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Gildernew attends Dublin all-Ireland Ministerial Council meeting

21 May, 2008


Sinn Féin Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) Minister, Michelle Gildernew MP, MLA, has today met with Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR) Minister, Eamon Ryan TD, and Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) Minister, Edwin Poots MLA, at the North/South Ministerial Council (NSMC) Aquaculture and Marine Sectoral meeting at Dublin Castle.

The Ministers welcomed the opportunity to come together to discuss issues relating to the operation of the Foyle, Carlingford and Irish Lights Commission (FCILC), one of the six North/South Implementation Bodies.

Speaking after the meeting Minister Gildernew said:

"Today's meeting is another important step towards enhancing fishing and marine infrastructure within the Foyle and Carlingford Areas. Since our last meeting in November, we have made steady progress and have been able to ensure that hardship payments were made to those commercial salmon fishermen who gave up their fishing licences within the Foyle Area.

"I was very interested to hear about the continued good work of the Loughs Agency, and to talk through current issues and its plans for the future. I am very hopeful for the future of the sector, and the opportunities for aquaculture in particular. Together with my NSMC Ministerial colleagues I will play my part in assisting its future development and growth."

At the meeting, Ministers were given a presentation by the Loughs Agency on its proposals for the development of aquaculture and wild shellfisheries within the Foyle and Carlingford Areas, and were informed of the Regulations that the Agency plan to bring forward in the near future to manage and protect the valuable fisheries resources of the Foyle and Carlingford Areas.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

  1. The North South Ministerial Council Meeting (NSMC) in Aquaculture and Marine Sectoral format was held at Dublin Castle.
  2. The Loughs Agency was established as an Agency of the Foyle, Carlingford and Irish Lights Commission in 1999, and is responsible for inland fisheries conservation, protection, management and development; promotion of development of Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough for commercial and recreational purposes; development and licensing of aquaculture; and the development of marine tourism. These functions relate to the Foyle and Carlingford Areas.
  3. For more information visit the NSMC website http://www.northsouthministerialcouncil.org/index/sectoral-meetings.htm

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