We are only six months into the Programme for a Partnership Government, so it is a little difficult to assess the extent to which we have begun to move towards our targets. However, there are clear indicators that, even in this short period, we have indeed started to move in this direction.
First, the campaign to modernise the Irish fleet received a major boost in April, when the Commission published its decisions on grant-aid for the fleet. Community funding of £1.3 million was secured for 23 modernisation projects, underpinning a total investment of around £4 million making this the most successful Irish grant-aid tranche for a number of years. The next round of grants will be made in October next and I will be pushing strongly at that point for further funding for modernisations.
I would also point out at this point that the mechanism whereby Community funding will be provided for the development of the fleet is currently being modified with the incorporation of funding for fisheries development into the general Structural Funds framework. This will mean greater efficiency in fisheries funding and will enable national authorities better to plan for periods of several years and to tailor individual schemes to real needs.