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de Brún supports Lough Neagh eel fishermen in Strasbourg

15 May, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today welcomed a European Parliament report which seeks to protect eel stocks across the EU.

Ms de Brún has backed the report which proposes a recovery plan for the stock of European eel and said that 'such measures needed to be taken into account given the fact that the species could become extinct in the future".

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"Over the past number of years eel stocks throughout the European Union have dropped dramatically. This is not only bad news for those who run commercial wild eel fisheries, but also for the very existence of the species itself.

"In my own constituency, The Lough Neagh Fishermen's Co-operative have taken great care over the years to manage the fishery in such a way as to conserve stocks, avoid pollution and protect the future the future of the industry and I will continue to commend this to the European Commission and Parliament as a model of best practice. This should be supported at local, national and EU level.

"Caithfidh an tAontas Eorpach chomh maith le rialtais náisiúnta agus bainisteoirí iascaireachta áitiúla oibriú le chéile má tá an laghdú seo le ceartú agus deimhin a dhéanamh de go mbeidh inmharanacht leanúnach ar rannóg na n-eascann.

"Ba mhaith liom fáilte a chur roimh thuairisc ar bith a théann i ngleic dáiríre leis an cheist seo, go mórmhór agus imní ann go bhféadfaí an ghné a bheith imithe in éag amach anseo. Chuir mé fáilte anuraidh roimh thuairisc Albert Jan Maat, Feisire Eorpach, tuairisc a d‚fhéach le coinníollacha a chur i bhfeidhm a chosnódh daonra laghdaithe eascann na hEorpa. Cuireann tuairisc s'aige inniu a thuilleadh leis an cheist. Tá géarghá ann anois do phlean athshlánaithe.

"I want to welcome Jan Albert Maat's report which seeks to seriously address this issue, particularly given concerns that the species could become extinct in the future. The glass eel is particularly vulnerable since large quantities of glass eels are exported to South East Asia and this has consequences for the industry as a whole. Today's report contains sensible proposals with regard to closure times and re-stocking.

"While local management must be based on knowledge of local conditions, international effort is needed if we are to be able to restock inland waters in the way that fishermen in Lough Neagh have done over the years. The European Union, national governments and local area fishery managers need to work in conjunction if we are to turn around this decline and ensure that the eel sector remains viable. " ENDS

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