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Minister of State Killeen and Dr. Noel Cawley meet Fishermen in a series of meetings on the CFP Review

Tony Killeen, Minister of State with responsibility for Fisheries in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food is today commencing a series of meetings on a regional basis with fishermen on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).   This consultation will involve Dr Noel Cawley, who was appointed by Minister of State Killeen last May to oversee consultations with stakeholders on the CFP reform.

In April, the European Commission published a Green Paper on the latest reform of the CFP in order to launch a consultation with Member States and stakeholders and to initiate a broad public debate on the future CFP reform.  The planned meetings will take place this week in Killybegs, Galway, Dunmanway and Dublin with a further meeting in Waterford in the coming fortnight.  These  will offer fishermen the opportunity to set out their own experiences of the CFP and outline the changes they are seeking to reform the policy.   The outcome of these meetings will be compiled by Dr Cawley into a formal report to be presented to the Minister of State to inform Ireland's national position which must be submitted to the EU Commission by the 31st of December.   Under the planned EU timetable for the review, a summary of the consultation process will be published in 2010 by the EU Commission and will be followed by a legislative proposal to the Council and the European Parliament to be adopted in 2011, with a view to its entering into force in 2012.

Minister of State Killeen said "this review of the CFP offers a great opportunity to Irish fishermen to take stock of where we are and to identify the changes they consider will help address shortcomings in the policy, and so take better account of the needs and priorities of Irish fishermen.   I intend to listen closely to fishermen who are best placed to understand the problems with the current policy and suggest changes.    This series of meetings which are being arranged with Dr Cawley will be critically important in developing Ireland's negotiating position for the formal submission of our views by the end of the year.  They will also aid us in the subsequent negotiations at the Fisheries Council and the European Parliament. My aim is to reform the CFP in ways that will maximise the benefits for employment and economic activity in our coastal communities".

The first meeting will be held on Monday the 31st of August in Killybegs and Minister of State Killeen will take the opportunity to congratulate fishing vessel owners  who have been awarded a Certificate of Conformity for mackerel fishing by the Marine Stewardship Council.   "I am delighted that the mackerel fishing plan submitted by fishermen has earned them this Marine Stewardship Council Certificate which recognises that mackerel fishing will be carried out by  vessels in the RSW Pelagic Fleet on a sustainable basis to meet high environmental standards", said the Minister.

Date Released: 31 August 2009