7 December 2015
By Bryan Smyth
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, today announced that the European Commission has agreed and adopted Ireland’s new €241 million development programme for the seafood sector for the period up to 2020 co-funded by the Exchequer and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.
In announcing the adoption of the Programme the Minister said
“I am delighted to announce that our comprehensive €241 million investment package for the seafood sector has been adopted in law by the Commission and the Programme can now be implemented in full. My Department has been working on this for some time with stakeholders and the State agencies that will deliver the Programme. I expect now that Schemes will be rolled out from the beginning of 2016 to assist seafood enterprises to sustainably grow their production, add value to our seafood exports and create much needed employment in our coastal communities.”
Funds under the Programme will be distributed as follows:
1. Sustainable Development of Fisheries (€67 million)
Measures will be focused on implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy, in particular the discards ban. Schemes will be implemented to support fishermen in implementing the landing obligation, to develop more selective fishing gear and methods to avoid unwanted catch, to decommission vessels in imbalanced fleet segments, to support sustainable inshore fisheries and to support implementation of the Habitats, Birds and Marine Strategy Framework Directives.
2. Sustainable Development of Aquaculture (€30 million)
Measures will be focussed on sustainably growing production, value and employment in the sector and on promoting knowledge, innovation and technology.
3. Processing and Marketing (€33 million)
Measures will be focussed on promoting innovation, competitiveness and employment in the sector through increased value added processing of fish, promotion of new product development and increased scale.
4. Fisheries Local Action Groups (€12 million)
Support to a maximum of 7 Fisheries Local Action Groups to develop and implement local development strategies for coastal areas to create growth and jobs in those areas, in particular by adding value to seafood products and diversifying the local economy towards new economic activities offered by the broader maritime sector.
5. Control and Enforcement (€45 million)
Supports will be focussed on implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy and will finance investment by the State in database systems, traceability systems, vessel monitoring systems, training and investment in new fisheries patrol vessels.
6. Data Collection (€41 million)
Supports will be focussed on provision of scientific and economic data on the seafood industry to support decision making at EU and national level on implementation of the CFP, in particular research vessel surveys, contracting of scientific and economic resources, and outsourced expertise to survey, compile and analyse data.
7. Integrated Maritime Policy (€10.6 million)
Supports will be focussed on developing a marine spatial planning system and other Integrated Maritime Policy measures.