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Northern Ireland MEP seeking shake-up in fisheries policy

Northern Ireland MEP Jim Nicholson has said that the recent fisheries negotiations held in Brussels show that “root and branch” reform of the Common Fisheries Policy is needed.

The Ulster Unionist Member described the outcome of the European Fisheries Commission talks as “something of a mixed bag”.

“The fact that the feared cut to our prawn quota has not materialised will be welcomed by those who rely on this key stock for their livelihoods,” he said.

“These talks do, however, show that there is clearly a need for root and branch reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.

“This reform must devolve more power to individual Member states to permit them to make key decisions regarding their fleets, their fisheries and, ultimately, their communities who rely on the fishing industry |for survival.

“The rigid, centralised decision-making approach currently employed by the commission |is overly complex and does not produce good outcomes; it is clear that one size does not |fit all.

“Member states are better placed to engage with those with knowledge of the local industry and fish stocks to produce plans which safeguard jobs and communities on one hand, whilst also ensuring sustainable stocks for future generations.”

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