The Irish fishing industry has had over €6m in funds withheld by the European Commission for failing to establish a new penalty points system for those who infringe the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy.

The Commission suspended European Union co-funding for Ireland's European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Operational Programme.

The points system is meant to be in operation for sea fisheries licence holders and masters who commit serious infringements of the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy.

The Commission will continue to suspend further funds until the matter is resolved and has also commenced infringement proceedings against Ireland.

The matter was discussed at today's Cabinet meeting and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine met representatives of the fishing industry this afternoon.

Michael Creed is now expected to sign a statutory instrument in the coming days to address the issue.

A statutory instrument was introduced to address the issue for the licence holders in 2018 but it was annulled by the Oireachtas in May of that year at the behest of Fianna Fáil. This was the first such annulment in the history of the State.

A new draft regulation, the European Communities (Common Fisheries Policy) (Point System) Regulations 2019, has now been prepared to replace the annulled regulation.

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and the Marine says that based on legal and policy advice, this draft takes into account some of the amendments proposed by the opposition in relation to the instrument that was annulled in 2018. Mr Creed intends to sign this new statutory instrument in the coming days.

Opposition TDs who have raised concerns about this issue will be consulted by the minister to update them on developments.