There have been renewed calls for changes to work permits for non-Europeans working in the fishing industry.

The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) says injuries sustained by migrant fishers are being linked to a culture of excessive hours which is underpinned by the current work permit scheme.

"Getting to the root of this problem will require that the government abolish the Atypical Work Permit Scheme and move the fishers to the Critical Skills Permit Scheme instead," according to Michael O’Brien, Campaign Lead for the ITF in Ireland.

"Shifting migrant fishers towards this more advantageous scheme will give them the ability to challenge dangerous working conditions and ultimately change employer and keep their right to stay living and working in Ireland," he added.

A report funded by the ITF and published by the Department of Law at Maynooth University last October warned that the scheme can be used by employers "as a means to threaten and exploit workers" and conditions had become "worse" under it.

Fishing organisations have rejected the findings of the Maynooth University report but have echoed calls for changes to the work permit scheme.

The Department of Justice says a review of the scheme is expected to be completed by the end of this month.