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Delay In Introducing Fishing Vessel Decommissioning


NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - Fisheries Minister Michelle Gildernew has defended her decision to delay the introduction of a scheme for the decommissioning of fishing vessels until a business case has been completed.

The Minister said: “Fishing vessel decommissioning is a controversial measure. Previous schemes have been heavily criticised by the Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee for failing to achieve their key objective of permanently removing fishing capacity from our fishing fleet. Past schemes have also not been effective in preventing the local fleet from expanding again, over time, and this needs to be addressed.

“In these times of intense pressure on public spending, it is only right that a full appraisal be carried out to justify any new decommissioning scheme. If a scheme is to be justified on value for money grounds, it must, at minimum, deliver real and permanent reductions in fishing capacity, so that in future fishing is sustainable and profitable, and fish stocks are in a healthy state.

“I have asked for work on the business case to commence immediately so that I will be in a position to be make well informed decisions on the scheme by the end of this year.

“In the meantime, subject to final approval, the Vessel Modernisation measure for the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) will open shortly and will provide some £2.5million of much needed grant support to help the industry become more efficient, sustainable and safer.”