far too long almost fifteen years with the Commission continually trying to find ways to thwart and delay the very necessary and legitimate safety tonnage applications. I am now calling on the Commission in light of this third ruling by the Grand Chamber against them to immediately rectify the situation to satisfaction of the applicants.”