In an ongoing engagement, Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson is to meet on Tuesday with representatives of the Lough Neagh Eel Fisheries to assess any developments regarding efforts to support and develop the eel fishing industry.
Ms Anderson said;
“When I met with representatives of the Lough Neagh eel fisheries, the largest of its kind in Europe, in February last, we discussed their concerns about support for the inshore fishing industry.
“While in the North eel consumption is still quite low, eels produced in Lough Neagh are highly sought after in other countries.
“The eel fishing industry is vital to rural communities around Lough Neagh and provides much-needed employment in the area.
“While in recent years greater efforts have been made to support and develop the eel fishing industry, more work is needed to help the industry to identify new markets and to make it easier to export eels to countries outside the EU.
“I will discuss all of these areas with the representatives when I meet with them in Brussels on Tuesday to assess what if any progress has been achieved.
“I have already raised the issues around the stocking of Lough Neagh and the transportation of live eels at a European level while my Sinn Féin colleague Liadh Ní Riada MEP has followed it up as member of the EU fisheries committee.
“Lough Neagh eels are something we can all be proud of and I look forward to continuing to work with the industry to ensure its growth and development.”