Sinn Féin MLA Chris Hazzard has welcomed the announcement by Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill that £400,000 will be directed towards the fishing industry.
Mr Hazzard stated,
“The poor weather and rising fuel and other costs have put immense stress on the entire fishing community so the injection of £400,000 is welcome news indeed.
“The South Down area not only has a large fishing fleet but also processors that depend on the industry to survive so it is important that we support the industry in trying times.
“I also welcome the announcement that the Department would launch a root and branch review of the industry led by a task force instructed to examine all ways in which the industry can be future proofed.
“The Department will also explore ways in which local fleet could access EU funding streams easier as they currently find it difficult to maximise the potential of EU monies.
“As well as the short-term hardship payments that will help address the current difficult situation, the medium to longer-term measures will ensure that our local industry is both sustainable and successful for many more decades to come.
“I would congratulate the Minister for listening to the fishermen and acting swiftly to support the industry which will be deeply appreciated by the people of South Down.”