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Gildernew visits Fishing Research ship

16 November, 2007

Sinn Féin Agriculture Minister, Michelle Gildernew MP MLA, has visited the marine research vessel, Corystes, at her home port of Belfast.

The R.V. Corystes is operated by the Agri-food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) and carries out an extensive marine science programme on behalf of DARD.

During her visit to the ship, the Minister said:

"I am currently engaged in a series of discussions and visits involving key stakeholders as part of the process of preparing for the vital December Fisheries Council, which will set the fishing opportunities for next year. This has been an important visit for me, as I have had a detailed briefing on the latest scientific assessment of the main Irish Sea stocks and gained a clear understanding of the importance of science to the sustainability of our marine fish resources. I will be visiting the ports in early December to talk directly to local fishermen."

The Minister has also met with fishing representatives, the Tri-Council Group in fisheries, her fishery Ministerial colleagues from England, Scotland, Wales, Commissioner Borg and the Assembly Committee. The Minister also plans to meet with her counterparts in the south.

Ms Gildernew continued:

"Today I have seen at first hand, how the integrated science programme delivered by AFBI and Corystes directly supports the key policy objective of my department of sustainability of Irish Sea fisheries and contributes to the development of an ecosystem approach to fisheries management, as required by the European Commission."

"The comprehensive data on fish stocks and the marine environment provided by Corystes are also allowing AFBI to investigate how climate change can impact ecosystem processes and through this fish stocks."

"I am strongly of the view that fisheries science works best when scientists and the fishing industry work closely together and I fully support the work that my department, AFBI and the industry are doing to further enhance co-operation. My visit to Corystes today has reinforced that view and I see Corystes as a force for good, in helping us all to work together to achieve a sustainable future for fishing in the Irish Sea." ENDS

Note to Editors

  • The Corystes is a state of the art purpose built research vessel, providing AFBI with a year-round capability in marine science for the Irish Sea, the north's coastal waters and the near-shelf area. It is based at the Port of Belfast.
  • Corystes carries out work for other customers as well as DARD and participates in joint research programmes, all geared towards achieving sustainability of the marine resources.
  • The December Fisheries Council will be held in Brussels on 17-19 December 2007.

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