Hatch helps net vital information on Europe’s fish stocks
CRAIGAVON’S Deputy Mayor is part of a European committee that is ‘mapping’ the ever-changing fish stocks around the seas of Europe.
Alderman Arnold Hatch is one of the four Northern Ireland members of the 200-strong Committee of the Regions, which is examining the effects of global warming, migration of various species, pollution and sustainability of stocks.
Their domain stretches from the Baltic in the north to the Mediterranean in the south, and includes the Irish and North Seas. And it covers a vast range of fish species, which are being affected profoundly by human activities and the rise of temperatures throughout the seas of Europe.
There are two MLAs involved full-time in the project - Francie Molloy (SF) from MId Ulster and John Dallat (SDLP) from East Londonderry. Alderman Hatch (UUP) is a member through the Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA) and the other council representative is Councillor Trevor Cumming (DUP) from Ards Borough Council.
Said Alderman Hatch, “The committee, based in Brussels, has completed a draft report on the detailed and comprehensive subject. Marine knowledge is vital to achieve sustainable growth by creating healthy and productive oceans and seas and to improve the understanding of marine ecosystems and the consequences of human and climate activities affecting their future.
“A central database is essential, so that all sides of the equation - the scientists and the fishing industry - can plan for the future, so that the environment and the industry can exist side-by-side.”
It will be a year or two before all the knowledge is distilled, and the Deputy Mayor has been on a number of visits to Brussels to help garner the knowledge.
He said, “It has been an interesting and educational project. I have been part of it all through NILGA of which I was president in 2009-10, and I will be president next year again. I learned quite a lot about the migration of fish, the effects of global warming and the human activities, like fishing and pollution. This is all vital for the future of the maritime environment of the seas which border the European Union.”
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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