A scheme designed to provide financial support to Ireland’s inshore fishing fleet has opened for applications.

Under the short-term scheme, administered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), grant aid of between €2,700 and €4,000 is available to vessel owners on completion of a training programme.

Ireland’s minister for agriculture, food and the marine Charlie McConalogue said: “The Trade and Co-operation Agreement between the European Union and the UK had significant negative impacts for our fishing industry.

“Our inshore fishers have been particularly and uniquely impacted by logistical and route-to-market difficulties as exporters of live shellfish and other highly perishable seafood products.

“These difficulties have added costs to the business model of our inshore fishers, and in reducing the shelf life of these highly perishable products have impacted negatively on the sector.”

Ireland’s inshore sector is made up of some 1,800 vessels. Owners of boats up to 8m can apply for grant aid up to €2,700, while boats of up to 18m are eligible for up to €4,000.

To receive the grants, applicants must complete at least one of five online training courses, designed to provide the sector with the skills to adapt to ‘new market realities post-Brexit’.

Jim O’Toole, CEO of BIM, said that the scheme ‘will provide real and practical benefit to the sector through a range of easily accessible courses that will help strengthen their skills and help them find new opportunities for their businesses’.

To be eligible for a grant, vessel owners need to show that they were actively fishing between January and June 2021.

The scheme is open for applications until 31 March.

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more on this, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here


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