Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., held a productive meeting with fishing sector representatives. The agenda included among other items an update on the implementation of the Seafood Sector TaskForce recommendation support schemes, and advance preparations for 2024 fishing opportunity negotiations.
The organisations at the meeting were the Irish South and East Fish Producer Organisation, the Irish Fish Producer Organisations, the Irish South and West Fishermen’s Organisation, Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation, Irish Island’s Marine Resource Producer Organisation, National Inshore Fishermen’s Association, National Inshore Fisheries Forum, Co-operative representatives and the Irish Fish Processors and Exporters Organisation. Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) and the Marine Institute also attended.
Commenting on the meeting, the Minister said: “The meeting was very positive and there was a good discussion on positive outcomes for Ireland this year, on implementation of the fishing representative-led Seafood Sector Task Force recommended schemes and on fishing opportunity negotiations for 2024, amongst other agenda items discussed.”
The Minister provided an update on the implementation and uptake of the Seafood Taskforce Brexit support schemes and also updated the industry on the progress of the final remaining schemes as recommended by the Seafood Sector Taskforce:
“I was pleased to advise industry that four new schemes have been submitted to the EU Commission for State Aid approval. These are the Brexit Pelagic Fisheries Support Scheme, the Brexit Fish Processor Transition Scheme, the Brexit Specific Scallop Fleet Transition Support Scheme and the Brexit Fisheries Cooperative Transition Scheme 2023. Following approval, these schemes will be rolled out to support fishermen in the coming months. On receiving the TaskForce report, I was eager to make sure that this report was fully implemented. With these four schemes coming online, I am glad to say that I have listened to fishermen and representatives and brought the report to reality.”
Minister McConalogue also discussed the preparations for the negotiations on fishing opportunities for 2024 during which the industry representatives outlined the views of their members.
The Minister said:“I wanted to take this opportunity for an initial discussion with industry ahead of the fishing opportunity negotiations which will take place in the autumn. Our fishing industry plays an essential role in Ireland’s preparation for these crucial annual negotiations. Working together in 2022 and 2023, we achieved positive outcomes on negotiations including on Blue Whiting.”
The Minister added: “I thank the industry representatives for this weeks constructive meeting. I will continue to work closely with the sector to secure our shared objective of a sustainable future for our seafood sector and the coastal communities dependent on it.”