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Ireland to Open Up on CAP Agenda

IRELAND - Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, with special responsibility for Forestry, Fisheries and the Marine, Tony Killeen T.D. has confirmed that Irelands position in relation to the review of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) will be made known before the end of 2009.

The Clare T.D. and his Department colleague Brendan Smith T.D. Minster for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food this week set down Ireland’s agenda for the Policy review following the launch of a Green Paper discussion document by the EU Commission.

According to Minister Killeen, “The Government has commenced a broad consultation with stakeholders in Ireland and will submit Ireland’s position and proposals before the end of this year. I have appointed Dr Noel Cawley to oversee these consultations which will feed into Ireland’s response to the CFP Green Paper.”

The Minister noted that Irish fishermen felt aggrieved at the share of fish stocks Ireland received when the first CFP was put in place. “This sense of grievance remains and there needs to be recognition of this reality as the background to this reform process”, he added.

Minister Killeen said that the Irish Government had set down key principles for Ireland in the review. He continued, “There needs to be new innovative policies which simplify and reduce the administrative burden. The reform must strengthen and support the industry’s capacity to maximise employment in coastal communities dependant on fishing. Furthermore, the Irish Government opposes the opening up of the 12-mile coastal zone. There is a case to have this increased to the benefit of coastal states like Ireland.”

The Clare T.D. stated that a key national priority for the review would be the retention of national quotas remaining in public ownership and managed by the Member State.

“Minister Smith and I are opposed to efforts in this review to advance a system of privatised transferable quotas that would lead to concentration of ownership in a small number of highly mobile multi-national fleet owners. We are supportive of greater stakeholders’ involvement in decision making and are keen to emphasise the importance of simplified decision making arrangements. I wish also to emphasise the importance of integrating aquaculture policy into the mainstream CFP with a view to focusing on delivering on the opportunities available for this sector to expand in Ireland”, he commented.

Minister Killeen said he believed that the review should be informed by the views of stakeholders. “I am delighted to be in a position to appoint Dr Noel Cawley, who has the background knowledge of the seafood sector and the understanding of the situation of fishermen, to lead the consultation process with Irish stakeholders which will assist Ireland in developing an approach to CFP reform which maximises the benefits for employment and economic activity in our coastal communities”, concluded Minister Killeen.

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