The national development plan provides £938 million in EU and Exchequer funding for marine and natural resources as follows: seafood industry, £171 million; forestry, £592 million; coastal protection, £35 million; sea ports, £46 million; inland fisheries, £24 million; marine tourism and leisure, £20 million; marine and forestry RTDI, £50 million. An outline of plans for the funding of the individual sectors is included in the plan but will be developed in more detail in the preparation of the individual programmes under the plan on economic and social infrastructure, employment and human resources, the productive sector and the two regional programmes.
Investment in the seafood industry will support the development of seafood processing, the expansion of aquaculture, enhanced safety, quality and efficiency of the fishing fleet, development of infrastructure and onshore facilities in fishery harbours, training programmes and marketing strategies. Investment in forestry will support extensive new planting, development of roads and harvesting, and training. Investment in coastal protection will preserve economic and public infrastructure and areas of ecological importance; investment in regional ports will support infrastructure and improve capacity utilisation; and investment in inland fisheries and marine tourism and leisure will support the sustainable development of these resources for tourism and leisure.
Both the marine and forestry sectors have important roles to play in the national development plan, given their importance to rural communities and their potential for contribution to economic and social development, particularly in the less developed rural and coastal areas. While not included in the NDP, investment in oil, gas and mineral exploration by the private sector will continue to be encouraged through fiscal incentives.