[Sinn Fein]

19th November 2002

Ferris grills Minister Ahern on fishing

The Sinn Fein spokesperson on the Marine, Martin Ferris TD questioned the Minister for the Marine Noel Ahern in the Dáil today on how the Government proposes to protect the Irish fishing industry in the light of the recent legal decision to open up the Irish Box conservation area and the ongoing review of the Common Fisheries Policy.

At Question Time, Deputy Ferris asked the Minister if he agreed that the current threats were an inevitable consequence of the failure by successive Governments since 1973 to protect the national interest in this area.

``When one bears in mind that 120 Billion Euro of fish have been taken from Irish waters since we joined the EU, it is surely time that Irish fishermen were given some compensation for the massive contribution which our fisheries have made to the economies of the other member states. And yet what we are faced with instead are further cuts in the Total Allowable Catch and drastic reductions in the fleet with all the consequences that will have for our coastal fishing communities.''

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