Wednesday, 17 December 2003
Dáil Eireann Debate
63. Mr. Costello asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources the matters discussed and conclusions reached at his meeting with the French Minister for Fisheries, Monsieur Herve Gaymard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31250/03]
Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources (Mr. D. Ahern): I had useful discussions with my French colleague, Minister Herve Gaymard, on 24 November in Paris in which fisheries issues of mutual interest and concern were discussed. The meeting was part of a programme of consultations I am holding with EU member states and accession countries in advance of taking over the Presidency of the Fisheries Council in January. Accordingly, the primary focus of the discussion was in regard to the upcoming Irish Presidency. I outlined our likely fisheries priorities and also set out a programme of work for the Fisheries Council for the coming six months.
I also used the opportunity to discuss common concerns for the forthcoming December Fisheries Council. These discussions focused in particular on issues arising from the Commission's proposals for TACs, total allowable catch, and quotas in the Celtic Sea, and also on proposed limits on fishing under the recovery plans for cod and hake proposed by the Commission. During the meeting, we confirmed that France and Ireland have much in common in our approach to fisheries policy within the European Union. In that context, we agreed to maintain close contact up to the December Fisheries Council and on other future issues of common concern.
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