Thursday, 11 February 2021

Questions (338)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

338. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the degree to which his Department can avail of opportunities to assist families dependent on the fishing industry who are being impacted by Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7749/21]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

In the context of both the proposed EU Brexit Adjustment Reserve and of the EU co-funded Seafood Development Programme 2021-27 being prepared by my Department at present under the European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund, 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.

Supports are 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.

In the meantime, my Department's European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Programme 2014-20 remains in operation and supports are available through a range of schemes operated by Bord Iascaigh Mhara for capital investment, innovation, marketing, professional advisory services and training.