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Ireland Commit to Fish During Times of Woe

IRELAND - The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food, Tony Killeen TD has pointed out that the Budget of EUR118 million for the seafood industry for 2009, in this era of financial restraint, demonstrated the Governments commitment to the sector.

While there are reductions in the budgets of the Marine Institute, BIM and the SFPA, the Minister noted that the seafood processing sector, which is recognised by Dr Noel Cawley in his “Steering A New Course Report” as a growth area, has doubled its budget.

A further EUR1.46 million has been set aside specifically to support compliance of fisheries and aquaculture with respect to activities in Natura 2000 sites.

EUR5 million has been made available for aquaculture development support. In addition, funding has been provided to enable the successful completion of the current Decommissioning of Fishing Vessels Scheme.

In conjunction with these initiatives, Minister Killeen also welcomed the prospect of the synergies and opportunities that will result from the integration of seafood marketing and promotion with the State’s food marketing body, Bord Bia, while BIM will retain the overall role in driving the Cawley Report on the development of the Irish seafood industry.

Minister Killeen commented, “The Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Programme 2009 allocation of EUR17 million ensures that there is substantial scope for improving facilities for fisheries activities operating out of Irish harbours. The budget allocated to this programme will be used to develop new infrastructure for fisheries and aquaculture landing places around the coast, while also enabling the continuation of projects currently underway at locations such as Castletownbere, Ros an Mhíl and Greencastle.”