Minister for the Marine, Charlie McConalogue has requested the Government to take note of the Interim Report of the Seafood Sector Task Force

Minister for the Marine, Charlie McConalogue has requested the Government to take note of the Interim Report of the Seafood Sector Task Force

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, has called on the Government to take note of the Interim Report of the Seafood Sector Task Force.

The Seafood Sector Task Force interim report was received by the Minister on 09 June this year and amongst its recommendations is the implementation of a voluntary temporary tie-up scheme which would see Irish fishing vessels slow down or cease fishing during the months of August through to December.

The maximum cost of the scheme would be €10 million and would be funded from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve fund which has been approved by the EU.

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The report sets out some actions to tackle burden sharing which the Minister will also present to his colleagues in the Cabinet.

The Minister says that he wants to make the Cabinet fully aware of the impacts that the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) is having on the Irish fishing industry and coastal communities.

Following the Cainet meeting today, the Minister said, “I thank the Seafood Sector Task Force for their constructive engagement and the production of the Interim Report which has useful findings.

“Today, I outlined the details of the Report to the Cabinet and once again highlighted the importance of the sector to our country.”

The Minister set up the Seafood Sector Task Force to examine the implications for the Irish fishing industry and coastal communities post-Brexit.

The Task Force, chaired by Aiden Cotter, was charged with recommending initiatives that could be taken to provide supports for development and restructuring, so as to ensure a profitable and sustainable fishing fleet and to identify opportunities for jobs and economic activity in coastal communities dependent on fishing.

The issues identified by the Task Force at their meetings has been:

  1. The issue of ‘burden sharing’ arising from the disproportionate transfer of quota share by Ireland compared with that from other EU member states to the UK, and the mechanisms that hold potential to address the loss of quota arising.
  2. The funding streams available to finance initiatives, the rules governing how funds are to be allocated, and the sectoral priority of seafood to access available funding; and
  3. The opportunity presented by the forthcoming review of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) due to be finalised by the end of 2022, to renegotiate Ireland’s quota allocation post-TCA.

Speaking to The Fishing Daily last week, Minister McConalogue said that he was awaiting the full report from the Seafood Sector Task Force but would not rush the group into completing the report as he said it was important that the task force fully examined all areas of concern to the fishing sector.

By Oliver McBride

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Minister requests Government to note Interim Report from Seafood Sector Task Force

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