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Minister must lift restrictions on fish landings

11 March, 2004

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Fishing, Martin Ferris TD, has called on the Minister for the Marine Dermot Ahern to lift the restrictions on the landing of pelagic species that have been applied to Irish ports.

Deputy Ferris said:

"I am reiterating a call I made on the day these restrictions were announced. It is clear that they are now beginning to have a serious detrimental effect on the industry and they must be lifted. In his statement yesterday, Minister Ahern referred to EU regulations and the need to conserve stocks. My response to this is that it is about time that Minister Ahern and this Government stood up to the EU before the Irish fishing industry is destroyed.

"The EU has refused to take on board submissions made to them by Irish fishermen on stock levels and conservation, and the Department here appears willing to go along with whatever Brussels decides. Meanwhile, what ought to be one of our greatest natural resources is being driven into the ground. Maybe if Minister Ahern was to refuse to implement these new regulations, Brussels might begin to take notice and this could be the first step in renegotiating the entire basis of EU regulation of our fisheries." ENDS

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