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Sinn Féin calls for immediate and meaningful negotiations between scallop fishermen and Marine Minister.

6 June, 2005

Sinn Féin Waterford City Councillor David Cullinane has called on the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources to immediately enter into meaningful negotiations with representatives of scallop fishermen in the southeast in order to save jobs. Cllr Cullinane was speaking following protests by fishermen in Rosslare and Waterford Ports.

Cllr Cullinane said:

"It is regrettable that again people in this state are forced to protest in order to get this government to sit up and take notice. There is no doubt that fishermen and their families were reluctant to do so and saw protesting as a last resort. However such is the anger and frustration within the fishing community over the failure of this government to listen to their concerns."

"This Minister is responsible for this latest crisis in the fishing industry. He introduced regulations which unfairly and unjustly limit scallop fishermen to six days fishing a month. The fact that this includes travel means that most can fish for only four days a month. This is making it economically un-viable for these fishermen to make a living and many are facing financial ruin. Jobs are on the line because this government is turning its face to all reasonable proposals being put forward by representatives of these fishermen."

"I am calling on the Taoiseach to directly intervene. He must instruct this Minister to seriously engage with the scallop fishermen and intervene to save jobs and investment. Livelihoods and jobs should not be lost because of some nonsensical trade off between this Minister and Brussels. Common sense must prevail otherwise the future of scallop fishing in this state is under serious threat. ENDS

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