The Irish Fish Producers Organisation (IFPO) has welcomed the announcement of over €25m in EU aid to the Irish pelagic sector. IFPO chief executive, Aodh O’Donnell described it as an important “first step” in addressing the massive losses the sector sustained due to Brexit.
Speaking from the annual NEAFC Coastal States sharing negotiations meeting being held in London today he said:
“Quota transfers from Ireland to the UK post Brexit created an estimated loss of €28 a year to the Irish fishing industry. Most of this loss was sustained by the pelagic sector, so this aid scheme is a welcome first measure in compensating the fleet for this massive loss.”
Mr O’Donnell said the scheme has been in the pipeline for some time and that Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue had made a commitment to introduce it. The State aid scheme will be fully funded by the European Commission and will take the form of direct grants to fishing vessels.
“The next step is just as important however. The Irish Government needs to collaborate with our fishing industry, coastal communities and the EU to reverse the decline in the seafood sector. Other EU and non-EU members in Europe are achieving growth and it’s time we support for growth too. We need to build the capacity for sustainable growth with a modern fleet, a skilled workforce and efficient regulatory processes.”