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Ferris claims that EU fish deal is flawed

19 December, 2003

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Fisheries, Martin Ferris TD, has claimed that while parts of the deal agreed at Brussels today between EU fisheries Ministers must be welcomed, that looked at overall, it is flawed and short term and will not resolve the crisis facing Irish fishermen.

Deputy Ferris said: "While I welcome the 8% increase in the overall quota for 2004, this deal will not resolve the long-term crisis affecting Irish fishermen. The vast majority of fishermen will continue to work under stringent restrictions that are making it increasingly difficult for them to survive. It is unacceptable that a country like Ireland with so much of the EU fisheries must depend on these annual midnight bargains to earn a further stay of execution for the industry. And to make matters worse, we may be fully sure that the coming year will see further efforts to place new restrictions on the Irish fleet.

"My request to the Government on Wednesday that they use the Irish Presidency of the EU to negotiate a root and branch reform of the Common Fisheries Policy was dismissed. However, that is the only thing that will ever lead to a situation where we regain some kind of control over our fisheries and a rightful share of what lies within Irish waters." ENDS

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