A new round of funding under Ireland’s Brexit Inshore Fisheries Business Model Adjustment Scheme has been announced by Minister Charlie McConalogue.
The support scheme which operated in 2022 was put in place to assist inshore fishers in adjusting to the impacts of Brexit on their businesses and delivered on a recommendation of the Report of the Seafood Task Force – Navigating Change (October 2021). The scheme was delivered to over 800 eligible applicants.
Taking into account the ongoing challenges faced by the inshore sector, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine has announced an extension of scheme, redeveloped and relaunched to offer further support to inshore fisheries.
At a recent meeting, the Minister and inshore representatives discussed a range of other topics important to the inshore sector, including developments in the hook and line mackerel fishery, North West herring policy and new fishing opportunities for spurdog. The Minister also mentioned his initiative to establish a Brown Crab Working Group in order to review the current arrangements in place for that fishery and to examine management options likely to support the sustainability of brown crab stocks in Ireland.
‘Our inshore fishers make a significant contribution to our coastal communities and blue economy, but have been significantly impacted by Brexit and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. While positive steps have been taken to support these fishers, the challenges in terms of operating costs and market access remain,’ Minister Charlie McConalogue said.
‘I am announcing today up to €3.5 million in short-term funding for the sector. This new round of support will bridge the gap for the inshore sector, while longer term measures to strengthen the seafood sector as a whole take effect.’
The 2023 support scheme will introduce new online training modules to be made available by BIM, specifically for the inshore fishing sector which will help these fishers manage costs, increase product quality and reach new customers.
The scheme will be open to owners of fishing vessels under 18 metres in length, registered in the polyvalent, polyvalent potting and specific segments. Payments will be made to eligible beneficiaries who complete one of the modules, in order to assist them in implementing changes to their business model.
Payment rates remain at €2,700 for owners of vessels under 8 metres in length and €4000 for owners of vessels between 8 and 17.99 metres in length.
‘This additional measure for the inshore sector is part of a wider comprehensive package of supports and development strategies which will transform the seafood industry so that it can continue to develop sustainably,’ the Minister commented.
‘The ongoing investments in promoting inshore stocks in domestic and overseas markets, in developing marine infrastructure and investing in all elements of the seafood supply chain will provide opportunities for inshore fishers. These latest short term supports will allow these fishers to capitalise on these opportunities and navigate through the current challenging environment.’