‘Latest fishing cut is harsh and unreasonable’ – Ritchie

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Tuesday, December 31st, 2013
SDLP MP for South Down, Margaret Ritchie has described a cut in the prawn quota for next year as another blow for the fishing industry. Ritchie said, “News that the EU has imposed harsh and unreasonable cuts on the fishing effort and our local fishing industry is very disappointing. “Any progress made in recent years in relation to fisheries and fleet management could, I fear, be placed in jeopardy as a result of these harsh cuts. “These cuts have been imposed with no regard of the progress made by the local industry in recent years and the high level of cooperation from the local fishing fleet on working toward a sustainable future for fishing,” she insisted. “We must look to the future of the industry and it is important an early meeting with the EU’s Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki is arranged to discuss in detail the actions of the EU and how this will impact on our local fleet, which has been praised by the Commissioner for the tremendous strides it has made over the past two years in identifying and adopting a range of measures designed to secure sustainable fisheries. “I will also be pushing for the management of the Irish Sea to be placed on the agenda of the British Irish Council where, ahead of next year’s negotiating round, discussion can take place directly been the British, Isle of Man, Scottish and Irish Governments about the needs and requirements of each regional fishing industry. Ritchie added, “It is vital the regions work together to ensure an environmentally and economically sustainable fisheries strategy for the Irish sea.”
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