Ritchie Backs Prawn Sector In Westminster Motion

“The bulk of employment from the fishing Industry comes from the prawn/nephrops sector, with 90% of the fleet fishing for prawns. [caption id="attachment_15879" align="alignleft" width="400" caption="South Down MP has raised a motion in Westminster in support of the prawn fishing sector in Northern Ireland. "][/caption] “Each year, with the cuts and restrictions that come from the negotiating rounds in Brussels, the continuing decline of the fishing industry along the Northern Ireland’s coast is inevitable. “This situation must be resolved and parity of representation given to our fishing fleet. “I ask for a commitment to engage with the European Commission and the Northern Ireland Executive, and begin talks to bring about a fair playing field for the Northern Ireland fishing industry.” The Fisheries Talks in Brussels take place each year  in November and December and usually around the middle of December the final outcome is announced with a declaration of the Total Allowable Catches for each species within the EU fishing water and the quotas set for each fishing area. The Irish Sea has seen gradual reduction in quota over the past few years and fishermen have been severly feeling the pinch as they comply with a complexity of EU legislation. Ms Ritchie’s Early Day Motion to Westminster “This House calls on the European Commission to recognise the importance of Nephrops to the Northern Ireland Fishing Industry and to ensure fishing opportunity in terms of quota and days at sea, notes that in 2010 approximately 7000 tonnes worth £11.5million of Nephrops was landed in Northern Ireland and that a fleet of around 120 Trawlers based in Ardglass, Kilkeel and Portavogie. rely on this fishery.”]]>