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IFA: Government Sinking Aquaculture Sector

IRELAND - Irish fish farmers are accusing the Government of an attempt to hinder and destroy the industry.

According to the Irish Times, the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) aquaculture division says delays in issuing licences, a decision to drop aquaculture from the latest EU/State operational programme and unilateral closure of seed mussel areas are elements in the campaign.

The news agency reveals that a piecemeal introduction of a new EU directive on fish health represents the latest episode in the campaign, according to IFA aquaculture chief executive Richie Flynn.

"The Government by its lack of will or ability to deal with fundamental issues for our industry is creating a situation where jobs are being lost on a weekly basis, significant private investment turned away, export and domestic markets lost to competitors, costs of dealing with Government bureaucracy spiral out of control and remote coastal locations denuded of young families dependent on alternative employment," he said.

"Is this ridiculous situation really what is needed, given the country's current economic circumstances and how can the Government stand over this shambles?" Mr Flynn added in a statement.