Funding of almost €9 million has been confirmed for major works at Killybegs Harbour.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, today announced the allocation as part of a €37.3m grant for capital projects in Ireland’s six state-owned Fishery Harbour Centres.
The majority of Killybegs allocation, €7.5m, will be spent on a smooth point pier extension. The works are ongoing and should be substantially completed this year.
Other planned Killybegs works include a service building for small crafts (€300,000) as well as energy saving measures.
The minister noted the six Fishery Harbour Centres are critical infrastructure for our seafood industry.
“Approximately 90% of all fish landings into Ireland come through these facilities,” he said.
“This demonstrates how successful these harbours have become as economic hubs for the seafood industry. The continuous development of the infrastructure in these harbours has been critical to the fishing fleet and the land-based seafood processing industry. These harbours are the economic development drivers for the largely peripheral coastal communities and hinterlands where they are located. The government is committed to continuing to develop these harbours to underpin our seafood industry and drive on economic development in these areas.”
In addition to the fisheries and seafood production industries, the harbouts are accommodating an ever-increasing amount of diverse marine commercial business.
These include commercial cargo traffic, cruise liners, restaurants and other leisure, tourism and social activities. All of these activities complement the critical economic activity generated by our fishing industry and help to maintain the vitality of these coastal communities.
In 2021, approximately 88% of the sea fish landed into the State was landed into the six Fishery Harbour Centres. For 2021, Bord Iascaigh Mhara reported that the Irish seafood industry contributed €1.26 billion to the Irish economy.
The Minister concluded by saying that “Fishing has always been of significant social and economic importance to Ireland with over 16,000 direct and indirect jobs across fisheries, aquaculture, processing and ancillary sectors and the seafood industry plays a vital role in the sustainable economic viability of many coastal communities across Ireland. With this €37.3m announcement and my recent announcement of €55.3m investment this year in 164 public marine infrastructure projects in Local Authority piers, under the Brexit Adjustment Local Authority Marine Infrastructure Scheme 2022-2023, I believe this unprecedented investment in state-of the-art facilities around the coast reinforces this Government’s strong commitment to support the seafood industry, other marine related industries and coastal communities.”