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O’Neill marks Ardglass 200th anniversary with official opening of new fish market

Fisheries Minister Michelle O’Neill today officially opened the new £300,000 fish market and refurbished ice-plant facility in Ardglass.
Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The Minister was visiting the County Down port as part of its 200th anniversary celebrations in 2013.

The new fish-market has been designed to cater for the current and projected needs of the Ardglass fishing fleet which, in terms of vessel numbers, has expanded significantly in recent years. The Minister also took the opportunity to view the recent £110,000 investment in the port’s ice-making facilities which provides port users with an efficient ice supply.

Speaking at the event, the Minister said: “The new projects at Ardglass harbour, to which my Department has been able to contribute through the European Fisheries Fund, will improve the quality of the infrastructure required for our fishing industry to continue to operate as well as provide consumers with high quality seafood.

“This continuing DARD support for the Fishery Harbour Authority, in developing and improving fishing port facilities, serves as recognition of the confidence that government has in the future of our fishing industry.

“The restrictions and range of other pressures faced by the industry over the past years means it has had to restructure to ensure a long-term sustainable fishery will evolve, and one which will provide career and wealth opportunities for our rural fishing communities, especially along the County Down coast.”

The Minister went on to thank the Harbour Authority for the invitation to visit Ardglass in what was a very significant year in the harbour’s history.

As part of the visit, the Minister also took the opportunity to meet a number of successful graduates from the newly launched ‘Introduction to Commercial Fishing Scheme’, geared towards young people who wish to take up a career in the local fishing industry.

The Minister said: “This is the second such scheme to be run in the north of Ireland and through it 17 potential new entrants to the local fishing industry have been identified and trained in the key requirements for the job. I hope all of these graduates will enjoy a long, lucrative and successful career.”

Notes to editors:

  1. The European Fisheries Fund (EFF) Programme will provide the NI fishing industry with €36.2million of grant assistance until it closes on 31 December 2015. The European Commission is providing €18.1million of support with the remaining €18.1million being provided by Executive funds.
  2. EFF support is provided under 4 Priority Axis, namely:-

    Priority Axis 1 Measures for the adaptation of the Community Fishing Fleet.

    Priority Axis 2 Aquaculture, Inland Fishing, Processing and Marketing of Fishery and Aquaculture Products.

    Priority Axis 3 Measures of Common Interest.

    Priority Axis 4 Sustainable Development of Fisheries Areas.
  3. Council Regulation (EC) No 1198/2006 of 27 July 2006 on the European Fisheries Fund provides further information on what proposals are eligible for support under the Programme.
  4. For further information please contact the EFF Grants Unit on 028 9037 8319.
  5. For media enquiries please contact DARD Press Office 028 9052 4619 or email: pressoffice.group@dardni.gov.uk Out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.