Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (713)

Pádraig MacLochlainn


713. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the strategic investments his Department plans to make in harbour infrastructure to attract increased landings into Ireland of sustainably caught fish in Irish waters, driving the development of the seafood processing sector and the blue economy in coastal communities as per the commitment in the programme for Government; if he will set out these planned investments in tabular form containing locations, timeline and monetary commitments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2826/21]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

My Department owns, operates and maintains six designated State-owned Fishery Harbour Centres, located at Castletownbere, Dingle, Dunmore East, Howth, Killybegs and Ros An Mhíl under statute. In addition, my Department also has responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of North Harbour at Cape Clear, as well as the maintenance of a small number of specific piers, lights and beacons throughout Ireland, in accordance with the Marine Works (Ireland) Act 1902, and piers, lights and beacons constructed under the auspices of the Congested Districts Board.

Funding is made available on an annual basis by my Department to the Fishery Harbour Centres, via the Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme. Since 2010, €140million has been invested in this Department-owned infrastructure.

The responsibility for the development and maintenance of Local Authority owned piers, harbours and slipways rests with each Local Authority in the first instance and their parent Department, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage thereafter.

However, my Department has, as part of its annual Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme, provided limited funding to assist coastal Local Authorities in carrying out small scale projects for the development and repair of piers, harbours and slipways in their ownership. Since 2010, over €31 million in funding has been provided by my Department under this scheme.

€30 million has been allocated to my Department’s 2021 Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme, including the Local Authority scheme. No final decisions have been made on the composition of the 2021 capital programme at this stage.