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Ferris raises Fishermen's concerns with Government strategy

5 July, 2006

The Sinn Féin spokesperson on Fishing, Martin Ferris TD today raised concerns which the fishing organisations have with the Government's Strategy Group on the future of the industry. Deputy Ferris raised the issue in the Dáil today with the Minister for the Marine.

Deputy Ferris said: "The Government has failed to formulate a comprehensive strategy for the fishing industry as requested by the main fishing organisations. And that it took considerable pressure from those organisations, representing as they do most of those who make their living from fishing, to force the Government to even consider having them consulted as part of future strategy.

"While the organisations have met with the Strategy Group and had some fruitful discussions with them, it will take considerably more to convince the sector that the Government has taken aboard their concerns and that it is serious about radically addressing the problems in fishing. It is the view of many fishermen that unless this is done that the sector has no future.

"The Minister must give an assurance that when the fishing organisations make their submissions to the Strategy Group later this summer that their views will be accorded paramount importance and that their recommendations for the future of the industry will be treated accordingly. Rather than, as has been the case, that successive Governments since EU accession have basically allowed Brussels to dictate Irish fishing policy under the failed Common Fisheries Policy to the ultimate detriment of Irish fishing communities." ENDS

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