Written Answers. - National Plan Financial Details.

Dinny McGinley

Question:

61 Mr. McGinley asked the Minister for the Marine the steps, if any, he has taken to ensure the appropriate attention is paid to the needs of the areas dependent on fishing under the forthcoming structural funds allocation.

As the Deputy will be aware discussions on the financial details of the national plan are ongoing. In this context, I have presented the case for the allocation of substantial structural funds to the fishing industry: I will continue to pursue this case very strongly.

I would also like to inform the Deputy that matters are now in train to integrate the fisheries structural measures for the first time into the overall Structural Funds. This will be a major improvement on the current position where fisheries funding is treated completely separately from other structural funding and, indeed, is split under two distinct measures: Regulation 4028/86 for fleet, aquaculture and port facilities and Regulation 4042/89 for fish processing. It 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.

In this regard the preparation of a sectoral plan covering all aspects of fisheries development — fleet, aquaculture, port facilities and fish processing — is well advanced in the Department and will be finalised for submission to the Commission following agreement of the National Plan.