The Minister made the announcement at the Balmoral Show today, when she also revealed the River’s Agency Headquarters will be relocating from Belfast to Cookstown.
Councillor Patrick Clarke said: “This is great news for South Down, the heart of Northern Ireland’s fishing commerce. This move will serve to strengthen the fishing industry which has been under pressure in recent years.
“County Down has three main fishing ports – Ardglass, Kilkeel and Portavogie – and this announcement puts Northern Ireland’s fishing trade at the centre of a popular fishing area along the County Down coast.
“This move will also decentralise public sector jobs, create new opportunities and act as a major economic boost to the South Down area. The Minister is also clear in her desire to make DARD more accessible to rural people and I commend her for this move in transferring Fisheries from Belfast into South Down.”