Minister for agriculture, food and the marine Charlie McConalogue has announced a support scheme to help Irish inshore fishing businesses adjust to the impacts of Brexit.

The Brexit Inshore Fisheries Business Model Adjustment Scheme delivers on a recommendation in the report of the Seafood Task Force, which was set up to examine the implications of the Brexit TCA for the Irish fishing industry and coastal communities.

The scheme will be implemented under de minimis rules, and is proposed for funding under the EU Brexit Adjustment Reserve.

Minister 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.

“I am announcing today a forward- looking support scheme to assist inshore fishers in adjusting their business model to the post-Brexit market environment. The scheme will take the form of a suite of four online training modules to be made available by BIM, specifically tailored to the inshore fishing sector, with a payment to owners of inshore fishing vessels to assist them with the costs of undertaking the training and subsequently adjusting their business and marketing plans.

“The scheme will be open to owners of fishing vessels under 18m in length, registered in the polyvalent, polyvalent potting and specific segments. As recommended by the Seafood Task Force, these one-off payments will be €2,700 for owners of vessels under 8m in length and €4,000 for owners of vessels between 8m and 17.99m in length.”

For vessel owners to be eligible, they must demonstrate that they were actively fishing during the period January to June 2021. The new scheme will operate from January to March 2022, and will be administered by BIM.

Further details will be available here.

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here

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