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12 February 2010
AGR 11/09/10


The Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development has offered its congratulations to Commissioner Maria Damanaki on her appointment as Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

The Committee made the new Commissioner aware of the hardships placed upon the fishing industry in Northern Ireland by the recent December Council decisions. They also stressed their keenness to work with the Commissioner’s office and the industry to find a strategy to secure the future of fishing livelihoods in Northern Ireland.

Speaking on the appointment, the Committee Chairman, Mr. Ian Paisley Jnr said: “With the nephrop fleet facing a 9% cut in the quota along with a cut of 25% in the number of days at sea, we’re looking at traditional family businesses facing the prospect of financial ruin. This could lead to the possible break-up and dispersal of proud fishing communities.

“It is imperative that these bleak facts are brought to the Commissioner’s attention at the earliest possible moment. I am happy to welcome her to Northern Ireland so that she can see first hand the major impact the cuts have on our industry.”

The Committee has issued an invitation to the Commissioner to come to Northern Ireland to meet with the Committee, representatives of the industry and with communities impacted by these cuts.

Notes to Editors

The Chairperson of the Committee is Mr. Ian Paisley Jnr

The deputy Chairperson of the Committee is Mr. Tom Elliott

The Committee has a further nine members:

Mr. Jim Shannon
Mr. William McCrea
Mr. William Irwin
Mr. Willie Clarke
Mr. Francie Molloy
Mr. Pat Doherty
Mr. Patsy McGlone
Mr. Thomas Burns
Mr. George Savage

Media enquiries to:

Debra Savage
Communications Officer
Northern Ireland Assembly
Tel. 028 90521405/90521137
Mobile: 07920 864221

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