‘Reform urgently needed for migrant fishermen’ – Ritchie

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Monday, November 28th, 2016
Politics
Margaret RitchieSDLP South Down MP Margaret Ritchie has used Business Questions in the Commons to call on the Home Secretary to urgently address the problems being faced by non-EEA migrant fishermen and the wider NI fishing industry. She said, “Like many other coastal areas on the Irish Sea, the fishing industry in South Down relies on the work of migrant fishermen from non-EEA countries, particularly migrant workers originating from the Philippines. “However, the Government’s harsh limits on these workers is leaving fishing boats tied up at harbour and putting many migrant workers at the risk of undocumented exploitation.
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nov-22-2016-big-box“That is why I have been working with other MPs from coastal constituencies to call for reform and regulations that would allow seasonal migrants to undertake legal work in our fishing industry. “The Government’s stubborn refusal to consider alternatives does nothing to help migrant fishermen and threatens to put legitimate fishing crews out of business, with disastrous knock-on effects for jobs and communities throughout the fishing supply chain.
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nov-22-2016She added, This issue must be urgently addressed to protect both the rights of migrants and the financial sustainability of fishing communities.”

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