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Gildernew meets Fishing Industry

11 October, 2007


Sinn Féin Minister Michelle Gildernew has met with members of the Tri-Council Fisheries Working Group to discuss prospects for this year's December Fisheries Council.

Speaking after the meeting the Minister said:

"This has been a very useful meeting, in which we discussed a range of issues affecting the fishing industry here, and in particular our priorities for Brussels in December. I reassured the Working Group that I would firmly represent our industry's interests at the Fisheries Council and ensure that our priorities were taken up at EU level. I have also recently held talks with my colleagues in Scotland, England and Wales and will maintain high levels of contact with the industry as proposals emerge from the Commission. I will soon be meeting with my counterparts in ROI to discuss these issues.

"I want to maintain the gains secured last year in the vital prawn quotas and will be seeking increases in other stocks, if there is good evidence that the stock is sustainably fished. The local fishing industry have made a strong case to me that both haddock and herring stocks are increasing in the Irish Sea. I will be working hard to have these quotas increased. However tight controls on the number of fishing days at sea, remains a difficult issue and in the light of Commission proposals to reform the effort control regime and the Cod Recovery Plan and we will be lobbying for no change in the short-term." ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:


The Tri-Council Fisheries Working Group is comprised of Councillors, MLAs, and MPs from the Council areas of Down, Ards and Newry and Mourne. It also includes the Chief Executives of the North's Fish Producers Organisation and the Anglo-North Irish Fish Producers Organisation

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