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Gildernew attends NSMC aquaculture and marine sector meeting

by Ellen Hardy
23 November 2007, at 12:00am

NORTHERN IRELAND - The aquaculture industry and marine tourism topped the agenda at a North-South Ministerial meeting this week.

Michelle Gildernew, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) met with Eamon Ryan TD, Minister of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR) and Junior Minister Ian Paisley Jnr. (OFMDFM) at the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC), Aquaculture and Marine Sector meeting at the FCILC headquarters at Prehen.

Ministers welcomed the opportunity to discuss north-south co-operation in the aquaculture and marine sector.

The Council noted the progress made since the last meeting in April 2002 and welcomed the enactment of the Foyle and Carlingford Fisheries Legislation earlier this year. This legislation provides the Loughs Agency with powers to regulate aquaculture and wild shellfisheries in these Areas.

Speaking after the meeting the Minister Gildernew re-affirmed her governments strong committment to sustainable aquaculture and fisheries development, and particularly in the sensitive areas of Foyle and Carlingford area.

She said the meeting had provided a good opportunity for her to hear about the progress that the Loughs Agency has made since 2002. It had also been an excellent platform to discuss current issues and future plans.

“I am pleased to see that the Loughs Agency like its predecessor, the Foyle Fisheries Commission which was established in 1952, is a good example of North/South co-operation. I commend the Loughs Agency on the work that it has carried out since its creation in 1999, work which has made a real contribution to the Foyle and Carlingford Areas.

Approval

She said that the Council was pleased to approve the Agency’s Marine Tourism Strategy 2008-13. It provided a vision for developing access infrastructure, marine tourism, recreational fisheries and skills training through local partnerships. When implemented it should bring significant investment and regeneration to the Foyle and Carlingford Areas.

Ms Gildernew also announced the £75,000 investment of in a monitoring vessel. "It will be used by the Agency for scientific monitoring and to capture the data that is required by the European Commission with regard to decision-making in relation to fisheries management.

Ellen Hardy