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Ministers Smith and Killeen meet Federation of Irish Fisherman

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, and Minister of State with responsibility for Fisheries, Tony Killeen TD, met the Federation of Irish Fishermen (FIF) to discuss a range of issues relevant to the sector yesterday.

Minister Smith described the meeting as 'a very useful and constructive exchange of views' and said that he looked forward to working with the industry. The Minister said that the FIF had raised a number of concerns of the Irish fisheries sector. Mr Smith said that he noted the statement issued by the EU Fisheries and Maritime Commissioner, Joe Borg, in which he acknowledged the difficulties being experienced by the European fisheries sector.

Mr Killeen welcomed the opportunity to meet the industry, which he described as 'an important one' with which he was committed to working closely to ensure its successful future. Minister Killeen said that a key element in securing the industry's future was the implementation of the report of the Seafood Strategy Implementation Group - Steering a New Course - and said that he had earlier met the Chairman of the Implementation Group, Dr Noel Cawley to review progress on the report's implementation.

Ministers Smith and Killeen also confirmed that they had requested an early meeting with Commissioner Borg to discuss the issues of concern to Irish fisherman and welcomed the Commissioner's commitment to work with Member States and stakeholders. The Ministers also said that they would have the opportunity to discuss the issues with their EU colleagues at the forthcoming EU Fisheries Council on 23rd June.

Date Released: 30 May 2008