Thursday, 11 February 2021

Questions (336, 337)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

336. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the extent to which the fishing industry has been affected by Brexit; the actions taken or in hand to address these issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7747/21]

View answer

Bernard Durkan

Question:

337. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the extent to which families dependent on the fishing industry are being affected by Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7748/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 336 and 337 together.

The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement will, unfortunately, have a negative impact on our fishing industry. However, this impact would have been far greater had the Barnier Task Force agreed to UK demands or had we been in a no-deal scenario which would have seen all EU vessels barred from UK waters and subsequent displacement into Ireland's fishing zone.

I have published a Preliminary Analysis of Transfers of Quota Shares on the gov.ie website which details quota transfers for Ireland across the different stocks. This compares the quota shares allocated to Ireland in 2020 and the corresponding new quota shares for 2021-2016. The Deputy will see from this document that reductions in the Annexes to the Agreement are graduated over the 5.5 year period of reciprocal access, but the largest part of the reduction, 60%, is between 2020 and 2021. The aggregate cost of final quota transfer by Ireland to the UK, which is estimated to be about €43m per annum by 2026, amounts to about a 15% reduction.

In the context of the Commission Proposal for a Regulation establishing a Brexit Adjustment Reserve, I am exploring a variety of possible measures to support our sector with the impacts of the quota transfers to the UK agreed under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. This is likely to include a Temporary Fleet Tie-up Scheme to support the sector in the short term as the effects of the quota transfers begin to affect fishing opportunities. However, as I announced to the Dáil on 21 January, I propose to set up a Task Force involving seafood industry representatives and representatives of other stakeholders to provide recommendations to me on the appropriate measures that will best support the sector and the local coastal communities with the impacts of the quota cuts. I will be asking the task force to immediately focus on arrangements for the Temporary Fleet Tie-up Scheme, so that it can be ready to go live as soon as it is needed. I also expect that the Task Force will provide prioritised recommendations on a range of other appropriate measures that will allow our seafood sector and coastal communities to adjust to the impacts of the quota reductions.