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Subsidies welcome but fishermen require long term support - Bairbre de Brún

1 March, 2005

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today welcomed the announcement of almost £1 million in subsidies for those in the fishing industry in the Six Counties. Ms de Brún said that while the subsidies were welcome there "will continue to be hardship after these subsidies have ended".

Ms de Brún made her comments after Direct Rule Fisheries Minister Ian Pearson announced almost £1 million in subsidies, compensation for ships tied up in harbours as part of cod conservation measures.

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"The announcement of almost £1 million in subsidies for fishermen and women in the 6 Counties must be welcomed, as a short term measure to alleviate the hardship faced by those who work in the industry. However, while short term, transitional subsidies are welcome, there will continue to be hardship after these subsidies have ended. The fishing industry requires long term investment and support if it is to remain sustainable into the future.

"The Irish fishing industry has been under considerable pressure for a number of years and there is concern that this is the last year of transitional aid. As the high levels of restrictions placed upon the fishing industry here look set to continue, some form of help for local fishermen needs to continue also.

"I welcome the fact that DARD has initiated a review of the impact of successive years‚ seasonal cod spawning closures in the Irish Sea. We hope there will be a clear assessment of the impact of the tie-up scheme on local fishermen. We are also reiterating our call for the statutory representation of fishing organisations in the management of stocks. A long term plan is required to ensure the fishing industry does not continue to lurch from crisis to crisis." ENDS

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