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Farmers Oppose Disbanding of Fisheries Board

IRELAND - Fish farmers have criticised the proposed dissolution of the Irish Fisheries Board (BIM).

A proposal by An Bord Snip to dissolve the BIM has been criticised by shellfish and fin fish farmers around the coast, reports Irish Examiner.

Irish Farmers Union (IFA) Aquaculture, which represents their interests, told Fisheries Minister, Tony Killeen, at a meeting in Dublin the move would have no effect on public funds.

Irish Shellfish Association chairman, Flor Harrington, said it would merely result in BIM being swallowed by the same departmental bureaucracy that has failed the industry for many years.

"What the Irish seafood industry needs is a properly funded, autonomous development organisation to encourage jobs and exports from natural resources."

Mr Harrington said the route to safeguarding hundreds of coastal jobs, and creating many more jobs and exports, is to put coastal natural resources to work.

This can be done by opening the Operational Programme for Fisheries Development 2007-2013, removing the remaining blockages to licensing and ensuring there is a strong development agency for the seafood sector.

Meanwhile, Mr Killeen has started a series of meetings on a regional basis with fishermen on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

the Fish Site Editor

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