The Irish Fish Producers Organisation has issued a call for urgent funding for the pelagic sector, to address the loss of €28m from Brexit’s impact.
IFPO chief executive, Aodh O Donnell criticised the government’s failure to implement measures amounting to €29m for pelagic fisheries, such as mackerel.
“It’s nearly two years since the Brexit Task Force recommended these measures, and if the funding is not allocated in Ireland, it could be returned to Europe. It would be an absolute disgrace if our pelagic sector lost out on these essential funds by our Government’s failure to allocate them,” O Donnell said.
Ireland’s Brexit Task Force Report valued the annual loss of Irish Quota in the Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) at €43 million by 2026. Around €28 million of this is accounted for by pelagic species.
O Donnell said: “The EU pelagic scheme funding has been in place under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve for some time now. The IFPO cannot understand why the Irish Government is not setting up a pelagic scheme to draw it down. The resilience of the pelagic fleet is being severely tested while our Government fails to act.”
O Donnell says the IFPO recommends that the State Agencies “move proactively to deliver the EU funded supports. They need to partially mitigate the short term and immediate impacts of Brexit particularly for the segment which has been hardest hit.
“We are in the last phases of the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) funding. We must act now in the overall interests of the entire fishing sector. Otherwise, the support opportunity and vital funding streams will be lost. This pelagic scheme must be prioritised and designed with criteria that take account of the losses inflicted on the pelagic sector. We call on the Minister for the Marine to act now, without delay. “