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Aquaculture Industry Dismayed by Negative Budget

IRELAND - The representative body for the countrys fish and shellfish farmers, IFA Aquaculture, said the sector was seriously dismayed at the negative direction of the Budget.

“The estimates for 2008 indicate that no new capital projects will be funded and in fact some existing schemes for industry will have to be cut back. This was the year in which the Cawley report was supposed to get off the ground, but now we find that no funds have been made available for the industry to make any progress whatsoever under the plan,” according to IFA Aquaculture Executive Secretary, Richie Flynn.

Mr Flynn said: “Minister Coughlan’s statement on the Budget this week reveals that only €6.3 million in development aid will be available next year to share between the aquaculture and processing sectors. The aquaculture industry alone needed €6 million in 2008 just to finish off projects under the last National Development Plan. So not only do we not have enough funds to begin investing under the new NDP, we can’t even finish off projects begun in the last one.”

Mr Flynn continued: “Regarding services to the industry, the BIM budget announced for next year is particularly disappointing. With €21 million of its budget committed to the whitefish decommissioning scheme this leaves just over €8 million to spend on other schemes – a sharp drop in available resources on previous years. This will surely result in an inevitable reduction in service and support for the seafood industry.

Source: MayoAdvertiser

Ellen Hardy

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