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Minister Killeen: Green Paper Should Consider Coast

EU - Mr. Tony Killeen T.D., Minister of State with special responsibility for Forestry, Fisheries and the Marine, Ireland, said this week that the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy must include special provisions for the future development of coastal fishing communities.

Commenting on the European Commission’s Green Paper on the Policy reform, the recently reappointed Minister of State noted that the Irish Government strongly favoured an industry that delivered jobs for coastal communities rather than the concentration of wealth in a few big international fishing businesses with no obvious benefit for Irish fishing communities.

The current Green Paper is the first step in a reform process, which will come to fruition in 2012. At the EU Fisheries Council this week Ireland welcomed the Green Paper and acknowledged the importance of the process we are engaging in, as it will culminate in the shaping of the strategic blueprint for the European fishing industry for the next decade.

Minister Killeen stated, “It is critical we succeed in delivering a policy that both simplifies and reduces the administrative burden while at the same time strengthens and supports the industry’s capacity to maximise employment in coastal communities dependant on fishing. This will be a key objective for Ireland in the weeks and months ahead.”

He noted that it would be premature to respond in any detail on the Green Paper at this stage. “Ireland we will be engaging in an intense period of consultation with stakeholders before presenting our final position on the issue. It is only with the buy-in of stakeholders will this or any other strategic policy objective be successful,” he added.

Commenting on Commissioner Joe Borg’s presentation of the new EU Strategy for development of the aquaculture sector, Minister Killeen said that the Irish Aquaculture industry was well placed to capitalise on the growth in demand for aquaculture products in Europe.

Aquaculture is the fastest growing food production in the world and global production now exceeds 50m tonnes per year. According to Minister Killeen, “With meaningful stakeholder inclusion it has the potential to provide the appropriate framework for the sustainable development of the EU aquaculture sector. In the current global economic environment I believe we can further develop the Irish Aquaculture Industry in a sustainable manner to maximise the undoubted potential that exists.”

Meanwhile, the EU Fisheries Council this week adopted conclusions on the protection of sharks in response to the European Commission’s recent publication of an Action Plan.

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the Fish Site Editor

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