From Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Published on 12 January 2022
Last updated on 12 January 2022
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue today announced a support scheme for the inshore fisheries sector to assist inshore fishers in adjusting to the impacts of Brexit on their businesses. The Brexit Inshore Fisheries Business Model Adjustment Scheme delivers on a recommendation of the Report of the Seafood Task Force – Navigating Change (October 2021). The scheme will be implemented under deminimis rules and is proposed for funding under the EU Brexit Adjustment Reserve.
Announcing the Scheme, Minister McConalogue said:
“The Trade and Cooperation 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 18 metres 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 8 metres in length and €4,000 for owners of vessels between 8 metres and 17.99 metres in length”.
The Scheme will operate from January to March 2022 and will be administered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara. Further details will be available from BIM in due course at https://bim.ie/fisheries/funding/
For vessel owners to be eligible, they must demonstrate that they were actively fishing during the period January to June 2021. The scheme will specify requirements in this respect.
Notes for Editors
Seafood Task Force
In March 2021, Minister McConalogue set up the Seafood Sector Task Force to examine the implications for the Irish Fishing industry and coastal communities particularly dependent upon it arising from the Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement, agreed between the European Union and the UK. The Task Force, chaired by Aiden Cotter, was charged with recommending initiatives that could be taken to provide supports for development and restructuring, so as to ensure a profitable and sustainable fishing fleet and to identify opportunities for jobs and economic activity in coastal communities dependent on fishing.
Minister McConalogue received the Task Force report on 11 October 2021. The report recommended 16 support schemes at a total estimated cost of €423 million. The recommendations include voluntary decommissioning schemes for the white fish fleet and inshore fleet to restore those fleets to viability, supports for temporary cessation of fishing activities, capital investment in seafood processing enterprises, in aquaculture enterprises and in publicly owned marine infrastructure, and investment to diversify the economies of our coastal communities through a community led local development initiative through the seven Fisheries Local Action Groups. These stakeholder recommendations are being urgently examined across Government with particular regard to available funds, eligibility of the recommended measures for funding under the EU Brexit Adjustment Reserve and with regard to State Aid rules and the Public Spending Code.
Brexit Inshore Fisheries Business Model Adjustment Scheme
The scheme announced today delivers on recommendation 2.5.2 (inshore short-term support). The four training modules to be delivered through the scheme are as follows:
• Module 1 – Adjusting your Seafood Business Plan post Brexit
This module will provide participants with the core skills, understanding and tools to adapt their own professional business plan to develop or stabilise their seafood operation which is needed as a result of the new market conditions due to Brexit.
• Module 2 – Reaching new customers – tailored digital skills for inshore fishing businesses
This module will raise awareness of the opportunities that exist for inshore fishers to reach customers directly online and engage participants so that they develop a new interest in digital skills training to help them further their business interests online.
Module 3 – Alternative Market Opportunities for your Inshore Catch
This module will provide inshore fishers with knowledge on alternative markets and how they can exploit them as well as how to direct sell their catch.
• Module 4 – Understanding your Market and Maximising the Return from your Inshore Catch
This module will provide the inshore sector with an overview of the market for inshore species, the market requirements for these species and the characteristics of good and bad product. It will provide information on how inshore fishers can improve the quality of product provided to the market and the economic benefits from doing so.
Demonstration of fishing activity
For vessels to be eligible, they must demonstrate they were actively fishing in 2021 as follows:
For vessels greater than or equal to 10 metres in length, they must demonstrate that they were active during January to June 2021 through logbook data showing a minimum of 30 days fishing activity.
For vessels under 10 metres in length, they must demonstrate that they were active during January to June 2021 through Sales Notes data showing landings of a minimum value of €1,000. If an error has been made by a fisherman or his/her agent or customer and Sales Notes have not been uploaded to the SFPA Sales Notes system for whatever reason, the applicant should arrange for the error be corrected appropriately. Applicants who feel they have a valid reason for not having their catch recorded on the Sales Notes system may submit an appeal to BIM. In the case of such appeals, where Sales Notes data cannot demonstrate the requisite fishing activity, certain verified sales invoices may be accepted by BIM. These must demonstrate compliance with the following statutory requirements:
• Maximum quantity of 30 kg per week to a final consumer or to a local retail establishment supplying directly to the final consumer.
• Maximum value of €50 per day per final consumer.
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From Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine