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Minister Connick meets EU Fisheries Commissioner

Minister Sean Connick T.D. is attending the EU Fisheries Council of Ministers Meeting on Monday 29th March, and is having a bilateral meeting with Commissioner Maria Damanaki, Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs. The bilateral meeting with the Commissioner was arranged to discuss the Report on "Irelands Response" to the Commissions Green Paper on the Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy".

The EU Common Fisheries Policy 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 setting 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". Minister Connick said "the Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy 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 and since, which would allow our national fish quotas to be privatised and traded away to large European fishing companies". The Minister added that "my 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 "my 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".

Note to EditorThe Report "Irelands Response to the Commissions Green Paper on the Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy" is available on www.fishingnet.ie

Date Released: 28 March 2010