IFA President welcomes Sean Connick – Fishupdate.com

IFA President welcomes Sean Connick Published:  24 March, 2010

IFA President, John Bryan, has welcomed the appointment of Sean Connick TD to the role of Minister of State with responsibility for the crucial indigenous economic sectors of Fisheries and Forestry.

“IFA’s members involved in the farmed fish, shellfish and farm forestry sectors look forward to real progress removing barriers to release the economic potential in these native industries”, he said.

The farmed fish and shellfish sector employs 2,000 people in peripheral coastal areas and is worth over €100m in exports annually. The industry needs Government to urgently address the backlog of licence applications and renewals affected by the Habitats Directive and also to immediately open the Operational programme for the aquaculture sector to encourage companies to begin again to invest capital and create new jobs.

The forestry industry is worth approximately €1.89 billion to the economy annually and employs over 16,000 persons. The income generation potential, particularly of the farm forestry sector is enormous but is being hampered by lack of essential infrastructure such as forest roads necessary to mobilise the resource. If farmers are properly supported to mobilise first & second thinnings it could be worth over to €100 million to the local economy in standing sales timber sales by 2015, not to mention the job creation potential.

IFA’s sectoral representatives for Aquaculture and Forestry are seeking a early meeting with Minister Connick to seek progress in their respective areas of concern.

Mr Bryan thanked outgoing Minister Tony Killeen for his work in these areas and wished him well in his promotion to Minister for Defence.