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Minister Gildernew secures a number of guarantees from EU Commission for the North’s fishing industry

19 December, 2008

Sinn Féin south Down MLA Willie Clarke has welcomed the news that Agriculture Michelle Gildernew MP, MLA has secured a number of guarantees from the EU Commission in relation to proposed cuts in the fishing quota here in the North.

Speaking this afternoon Mr Clarke said,

"The Minister has been engaged in extremely tough negotiations to secure a fairer deal for the fishing industry in the Six Counties. She was faced with the very bleak prospect of proposals to bring cuts to fish quotas.

"Having agreed a number of priorities with the local industry Michelle has succeeded during negations with the European Commission that the proposed 15% cut on prawns will now be reduced to a 2% cut. As well as this the Commission abandoned their 8% cut of herring catch.

"Another positive is that she has secured the ability for fishermen from the North to continue fishing of the west coast of Scotland as they always have. The Commission has agreed to increase the quota of haddock by 15%.

"Sadly though there is still no movement from the Commission on cod and plaice catch; this is due to the fact that cod is a very vulnerable stock.

"Overall the Minister has put in a Trojan amount of work to secure a fair deal for our local fishing industry and she must be commended for that." CRÍOCH

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