By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Smith gives initial views on Commission Fisheries Policy Green Paper

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mr Brendan Smith TD gave Ireland's initial views at today's EU Fisheries Council in Luxembourg on the Commission's Green Paper on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy presented to the council by Commissioner Joe Borg.  The current Green Paper is the first step in a reform process which will come to fruition in 2012.  At the Council Ireland welcomed this Green Paper and acknowledged the importance of the process we are engaging in, as it will culminate in the shaping of the strategic blueprint for the European fishing industry for the next decade.

Minister Smith said "In the current economic climate, I would suggest that it is critical we succeed in delivering a policy that both simplifies and reduces the administrative burden while at the same time strengthens and supports the industry's capacity to maximise employment in coastal communities dependant on fishing.  This will be a key objective for Ireland.  We strongly favour an industry that delivers jobs for many in coastal communities rather than the concentration of wealth in a few big international fishing businesses with no obvious benefit for Irish fishing communities".

The Minister added "It would be premature to respond in any detail on the Green Paper at this juncture, suffice to say that in Ireland we will be engaging in an intense period of consultation with stakeholders before presenting our final position on the issue. It has always been my belief that it is only with the buy-in of stakeholders will this or any other strategic policy objective be successful".

The Minister noted that Commissioner Borg had made it clear to the Council that absolutely everything within the current framework of the CFP is open for discussion.  The Minister said it is equally clear that we should only change that which needs changing.  Change for the sake of change is not an option.

EU Aquaculture Development Strategy

The Commissioner also presented the new EU Strategy for development of the aquaculture sector.  Minister Smith noted that Aquaculture is the fastest growing food production in the world and that global production now exceeds 50m tonnes per year.  Minister Smith said "the Irish Aquaculture industry is well placed to capitalise on the growth in demand for aquaculture products in Europe."  Speaking on the new EU Strategy Min Smith commented "I wholeheartedly welcome this comprehensive and wide ranging Strategy Document with its emphasis on environmental sustainability, safety and quality of EU aquaculture production.  With meaningful stakeholder inclusion it has the potential to provide the appropriate framework for the sustainable development of the EU aquaculture sector.  In the current global economic environment I believe we can further develop the Irish Aquaculture Industry in a sustainable manner to maximise the undoubted potential that exists.

EU Action Plan on Conservation of Sharks

The Council also adopted conclusions on protection of sharks in response to the Commission's recent publication of an Action Plan. Minister Smith welcomed the publication of the Action Plan and supported the Commission in coming forward with further legislative proposals for consideration by Council.

Date Released: 23 April 2009