Aquaculture for all

Big Catch: Ireland Seek 37 for Fish Future

IRELAND - Ireland is seeking 37 from the European Commission to help build its 'vision of the future' for the fishing industry.

Ireland's submission, which is among the first of a small number of applications by member states for the scheme, involves just over €19 million for decommissioning vessels. Minister of State for Fisheries Tony Killeen is also seeking €3.6 million for "partial decommissioning", where a vessel owner would "trade down" in size, and €6 million to support up to 30 vessel owners who agree to tie up their boats for up to three months.

According to the IrishTimes, the sum of €1 million has been earmarked for retraining skippers and crews affected by decommissioning. A sum of €5 million has been applied for to support grants for fuel efficient equipment and environmentally friendly fishing gear, reports the news agency.

The application is seeking €600,000 to subsidise an "energy audit" of 120 vessels, and €1 million for research on technical improvements in vessels, engines, and equipment to reduce fuel consumption.

The Irish Times reports that Britain and Germany were among key member states which opposed initiation of the €600 million aid package last July, at a time of widespread protests by fishermen across Europe over rising fuel costs and a drop in fish prices.

Fishing industry organisations have pressed for speedy agreement on payments, but the European Commission had made it clear that there will be no funding before next year.

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