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Ferris calls on Government to oppose fish quota cuts

19 December, 2006

The Sinn Féin spokesperson on Fisheries, Martin Ferris TD, has called on Minister for State John Browne to strenuously oppose any further proposed cuts in Irish fish quotas at today's Fisheries Council meeting in Brussels. The meeting is due to agree on species for the next year.

Deputy Ferris said, "2006 has been a bad year for Irish fishermen. In order to ensure that 2007 does not witness a further decline it is absolutely vital that Minister Browne refuses to support any further proposed cuts in the quota given to Irish vessels. He must also ensure that the Hague Preferences, inadequate though they have proven to be over the years in protecting Ireland's inadequate share of the quota from our waters, are not interfered with.

"Minister Browne should also use this meeting to set down a marker and to indicate that next year, with the ongoing review of the Common Fisheries Policy, that Ireland will begin a serious fight back against an EU led trend which if allowed to continue will sound the death knell of the Irish fishing industry. For over 30 years we have allowed our fishery to be exploited by foreign vessels instead of ensuring that they were properly protected, properly developed in terms of processing, and above all prioritised for the survival and well being of Irish fishing communities and the country in general." ENDS

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