PQ on Common Fisheries Policy

Jim Daly (Cork South West, Fine Gael)

Question 43: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food his proposals to consult with stakeholders in the fishing industry on the negotiations for reform of the Common Fisheries Policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7711/11]

Simon Coveney (Minister, Department of Agriculture, the Marine and Food; Cork South Central, Fine Gael)

The European Commission published a Green Paper on the Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in April 2009 in order to launch a consultation process with member states and all stakeholders and to initiate a broad public debate on the future CFP reform. Dr. Noel Cawley was appointed to oversee an extensive nationwide consultation process involving all stakeholders, fishermen, processors, environmental NGOs, etc., to contribute to the development of Ireland’s formal response to the Commission’s Green Paper. Advertisements were placed in national newspapers and a web portal was set up on the Fishing Net website so that all stakeholders and the general public could submit their observations on the CFP. Ireland’s Response to the Commission Green Paper, which was informed and shaped by the results of the consultation process, was submitted to the European Commission early in 2010.

Under the planned EU timetable for the review, it is now expected that the much-awaited draft legislative proposals on the reform will be circulated before the summer recess. As recently as 30 March, I took the opportunity to discuss Irish priorities on the CFP agenda with industry representatives. It is my intention to continue the consultation process with industry representatives and other stakeholders over the coming months with a view to maintaining a coherent and unified Irish position.

I can assure the Deputy that I am fully committed to working closely with fishing industry representatives, other stakeholders, our member state colleagues and the European Commission to strengthen the fisheries policy as a whole, as well as the traditional coastal communities that are dependent on it.

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