Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Common Fisheries Policy.

Monica Barnes

Question:

1 Mrs. Barnes asked the Minister for the Marine if the Government advisory group set up to address Irish issues for the review of the EC's Common Fisheries Policy will report this month as promised; and if the report will be widely available.

Limerick West): I understand from the chairman that the advisory group are coming close to the end of this work and plan to report to me before the summer. It is my intention that the report should be published and made widely available.

May I ask the Minister if there have been any interim reports or recommendations from the group in light of the fact that there are on-going talks at European level on the whole question of the Common Fisheries Policy and there are many difficulties which need to be addressed in those talks?

(Limerick West): As I have already indicated to the House, it is expected that the committee will report very shortly and the report will be widely available. The committee were set up on 10 February 1991 and the group have met on six occasions in the period up to 6 June. The report of the group is currently being prepared and the final meeting of the group is scheduled for 28 June. There is little point in publishing an interim report because the final report will be published within weeks.

I was referring to briefing in relation to the procedures. I am delighted, as we all are, that this prestigious group will complete their report by 28 June. Why will there be a three month delay before the report is available? Surely we should have discussion, dialogue and feed-back from all the interested groups during the summer. We are losing vital time which we cannot afford to lose. Is there any possibility that the report will be made available by July for discussion before September?

(Limerick West): I expect that the report will be made available in July and will be published immediately. I welcome any recommendations with regard to the report. I have asked the committee to speed up their report and, as I have indicated, that is being done.