Minister for the Marine, Charlie McConalogue has not revealed what his plans for the Irish fishing industry are for 2023
Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue a written question on the funding schemes that he plans to introduce in 2023 to support the Irish fishing fleet and the wider seafood sector and that have been developed in line with the recommendations of the “Report of the Seafood Task Force – Navigating Change”; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Responding to the question, the Minister said:
“The Report of the Seafood Task Force – Navigating Change (October 2021) recommended 16 support schemes at an estimated cost of €423 million, collectively designed to address the impacts of Brexit and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) on our seafood sector and coastal communities.
“Given the large number of recommendations and the work required to examine each from the perspective of funding available, eligibility under the EU Brexit Adjustment Reserve Regulation, State Aid rules, and the Public Spending code, the Task Force recommended that its 16 recommended schemes be considered on a phased and prioritised basis.
“Since the publication of the Task Force Report, €225m in supports and developmental strategies have been launched. These are more generous and comprehensive than those put in place elsewhere and will enable our seafood sector and coastal communities to overcome the significant challenges it faces. Key measures introduced include the €45 million Brexit Processing Capital Support Scheme, the €25 million Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Development Scheme and a €35 million Brexit Local Authority Marine Infrastructure Scheme. The Brexit Voluntary Permanent Cessation Scheme recently closed having received 63 applications which are now undergoing assessment by BIM.
“The evaluation and examination of the remaining Task Force recommendations is continuing with proposed measures at varying stages of progress and dependent also on the varying factors outlined above, including the securing of State Aid approval where appropriate. In addition to this, it is worth noting that the Task Force recommendations extended to the use of funding under the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) Programme which was approved by Government in September and has been submitted to the European Commission for adoption. This will provide a platform for longer term development of the sector up to 2027.”