Thursday, 29 April 2010
Department of Agriculture and Food
Question 44: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the time frame for the conclusion of the research needed to gain approval of the operational programme for fisheries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16894/10]
The Seafood Development Measure contained in the National Development Plan 2007-2013 is divided between the EU Co-funded Operational Programme and the National Seafood Development Operational Programme. The EU Co-funded OP has already commenced and has funded the 2008 decommissioning scheme which has allowed 46 boats to be decommissioned with grant aid totalling €36.6 million already paid during 2008 and 2009.
The National Seafood Development Operational Programme 2007-2013 was advertised for public consultation in October 2008. Following this consultation process, issues were raised by the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government and the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources on behalf of CFB (Central Fisheries Board) regarding the grant-aiding of projects where environmental issues arise relating to compliance with the EU Birds and Habitats Directives and sea lice control on salmon farms. I have asked my officials to examine the OP and to draft options that would allow for the adoption of the OP taking into consideration the issues that were raised in the public consultation stage. I would hope to be in a position to come to a decision on this matter in the near future.