Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue today announced the launch of a Brexit Temporary Fleet Tie-up Scheme.
The scheme will help mitigate the impacts of quota cuts on the fishing fleet arising from the Trade and Cooperation Agreement agreed in December between the European Union and the UK.
The scheme delivers on a recommendation of the Seafood Sector Task Force in its June 2021 Interim Report. The scheme is targeted at white fish vessels in the Polyvalent and Beam Trawl segments.
The Minister said “Arising from the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the UK, Ireland is set to lose 26,412 tonnes of quota per year on a phased basis up to 2026, valued at around €43 million. These quota cuts affect many of our most valuable fish stocks and have significant impacts for incomes in our fishing fleet in 2021.
“The Task Force I established in March has carefully considered this issue and recommended in its June 2021 Interim Report that a temporary fleet tie-up scheme should be implemented for the whitefish fleet to make best use of the reduced quota available in 2021 and to ensure continuity of supply throughout the remainder of this year”.
|Size of vessel||Payment for one month|
|Under 10 m||€4,600|
|10 < 12 m||€7,100|
|12 < 15 m||€14,200|
|15 < 18 m||€24,500|
|18 < 21 m||€45,400|
|22 < 24 m||€59,000|
|24m < 40 m||€88,700|
The Minister went on to say: “The scheme I am launching today will invite vessels in the polyvalent and beam trawl segments to tie-up for a one-month period during October to December 2021. These vessels would tie-up at the quayside and cease all fishing activity for that month. In return, the vessel owner would receive a payment compensating for the lost fishing income. The vessel owners will in turn be required to distribute one third of that payment to crew. The following payment rates will apply”.
In March 2021, Minister McConalogue set up the Seafood Sector Task Force to examine the implications for the Irish Fishing industry and coastal communities particularly dependent upon it arising from the Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement, agreed between the European Union and the UK.
The Task Force, chaired by Aiden Cotter, was charged with recommending initiatives that could be taken to provide supports for development and restructuring, so as to ensure a profitable and sustainable fishing fleet and to identify opportunities for jobs and economic activity in coastal communities dependent on fishing.
The Minister requested that an interim report be provided focusing on arrangements for a temporary voluntary fleet cessation scheme to counter the impact of the reduction in quotas, followed later by the full report of the Seafood Sector Task Force. The Interim Report was received in June 2021. State Aid clearance was required from the European Commission and this was granted on 3 September 2021.
The Seafood Sector Task will continue its work with a view to producing a final report for submission to the Minister. The terms of reference ask the Task Force to outline the arrangements for a voluntary decommissioning scheme or other initiatives to address the implications of the Trade and Co-operation Agreement and to outline other developmental strategies to strengthen and enhance coastal communities especially dependent on the seafood industry. The Task Force will also review the options and recommend actions that may be pursued which would assist in reducing the burden on Ireland from the transfers of fishing quota shares to the UK.
The Interim Seafood Taskforce Report can be found here: