The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €10 million Irish scheme to support the fishery sector affected by the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, and the consequent quota share reductions foreseen in the provisions of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the EU and the UK.
The support will be available to companies that commit to temporarily cease their fishing activities for a month. The aim of the scheme is to save part of the Irish reduced fishing quota for other vessels, while the beneficiaries temporarily suspend their activities.
The compensation will be granted as a non-refundable grant, calculated on the basis of gross earnings averaged for the fleet size, excluding the cost of fuel and food for the crew of the vessel.
Each eligible company will be entitled to the support for up to a month in the period between 1 September to 31 December 2021. The Commission assessed the measures under Article 107(3)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which allows Member States to support the development of certain economic activities or regions, under certain conditions.
The Commission found that the measure enhances the sustainability of the fishery sector and its ability to adapt to new fishing and market opportunities arising from the new relationship with the UK. Therefore, the measure facilitates the development of this sector and contributes to the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy to ensure that fishing and aquaculture activities are environmentally sustainable in the long term.