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Ministers Coughlan and Browne welcome EU Commission approval for Ireland's State Aid Application for Restructuring Ireland's fishing fleet

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mary Coughlan TD and her colleague, Minister of State John Browne TD, today welcomed approval from the EU Commission of Ireland's State Aid application to restructuring the fishing fleet.

This restructuring programme will permanently remove some 35% of the Irish Whitefish Fleet from the sea and is an integral part of the Government's Cawley Strategy to develop a restructured, profitable and sustainable seafood industry.

Minister Coughlan said: "I met with Fisheries Commissioner Borg last month and explained to him the urgency of getting his early approval of the scheme. I am glad to say that he has now responded favourably to my request. This substantial scheme will bring the Irish fleet into balance with sustainable available fishing opportunities."

In summary the Minister said: "This is a very positive development for Irish fishing, in that capacity will be brought into greater balance with available fish and create an environment for the future development of a very important natural resource based industry."

7 November 2007

Date Released: 07 November 2007