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Fishing Vital to Island Communities

11 July 2012, at 1:00am

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle ONeill has visited Arranmore Island, off the west coast of County Donegal, on a fact-finding mission and to discuss the importance of fishing for remote Island Communities with local fishermen

The visit, at the invitation of Pearse Doherty TD for Donegal South West, provided an opportunity for the Minister to hear at first hand about the work of the Donegal Islands Committee in their quest for greater development of fishery resources for their community.

Speaking after the meeting the Minister said: During my visit we discussed the restrictive measures imposed by the EU off the north coast of Ireland and the west of Scotland and the effects that these have on fishing communities. We have a real opportunity in future through the reformed Common Fisheries Policy to work much more closely together at regional level on fisheries management. I think it will be essential to regional fishery management plans and technical measures that have been developed with the involvement of coastal communities. Such measures are more likely to be effective and gain support than blanket measures dictated by Europe.

The Minister added: This visit has been very useful, providing me an opportunity to hear the proposals of the island fishing community here. I wish them success in their attempts to improve the contribution of fishing to island economies.

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