Throughout 2020, my Department met regularly with representatives of the aquaculture sector, to hear their views on the impact of the Pandemic on the sector and to discuss their submissions seeking financial supports. Many aquaculture producers had availed of the suite of Government Pandemic supports, but made a case for additional supports for lost sales and production.
Following discussions, in October 2020, I announced a Covid-19 Aquaculture Support Scheme under my Department's European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Programme, designed to compensate oyster and rope mussel producers for lost sales arising from the Pandemic. A total of 154 aquaculture producers benefited from supports under the scheme, with payments ranging from €6,800 to €16,300 for oyster producers and from €1,300 to €9,000 for rope mussel producers.
Payments varied according to historic production levels of the producers concerned. I am advised by BIM that the individual identified by the Deputy did not apply under the scheme.
In relation to matters raised by the Deputy concerning site 22 at Dunmore East Fishery Harbour Centre, officials from my Department met with the company concerned on 12 August 2021. Proposals were subsequently received by my Department on 9th December 2021, which set out matters that my Department had already identified would not be suitable to resolve this situation. Substantive proposals from the company are awaited and the company in question has been advised in this regard.