Minster for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD today welcomed the EU Fisheries Commissioner, Karmenu Vella, to the Marine Institute in Galway on Thursday, 9th July.
Commissioner Vella was greeted by Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO Marine Institute and Minister Coveney, who said "I am delighted to welcome Commissioner Vella to Ireland on his first official visit as Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and the Environment. While the Commissioner will have many opportunities over the coming days to learn about the overall importance of maritime affairs to Ireland, today our focus was on the seafood industry. In particular, this was an opportunity for me as Minister and the relevant stakeholders to provide the Commissioner with an overview on the seafood industry in Ireland and the challenges and opportunities in implementing the new reformed Common Fisheries Policy."
Commissioner Vella, who is responsible for Maritime Affairs and the Environment, is on a three day visit to Ireland during which he will have a number of engagements, the first of which was roundtable discussion with seafood industry stakeholders in the Marine Institute.
Minister Coveney hosted a discussion between the stakeholders - representing the catching sector, processors, the aquaculture sector as well as the environmental pillar – and the Commissioner during a two hour meeting today in the Marine Institute.
Minister Coveney went on to say "Today was a very valuable opportunity for seafood stakeholders to directly engage with Commissioner Vella and to express their views on a wide variety of issues of direct importance to coastal communities dependent on fisheries and aquaculture in Ireland. This kind of direct engagement will ensure that the Commissioner has a solid understanding of the issues of concern to Ireland as we implement the new CFP. In particular, stakeholders raised issues around the phasing in of the new discards ban or Landing obligation and the objective of achieving maximum sustainable yield or MSY by 2020 at the latest".