Hazzard welcomes Minister's plans to review EFF opportunities
South Down MLA Chris Hazzard has welcomed confirmation from DARD Minister Michelle O'Neill that she will initiate a swift review of the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) in order to help our local fishing industry.
The Sinn Féin MLA said:
"Given the challenging times that our local fishermen have experienced in the last number of months, it is positive news that the Minister has agreed to review the current EFF process and explore ways in which this can be made more accessible for our local fishing industry.
"Bearing in mind the increasing overhead costs of fuel, fees and the age of some of our vessels, anything that helps future proof and sustain our local fishing industry is a hugely beneficial step.
"I am sure our local fleet will welcome today's announcement from Minister O'Neill which follows the establishment recently of three separate funds to help mitigate some of the challenges emanating from the reformed Common Fisheries Policy - including a Research & Development fund, a Training & Skills fund, and a 100% funded scheme for the upgrading of satellite navigation equipment.
"Finally I would also like to commend the Minister for agreeing to engage with the local banking sector in an effort to aid the flow of credit within the sector and hopefully the banks will respond in a positive and worthwhile manner."