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Anderson MEP meets with Lough Neagh Representatives in Brussels

20 March, 2013 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Martina Anderson MEP, met with representatives from the Lough Neagh Fishermen's Co-operative in Brussels to discuss their concerns over a new EU report on Eel management.

Martina Anderson said:

“I was impressed by the presentation by the Lough Neagh Fishermen’s Co-operative in outlining their methods to ensure sustainable levels of eel stocks, which have been in place since the 1960s.

“The Co-Operative recognises that eel stocks are finite resources and have always acted accordingly and indeed going over and above what was required of them. They have implemented additional measures for sustainability in their own management plans beyond those required by legislation. Indeed, when the previous EU Regulation on eel stock management was introduced in 2007, there was very little impact on Lough Neagh Eel Fishery as a result of its own successful management methods already being implemented.

“The suggestion that all eel fisheries should be suspended if it is deemed that there is a certain level of concern across Europe is unfair to those, such as the Lough Neagh Fishermen's Co-operative, who strive to guarantee the sustainability of local eel stocking levels.

“For a responsible local industry which supports 300 families and generates £3 million for the local economy, it is absolutely essential that unfair and unnecessary rules and regulations do not irreparably damage a vital lifeline to local rural communities. I will continue to support the Lough Neagh Co-operative and other rural ventures at whatever level required in order to ensure the survival of rural enterprises.”

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