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Minister Killeen designates additional ports for Hake and Monkfish

The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food with responsibility for Fisheries, Tony Killeen TD, today designated a number of additional ports for the landing of Hake and Monkfish.

Minister Killeen said that the designations were following a request from the Federation of Irish Fishermen (FIF) and in consultation with the Sea Fisheries' Protection Agency (SFPA). The designations will convenience fishermen in terms of operational efficiency while recognising the need to continue to address safety concerns.

The Minister confirmed that Kilmore Quay will be included in the list of designated ports for those vessels participating in the Monkfish scheme with effect from Saturday, 2nd August. This follows on from the recent designation of Kinsale and Schull for the landing of monkfish.

In addition, the ports of Kinsale, Kilmore Quay and Schull may be used for the landing of hake as soon as the necessary Statutory Instrument is made. The Minister said that he anticipates that this will be done later this month.

The Minister also said that he was anxious to see the conclusion of a comprehensive review of the designated ports around the Irish coast. The review will consider if amendments should be made to balance the interests of fishermen while maintaining an effective control regime that will continue to protect fish stocks. The Minister urged the FIF to engage actively and urgently with his Department and the SFPA in this process and has instructed that the review be completed and final proposals submitted to him by 31st October 2008.

Minister Killeen said that, depending on the outcome of the review, he would consider whether any other ports should be designated. A new Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) which is being installed by the SFPA may provide more scope to extend the number of designated ports. In advance of the completion of the review, however, the Minister said that no further designations would be made.

Date Released: 01 August 2008