Chris Hazzard MLA has called for urgent action to tackle the growing poverty experienced by our local fishing community.
Speaking after a recent meeting with local fishermen in Ardglass where he was accompanied by Martina Anderson MEP, Hazzard said;
“Our fishing communities are really struggling at present. We must tackle the underlying issues in order to ensure that the long term cycle of multi-generational problems is eroded now. Fishermen have raised a number of issues here today with Martina and I and she has committed to tackle them head on. She will be returning to Ardglass in the coming months and I will be pressing upon OFMDFM to work alongside her in producing real and tangible results for this industry.
I have called for OFMDFM to accompany Martina and I on our next visit and for them to use the Delivering Social Change Programme to tackle the growing levels of poverty in the fishing community.”
Ms Anderson added:
“It is important that our traditional fishing industry is protected from further decline. During my meeting with the fishermen’s representatives in Ardglass, I was pleased to have the opportunity to discuss how best to increase the quotas for the Irish fishing fleet and make the industry more sustainable in the longer term while protecting jobs and family incomes.
“The rising cost of fuel, an ageing fishing feet, quotas and the number of days allowed at sea as well the conservation of stocks were all topics which were discussed at length.
” I am pleased to be standing up with my party colleague, Chris Hazzard MLA for the Irish fishing industry and trying to secure the best possible deal for our local fishermen, their families and communities. We are very proud of our local hospitality industry and the wide range of seafood options on offer in local restaurants which we got to sample during our visit to Ardglass.”