financial support inshore fishermen

Government TDs urged to support a motion forcing direct government intervention to protect Irish inshore fishermen from financial disaster

Government TDs urged to fully support a motion forcing direct government intervention – to protect our inshore fishing fleet – from impending financial disaster

The Rural Independent TDs will today, Wednesday 25 January, bring forward a motion to the Dáil, demanding that the government sanction a €12 million direct state financial package to mitigate the socio-economic pressures on the sector and support the vitality of coastal communities.

Speaking this morning from Leinster House, rural independent TD for Kerry, Deputy Michael Healy-Rae stated:

BIM RNLI man overboard training

“Today, my colleagues and I in the rural independent group, will table a key motion aimed at directing the government to take swift action and provide financial aid to the inshore fishing fleet.”

“Our motion aims to force the government to finally act, by allocating at least €12 million in funds to the inshore shrimp and velvet crab fishermen from the available €285.4 million European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF).”

“Many of these small-scale fishermen operate using punts of only 16 to 18 feet long, to provide a livelihood for their families during rough weather in tough and dangerous conditions. The government can no longer neglect this small-scale fleet.”

“The Irish inshore fleet, which accounts for 9 in every 10 of Ireland’s fishing fleet, is being hit extremely hard by the loss of fish quota, the unfair competition from larger foreign commercial vessels, the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, the war in Ukraine and record operational costs for the entire sector.”

“The sector is also experiencing a collapse in the processed shrimp and velvet crab market, yet, the government looks the other way and offers no support, despite EU funds available for allocation.”

“It is completely unacceptable for the Minister for Marine and the government to ignore the genuine astronomical pressures on these fishermen. In fact, the lack of any financial support for this unique sector is cruel, particularly as up to 3,000 jobs are now in jeopardy in rural coastal communities.”

“The cost of fuel is hitting the sector hard, demonstrated by a recent BIM report, highlighting that fuel costs have skyrocketed by 114 percent for fishermen over the past year. This cost alone now represents 28 percent of the average fleet’s operating costs.”

“Our motion aims to address this crisis by forcing governmental action, to allot available funds to all impacted inshore boats through the BIM grant porthole system. Doing this would enable an almost instant allocation system to be established providing short-term immediate relief.”

“We are urging all TDs, especially rural Fianna Fail and Fine Gael TDs to fully support this motion, which represents a genuine attempt on our part to provide the necessary financial support to one of Ireland’s oldest indigenous sectors,” concluded Deputy Healy-Rae.

Source: Press Release

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Rural TDs today push Dáil motion demanding financial support package for inshore fishermen

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