Northern Ireland written question – answered on 4th February 2004.

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Photo of Iris Robinson Iris Robinson DUP, Strangford

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what financial assistance the Government will give Northern Ireland's (a) fishermen and (b) processors during the tie-up scheme for cod fishing boats beginning on 14 February.

Photo of Ian Pearson Ian Pearson Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Northern Ireland Office

I propose to introduce transitional aid for fishermen most affected by the cod recovery measures and who voluntarily cease all fishing activities during the closure of the Irish Sea to cod fishing from 14 February to 30 April 2004 inclusive. The scheme aims to provide assistance to the owners of eligible vessels who tie-up for the full 11-week closure. There are no plans to compensate processors. The majority of the Northern Ireland fleet may continue to fish and therefore provide continuity of locally sourced raw materials, which local processors normally supplement with raw materials from other parts of Ireland and the United Kingdom throughout the closure.

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