Northern Ireland Fisheries Minister Bríd Rodgers travels to Luxembourg today where she will join the other UK Fisheries Ministers in a wide-ranging debate on the future of the Common Fisheries Policy.

Commenting on the importance of ensuring that the local sea fishing interests are represented in the influential European Union forum, Bríd Rodgers said:-

"This is the beginning of a very significant process that will shape the future management and support of our local industry. I welcome the Commission's stated intention to involve stakeholders in the decisions which will affect the industry's future.

While recognising that the policy needs to be reformed I will, however, be pointing out to my colleagues how seriously local communities can be affected by the social and economic impact of cuts and closures in the fishing industry. I will be discussing with them over the coming months how we can work together to address these problems."