16th Jan2013

Engaging our fishermen

by admin

Tom (and friend) with John Rooney of Rooney Fish processing factory in Kilkeel

Shadow Fisheries Minister Tom Harris was in Northern Ireland this week to learn about the issues facing this crucial industry.

Tom met various fishermen and their representatives at Kilkeel and Ardglass ports in South Down and was briefed on a number of issues, ranging from prawn and cod quotas to the prospect of a new offshore windfarm in the Irish Sea.

Tom was in Northern Ireland at the invitation of South Down MP Margaret Ritchie. He said: “It’s important that ministers and shadow ministers visit all parts of the UK and speak to as many stakeholders as possible. The challenges facing the fishing industry in Northern Ireland are very similar to those throughout the UK. The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), even in a post-devolution UK, has a vital role in crafting policy on behalf of fishermen throughout the whole country.

“The people I met this week are very positive about the prospects but the industry but are honest about the challenges they face.”

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