Rogers questions Minister on oyster mortalities

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Monday, September 23rd, 2013
South Down SDLP MLA Seán Rogers asked a topical question to the farming Minister on the Floor of the Assembly. Rogers asked the Minister, “What steps are you taking to provide support for the Oyster Farmers at Carlingford Lough and Lough Foyle after stocks were decimated by the recent virus in July?” Rogers went on to summarize proceedings, “The Minister refused any type of financial assistance by stating that there is no legislative framework for the losses. However as I have previously reported, no legislation existed to deal with the Hill Farmers and the devastating effects of the Spring snow but the local legislation was created due to political will. “When I pressed the Minister further on a hardship package and local legislation she did not address these issues but stated that what happened to the oysters in July was not unusual. Tell this to these farmers who lost considerable stocks as a result. “The Minister did agree to assist with advice and research, which is very welcome but these farmers need assistance and need it fast in order to build up their stocks for future years. Rogers added, “I have made further representations calling for the Ministerial meeting which I had requested in July. These farmers want to speak with the Minister and put forward the very valid points that they have.”
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