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O’Neill seeks workable resolution to EU fisheries regulation

5 December, 2011 - by Michelle O'Neill

Fisheries Minister Michelle O’Neill MLA has said that she will do all in her power to protect days at sea entitlements for local fishermen.

A EU Regulation which would further reduce days at sea, has been withdrawn to allow the Fisheries Administrations here and in Britain, and the EU Commission to discuss its implications for the fishing industry.

Speaking ahead of a meeting this evening in Brussels with EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki, Minister O’Neill said: “I welcome the Commission’s decision to put the Regulation on hold to give time for further consideration. This was an important move and it demonstrates that the Commission is sensitive to our concerns. If we were obliged to implement the effort reductions specified in the Regulation, then our local fishing fleet would have been severely constrained and indeed the Irish Sea fishery may have faced closure.

“I have made it my priority to join DEFRA Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon MP and Scottish Fisheries Minister Richard Lochhead MSP, in a face to face meeting with the Commissioner Maria Damanaki to try to secure a workable resolution to this difficult issue.”

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