Written answers

Thursday, 15 July 2021

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Fishing Industry

Photo of Éamon Ó CuívÉamon Ó Cuív (Galway West, Fianna Fail)
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462. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he plans to introduce a temporary tie-up scheme for fishing boats as part of the response to the changes brought about by Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38888/21]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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In March 2021, I established a Seafood Sector Task Force to examine the negative impacts of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the UK on Ireland's fishing fleet and on related coastal communities and to recommend mitigation measures to me that could be taken to provide supports for development and restructuring in order to ensure a profitable and sustainable fishing fleet and to identify opportunities for jobs and economic activity in coastal communities dependent on fishing.

On 9th June, I received an Interim Report of the Task Force, with the Final report due later this year. The Interim Report recommends the implementation, on a voluntary basis, of a temporary fleet tie-up scheme for certain segments of the fishing fleet, to mitigate the loss of income in 2021 for these fleets arising from the TCA quota reductions. Eligible vessels would be able to cease fishing for one calendar month only over the period September to December 2021 and receive compensation based on average monthly income in the pre-Covid, pre-Brexit years 2018/19, minus variable costs they will not incur while tied-up (fuel and food). The Interim Report recommends that this scheme be funded under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve. A State Aid approval from the European Commission is also required.

I welcome the recommendation of the Task Force on the proposed scheme and it is being considered as a matter of urgency.

Photo of Éamon Ó CuívÉamon Ó Cuív (Galway West, Fianna Fail)
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463. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he plans to introduce a decommissioning scheme for fishing boats in view of the significant loss of quota by the Irish fishing fleet; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38889/21]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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In March 2021, I established a Seafood Sector Task Force to examine the negative impacts of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the UK on Ireland's fishing fleet and on related coastal communities and to recommend mitigation measures to me that could be taken to provide supports for development and restructuring in order to ensure a profitable and sustainable fishing fleet and to identify opportunities for jobs and economic activity in coastal communities dependent on fishing.

On 9th June I received an Interim Report of the Task Force which recommends the implementation, on a voluntary basis, of a temporary fleet tie-up scheme for certain segments of the fishing fleet, to mitigate the loss of income in 2021 for these fleets arising from the TCA quota reductions. The Interim Report recommends that this scheme be funded under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve. A State Aid approval from the European Commission is also required.

The Final Report, due later this year, will include other Task Force proposals to support our fishing sector and our coastal communities that are dependent on fishing. Such proposals may include a recommendation to restructure our fishing fleet.

I await receipt of the Final Report and will give due consideration to any proposals made by the Task Force.

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