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ENV 04/09/10


At Lough Neagh Discovery Centre on Oxford Island near Lurgan, the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for the Environment is to listen to recommendations on how to manage Northern Ireland’s marine activity better.

The Committee will hear evidence on an independent review which identifies savings and efficiency recommendations on a range of marine activities including fisheries, energy production, licensing and marine protection. The review, produced by the Northern Ireland Marine Task Force, identifies that marine activities fall within the remit of a number of different Departments.

The Chairperson of the Committee, Dolores Kelly said: “Marine activity and management in Northern Ireland crosses over into many Departments. The Committee is keen to reduce any inefficiency and to reduce expense which may result from this multi-departmental responsibility. We intend to use this meeting as a basis for discussions with the Department to tackle this problem and provide the best possible protection for marine life, flora and fauna while ensuring bureaucracy and costs are minimised for those who use Northern Ireland’s seas and coasts.”

The review, entitled “Report into the economic implications of a Marine Management Organisation in Northern Ireland” recommends that a single organisation deliver services on behalf of all Departments providing a more effective and efficient solution to managing Northern Ireland’s marine activities.

The meeting takes place on 21 January at 10am and the Committee will hear about the ongoing issues that influence Northern Ireland’s marine future. They will also view the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre’s measures to encourage and educate people about countryside recreation and conservation and biodiversity.


Notes for editors:
The meeting of the Northern Ireland Assembly Environment Committee will be held at the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre on Thursday, January 21 at 10am.

The Committee for the Environment comprises;

Mrs. Dolores Kelly MLA – Chairperson
Mr. Cathal Boylan MLA – Deputy Chairperson
Mr. David Ford MLA
Mr. Trevor Clarke MLA
Mr. Ian McCrea MLA
Mr. Alastair Ross MLA
Mr. Peter Weir MLA
Mr. Daithi McKay MLA
Mr. John Dallat MLA
Mr. Danny Kinahan MLA
Mr. Roy Beggs MLA

The Lough Neagh Discovery Centre houses exhibitions, seminars and is situated near four miles of footpaths, five bird watching hides, woodland, ponds, wildflower meadows, picnic and play areas.
For more information about the centre visit

For media enquiries please contact:

Jennifer Pleavin
Communications Officer
Phone: 028 9052 1606
Mobile: 07502 379339

Stephanie Mallon
Deputy Communications Officer
Northern Ireland Assembly
Phone: 028 9052 1953
Mobile: 07825 146794