Donegal TD Joe McHugh has welcomed a massive Government funding injection into the county’s seafood processing and aquaculture sectors.
Five Donegal companies in Fanad and Killybegs are set to benefit from the grants scheme with a total grant award amounting to more than €600,000.
The funding is being release under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Operational Programme for the seafood sector.
Minister McHugh said the programme is intended to help companies develop and add value to their products.
The Donegal grants of €777,927 announced today include:
Comhlucht Iascaireacht Fanad Teo €317,143 (Fanad)
Feirm Farraige Oilean Chliara Teo €276,948 (Fanad)
OBell’s Isle Seafoods Ltd, €161,301 (Tullyearl, Donegal Town)
Ocean Farm Ltd. €9,535 (Killybegs)
Albatross Seafoods Ltd. – €14,000 (Killybegs)
The Fanad companies, operated by Marine Harvest, secured the maximum grant of half a million euro.
Minister McHugh said today: “Against the backdrop of Brexit and its potential implications for our food exports, I am particularly pleased to see so many seafood enterprises continuing to invest in growing their production, developing new consumer products and growing and diversifying markets.
“This sector is an important part of the Donegal economy and I’m particularly pleased it is part of a larger investment by the companies themselves.”
In this first of a series of grant approvals for 2017 nationally, grant aid of almost €900,000 has been awarded to 7 seafood processors supporting in excess of €3 million in value adding capital investment, while grant aid of €824,000 has been awarded to 8 aquaculture enterprises supporting capital investment of €2.8 million that will directly contribute to growing output from these farms in the coming years and help achieve the ambitious sustainable growth targets we have set for our aquaculture sector.
Minister McHugh said the Department has provided Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) with €26 million of EMFF funds in 2017 and expects to announce many more awards as the year progresses.
He welcomed today’s funding from Marine Minister Michael Creed but again called on the Minister to drop a review of the mackerel quota.
“We need stability in the industry here in Donegal and I have made my views very clear on this again to the Department and the Minister,” said the Donegal TD.
“Today’s grant announcements are very welcome and very important for the continued development of this industry, sustaining and developing jobs in the local economy.”