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Minister Discusses Future Fishing Opportunities With Industry

Lucy Towers
25 October 2012, at 1:00am

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - Fisheries Minister Michelle ONeill has met with fishing stakeholders from the catching and processing sectors to discuss priorities ahead of this Autumns vital fisheries councils.

Speaking after the meeting, the Minister said: We had a very useful and full discussion about the European Commissions proposals for fishing opportunities next year, and have agreed the main areas we need to work together on. Nephrops is once again our top priority.

Thanking the industry for its support for the compromise on Irish Sea herring that should see an overall increase in the quota over the next two years, the Minister said: The Commission have now proposed an amendment to this years Irish Sea herring quota that will result in an in- year increase of 10 per cent. Although this will be reduced slightly for 2013 the effect is an overall increase this year and next year.

Commenting on the adoption of highly selective fishing gear by the prawn fleet, the Minister added: I appreciate that the adoption of this gear is a major change for the fishing fleet but we will be working with them to help them to make this transition as easy as possible. By adopting this gear we will be making a firm statement about the commitment of our fishermen to solving the problem of discards.