FOLLOWING a comprehensive statement by NI Fisheries Minister Michele O’Neill last week, South Down MLA Seán Rogers (SDSLP) is calling on the Minister to stand by Northern Ireland’s fishing industry through the deliverance of an Aid Package for Fishermen.
Mr Rogers said that the Minister made a number of commitments at the EU Fisheries Council in December 2011 and the Fishing community have made every good effort to comply with those commitments, but he added: “In these difficult economic times we need to support the fishermen who like farmers are at the heart of our economic recovery. If they aren’t given sufficient support then we will lose the contribution they make to our society.
“The Common Fisheries Policy reform was agreed in February of this year and will be implemented by 2014. The CFP aims to completely phase out dumping fish at sea by 2017. In the case of Northern Ireland, cod will play a challenging role in this for fishermen. If we work promptly and with assertion, this motion can definitely help our suffering fishermen.
“Therefore, I am calling on the Minister to stand by our fishermen through the deliverance of this Package. Fishermen have been very obliging in helping the Minister to adhere by quotas and restrictions, so surely our fishermen should be helped in return.”