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#FISHING - Proposals to close substantial areas of Strangford Lough to fishing vessels have been met with strong criticism by Northern Ireland's commercial fishermen.

In a recent letter to the News Letter, Paul Leenan writes asking Fisheries Minister Michelle O'Neill to clarify the government's position following a complaint to the European Commission by the Ulster Wildlife Trust regarding the protection of horse mussel reefs in the lough.

While recognising the importance of the lough's marine ecosystem, Leenan writes: "The notion that substantial areas of the lough could be closed to fishing vessels is of serious concern to fishermen, at a time of great economic difficulty.

"Any hasty action could put livelihoods at risk and threaten the viability of the whole fishing industry here."

In response, the Ulster Wildlife Trust claims that "the management of certain aspects of the fauna and flora within the lough has caused... much concern over the past two decades."

Joe Furphy of the trust writes: "If we are to secure a truly sustainable future for the lough, its environment and diverse wildlife, upon which sustainable fisheries rely, then we need to ensure that adequate ‘non-disturbance zones’ are put in place."

Published in Fishing

About Warrenpoint Port

The Original Port of Warrenpoint was constructed in the late 1770s and acted as a lightering port for the much larger Port of Newry.

Following the demise of Newry Port Warrenpoint Harbour Authority was created as a Trust Port by legislation in 1971. The modern Port was completed in 1974 when it covered 28 acres. Since then the port has expanded to its current size of approximately 53 Acres. The Authority has just completed a £22 Million capital infrastructure project (under the terms of a Service of General Economic Interest with the Department for Regional Development) that includes, the construction of a 300 Metres of Deep Water Quay (7.5 Metres C.D), new Ro-Ro berthing facilities, additional lands and covered storage facilities and a new 100 Tonne mobile crane.

  • Warrenpoint Port is the second largest port in Northern Ireland and the fifth-biggest on the island of Ireland.
  • Warrenpoint Harbour Authority was created as a Trust Port by legislation in 1971.
  • In 2018, the value of goods moving through Warrenpoint Port was £6.5 billion. The Port handled 3.56 million tonnes in 2017, increasing to 3.6m in 2018.
  • The port employs 70 staff directly and supports over 1,500 in the local economy.
  • In addition to serving the markets in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland, the Port deals with imports and exports from countries and regions across the world including to Spain, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Ukraine and the Americas.

 

At A Glance – Warrenpoint Port

  • Warrenpoint, Newry BT34 3JR, United Kingdom Phone: +44 28 4177 3381

     

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