Minister highlights potential of fishing


Donegal does not depend on Fruit of the Loom. The marine sector is the county's largest employer, but its potential has not been fully realised, according to the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources, Dr Woods.

The Minister, who is hosting a conference on the investment in the marine sector in the Donegal salmon port of Bunbeg today, forecasts that the area has "immense potential as a centre of gravity for new areas of marine-related business".

Over 3,000 people are already employed in commercial fishing and fish farming, but the Minister says that there are further development opportunities in shore-based services for tourism, transport and oil and gas exploration.

The Bunbeg conference aims to feed into the work of the Donegal Employment Initiative Task Force, established by the Government in response to the uncertain future at the US clothing manufacturer's plants.

The task force is to focus on the assets of the region, including indigenous small and medium-sized enterprises.

Today's conference in Ostan Gweedore, Bunbeg, is co-sponsored by the Minister's department, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, the Marine Institute and the Marine Times monthly magazine.