Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
897. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to include aquaculture vessels, for example, mussel dredgers under the terms of the voluntary fleet support scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6541/20]
I announced on 8 May a Covid-19 Temporary Fleet Tie-up Scheme for fishing vessels in the Polyvalent, Beam Trawl and Specific segments of the fleet, to be implemented under Ireland’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Operational Programme 2014-20, co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union. The purpose of the scheme is to address the supply of fish to market so as to better balance the supply of fish from these vessels to the available market demand for these fish. The Scheme will be operational from 1 June and will allow vessel owners of fishing vessels to voluntarily opt to tie up for a maximum of two months over the period June to August.
The Scheme will support the fixed costs incurred by the vessel owners and is designed to complement the Covid-19 wage supports and loan arrangements already being provided by Government to the fishing sector and indeed other sectors of our economy. The supports to fixed costs available under the Scheme range from €6,000 per month for a maximum of two months for the very largest vessels over 24 metres, to €500 per month for a maximum of two months for the very smallest vessels under 6 metres in length. More details available at the following link
The Scheme is implemented under article 33 of the EMFF Regulation (508/2014) which allows aid to fishing vessels only for temporary cessation of fishing activities. Vessels in the aquaculture segment of the fleet are not included in the scope of the Regulation and, accordingly, their inclusion in the Tie-up Scheme is precluded.