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Minister Connick Meets EU Fisheries Commissioner


IRELAND - Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Sean Connick has met with European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Maria Damanaki yesterday (29 March) to discuss Ireland's views on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.

The EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is currently undergoing a Reform. The direction and outcome of that Reform is critical to the future of the Irish fishing industry and coastal communities' dependant on that industry, right around the coastline.

Ireland has produced a comprehensive report, "Irelands Response" to the Commissions Green Paper on the Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy", which sets out the national position on the CFP Reform process.

Minister Connick said "I am anxious to immediately meet Commissioner Damanaki and set out clearly Irelands National position on the CFP Reform.

"The reform of the CFP is vital to our fishing industry and will be one of the most significant challenges which I will face in my role as fisheries Minister".

The Minister said that the Report setting out the National Position on the Reform process was drawn up following extensive consultation with stakeholders.

"While there are many important areas where we have common ground with the Commission, we do not support the Commission's ideas expressed in the Green Paper which would allow our national fish quotas to be privatised and traded away to large European fishing companies".

The Minister added that his objective in the Reform Process will be to protect the National Fish quotas as a public resource to be used for the benefit of our family owned fleet and to support our coastal communities.

The Minister concluded that his overall desire in fisheries is to protect and maximise jobs in the Irish fishing industry and see the further development of a vibrant, prosperous, sustainable fishing industry around our coast.