Harbours and Piers Funding

Questions (203)

Seán Kenny

Question:

203. Deputy Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the amount allocated for Howth harbour development under the fisheries harbour investment programme 2014; if he will provide specific details of the work to be carried out under this programme for the design and planning for pontoons between the middle and west pier Howth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18265/14]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Howth Fishery Harbour Centre is one of the six designated Fishery Harbour Centres, which are owned, managed and maintained by my Department.

I am happy to inform the Deputy that a total of €1.18 million has been approved for works at Howth Fishery Harbour Centre under the 2014 Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme, which includes €100,000 for the design and planning of a pontoon between the Middle and West Pier Howth.

Rural Environment Protection Scheme Payments

Questions (204)

Dara Calleary

Question:

204. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the position regarding a rural environment protection scheme payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Mayo. [18271/14]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person mentioned commenced REPS 4 in January 2010 and received payments for the first three years of their contract.

REPS 4 is a measure under the 2007-13 Rural Development Programme and is subject to EU Regulations which require detailed administrative checks on all applications to be completed before any payments can issue. This process has been completed for 2013 payments and the 75% Year 4 payment was authorised for payment on 14 April 2014 and the remaining 25% balancing payment will issue shortly thereafter.

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments

Questions (205)

Colm Keaveney

Question:

205. Deputy Colm Keaveney asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a person (details supplied) may expect to receive their agri-environment options scheme grant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18297/14]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named was approved for participation in the 2011 Agri-Environment Options Scheme with effect from 1 September 2011 and full entitlements have issued in respect of the 2011 and 2012 Scheme years.

During a 2013 inspection, the person named was found to have non-compliances in respect of the Coppicing of Hedgerows, Laying of Hedgerows and Alternative Water Source for Bovines actions. A letter issued to the person named notifying them of the inspection findings and setting out the appeal option. As no appeal was received my Department processed the file in order to make the 75% payment. There were some issues in finalising the 75% payment which have now been resolved and I expect payment to issue within 10 days. The 25% balancing payment will be calculated taking account of penalties due.

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments

Questions (206)

Tom Fleming

Question:

206. Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will expedite an agri-environment options scheme payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18356/14]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named was approved for participation in the Agri-Environment Options Scheme (AEOS 3) with effect from 1 May 2013.

Under the EU Regulations governing the Scheme and other area-based payment schemes, a comprehensive administrative check, including cross-checks with the Land Parcel Identification System, must be completed before any payment can issue. These checks are well under way and I anticipate that payments for AEOS 3 in respect of 2013 will commence shortly.

Live Exports

Questions (207, 208)

Michael McNamara

Question:

207. Deputy Michael McNamara asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will indicate the animal welfare justification for the requirement that a ship’s classification certificate must be issued by a classification society which is a member of the International Association of Classification Societies; and the way in which this requirement complies with the requirement of EU law to adopt rules in the field of the transport of animals in order to eliminate technical barriers to trade in live animals and to allow market organisations to operate smoothly. [18362/14]

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Michael McNamara

Question:

208. Deputy Michael McNamara asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason the current rules in relation to the approval of ships for livestock transport are set higher than those which apply in other EU member states. [18363/14]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 207 and 208 together.

The transport of live animals is an important feature of Ireland’s economy. National legislation, namely the Disease of Animals (Carriage of Cattle by Sea) Order, 1996 (SI No 17 of 1996), requires that a ship’s classification certificate must be issued by a classification society which is a member of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS). Certification by a member of IACS provides a higher level of confidence that the certification is reliable.

EU Council Regulation (EC) No. 1/2005 on animal transport provides for stricter rules to be applied by member states than those set down at EU level. My Department has availed of this provision and, therefore, the current Irish legislation relating to the approval of ships for livestock transport sets higher standards than those which apply generally in the EU. I believe this approach is justified for animal welfare reasons and because it reflects the nature of the shipping routes from this island and the importance that we attach both to animal welfare and the continuation of the live export trade to all available markets.

Fodder Crisis

Questions (209)

Noel Harrington

Question:

209. Deputy Noel Harrington asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the total funds that were allocated for relief of the fodder shortage in spring 2013; if he will provide in tabular form the full list of applicants and the amount sought; the full list of these applicants whose applications were approved and the amount approved; the full list of all these applications whose payments have been made in full and the amount paid; the full list of these applicants who have not received payment in full and the amount outstanding; the reasons for non payment to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18393/14]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

In light of the difficulties experienced by farmers in sourcing fodder supplies in April / May 2013, I announced the allocation of funding for an imported fodder transport scheme, designed to reduce the cost to farmers of imported forage (hay, silage, haylage) from outside the island of Ireland. The aid substantially covered the cost of transport into the country, thus reducing the cost to farmers of a bale of hay by approximately one third.

While I initially allocated a sum of €1 million, it quickly became apparent that a larger allocation would be necessary and I then increased the budget to €2 million. I can confirm that total expenditure is expected to be in the region of €2.8 million.

In excess of 18,000 farmers benefited under the Imported Fodder Transport Scheme, under which, to date, payments worth some €2.5 million have issued.

While the Scheme operated through the co-operatives, marts and other approved agencies, the actual beneficiaries are the individual farmers and primary producers who needed urgent supplies of feed. Operating the scheme in this manner was the quickest and most effective way of getting the fodder to those who needed it. It will be appreciated that Data Protection precludes the publication of details of individual beneficiaries.

Of the 79 different entities which participated in the Scheme, to date, 61 have been fully processed and paid in full, with a further 8 having received a 75% advance payment. The balancing payment will issue to these entities once all outstanding issues are resolved. These have been contacted directly and are working with my Department to resolve the outstanding issues.

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments

Questions (210)

Noel Harrington

Question:

210. Deputy Noel Harrington asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a person (details supplied) in County Cork will receive their agri-environment options scheme payment for 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18394/14]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The person named was approved for participation in the Agri-Environment Options Scheme (AEOS 3) with effect from 1 May 2013.

Under the EU Regulations governing the Scheme and other area-based payment schemes, a comprehensive administrative check, including cross-checks with the Land Parcel Identification System, must be completed before any payment can issue. These checks are well under way and I anticipate that payments for AEOS 3 in respect of 2013 will commence shortly.

Severe Weather Events Response

Questions (211)

Noel Harrington

Question:

211. Deputy Noel Harrington asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will provide an update on the compensation scheme on replacement pots after the winter storms; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18403/14]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Earlier this year, in response to the exceptional loss of pots reported by fishermen as a result of the severe storms experienced in January and February, I introduced a Shellfish Pot Replacement Scheme to assist pot fishermen with the cost of replacing lobster, crab and shrimp pots. The Scheme is to provide 40% of the cost of replacing these lost pots through fixed payments of €24 per lobster/crab pot and €12 per shrimp pot.

The Scheme is being administered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara. I understand that by the closing date of 28 March 2014, BIM had received 151 applications. These applications are being examined by BIM at present. Initial indications are that the Scheme will support the purchase of approximately 6,500 lobster/crab pots and 1,200 shrimp pots, at an estimated cost of approximately €170,000.

BIM has advised me that it hopes to have all applications processed and paid by end May.