DAERA Minister discusses future development opportunities for Kilkeel and Ardglass

DAERA Minister Andrew Muir has followed up on an earlier promise to visit the fishing harbours of Ardglass and Kilkeel.
DAERA Minister Andrew Muir is pictured on a visit to Ardglass harbour with Dick James from the Ardglass Harbour Development Group, Kevin Quigley, CEO of the Northern Ireland Fishery Harbour Authority, Ardglass Harbour Master James Lenaghan and Comgall Milligan, Chair of the Ardglass Harbour Development Group.DAERA Minister Andrew Muir is pictured on a visit to Ardglass harbour with Dick James from the Ardglass Harbour Development Group, Kevin Quigley, CEO of the Northern Ireland Fishery Harbour Authority, Ardglass Harbour Master James Lenaghan and Comgall Milligan, Chair of the Ardglass Harbour Development Group.
DAERA Minister Andrew Muir is pictured on a visit to Ardglass harbour with Dick James from the Ardglass Harbour Development Group, Kevin Quigley, CEO of the Northern Ireland Fishery Harbour Authority, Ardglass Harbour Master James Lenaghan and Comgall Milligan, Chair of the Ardglass Harbour Development Group.

The Minister met with groups from both harbours that are calling for infrastructure improvements and discussed wider development opportunities for the fishing and seafood sector.

Minister Muir said: “I met with the Kilkeel Collaborative Network today and was very impressed by their vision and goals. On a tour of the harbour it was great to see the range of businesses that make up the local fishing and seafood sector and it was very interesting to see prawns being processed by SeaSource and the steps that are taken to prepare high-quality seafood for market.

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“I also met with the Ardglass Harbour Development group and they set out very clearly the development needs for Ardglass. The impact of UK Government migration policies on the industry was raised at both meetings in Ardglass and Kilkeel. I will continue to make representations to the Home Secretary on this matter conscious of the serious impact upon many sectors including fisheries.”

The Minster concluded: “Both Ardglass and Kilkeel play an integral role in supporting our local fishing industry, the economy, our rural and coastal communities and securing food on our tables. Our fishing industry has faced several challenges in recent years, and I appreciate the opportunity to hear first-hand the impact of these challenges on our fishing and seafood sectors.

“I recognise the importance of providing support to the fishing industry to allow the sector to deliver change. I look forward to engaging and working in partnership with our local fishing and seafood industry, now and into the future, to explore options for fleet modernisation, sustainability and achieving net zero targets."

During the visit to Kilkeel, Minister Muir took in a site meeting to see local cliff erosion. On seeing the risks associated with coastal erosion, Minister Muir said: “I recognise the need for a collaborative approach to coastal erosion risk management and I intend to discuss this issue with the Infrastructure Minister.”

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