Wednesday, 3 November 2021
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
170. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will address a matter regarding the provision of compensation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53423/21]
As outlined in my response to the Deputy's recent Parliamentary Question on this matter, the core issue here relates to the safety and safety certification of a privately purchased vessel. The safety of fishing vessels and safety certification, including matters relating to stability, is the responsibility of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has no function in relation to the safety certification of fishing vessels or matters arising in relation to their stability.
My Department’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Programme is the principal source of development funding for our seafood sector. The Programme is implemented under the provisions of the EMFF Regulation (508/2014) which specifies to what purposes funds can be granted. There is no particular provision of the EMFF Regulation that would facilitate an ex-gratia payment to assist in the case raised by the Deputy. Furthermore, it is not possible to provide a grant for the decommissioning of the vessel concerned, as under the terms of the EMFF Regulation, decommissioning is not permitted after 31 December 2018.
A new European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) Regulation (2021/1139) for the 2021- 27 period was enacted in July 2021 and my Department is preparing a new corresponding Seafood Development Programme, which should be in operation next year. However, similar to the EMFF Regulation, the new EMFAF only permits decommissioning of fishing vessels for very specific purposes concerned with addressing an identified imbalance in a particular fleet segment and only allows decommissioning of active fishing vessels and so is unlikely to be relevant to the case identified by the Deputy.