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Shell reaches agreement with Erris Fishermen

Shell E&P Ireland Limited (SEPIL) and the two fishermen’s representative groups in Erris, the Erris Inshore Fishermen’s Association (EIFA) and the Erris Lobster Conservation and Restocking Association (ELCRA), have reached agreement in relation to the facilitation of SEPIL’s offshore works programme for the Corrib gas project in 2010 and 2011.

The agreement covers: financial compensation to the fishermen; mutually agreed working practices to minimise disturbance and maximise safety, in particular at Ballyglass Pier; ongoing inspection of water discharge facilities at the Bellanaboy terminal and the continuation of the €1.3m Marine Fund for the development of sustainable marine-related projects in the area.

Mr Éamonn Ó Duibhir, Chairman of EIFA, said his members were pleased with the agreement reached. “Our members are happy that this agreement acknowledges our members’ fishing rights in the Broadhaven Bay area. It allows all parties to work together during the final phases of the Corrib offshore works programme over the next two years,” he said.

The Chairman of ELCRA, Mr William Walker, also expressed the satisfaction of his members. “We have built up a positive working relationship with Shell in the last three seasons and this two-year agreement is a reflection of the strengthening of that relationship. It facilitates both the fishermen and the Corrib project equally,” he said.

Commenting on SEPIL’s response to the agreement, Mr Gerry Campbell, Corrib Project Director, said it was ‘positive for all sides’.

“This agreement takes cognisance of the rights and responsibilities of all parties in relation to working arrangements in Broadhaven Bay. Safety is our number one priority for all activities and having a positive working relationship with fishermen is critical in this regard,” he said.