DONEGAL TD JOE McHugh has welcomed funding of more than €1.2M today to the Foyle Fishermen’s Co-operative.
Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Michael Creed confirmed the award of a further €3,100,055 in grants to 13 seafood enterprises in seven different counties under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Operational Programme for the seafood sector.
Minister McHugh said: “Three of the projects are in Donegal with the Greencastle-based organisation receiving the largest allocation of €1,284,045 as part of a €2.1M overall investment. This is important for the further development of Greencastle and will help support the sustainability of the work of the Foyle Fishermen’s Co-operative.
“I want to thank Minister Creed and Department officials for their work on this programme and I know from talking with all of them the incredible goodwill towards the co-op. More than a third of today’s announcement is being allocated to Donegal.
Sliogéisc Inisheane Teo, Donegal, is receiving a grant of €22,071 under the sustainable aquaculure scheme while Atlanfish Ltd in Carndonagh is receiving €5,325 as part of a €17k capital investment.
The grant awards are supporting both capital and innovation projects in seafood processing and aquaculture and for the first time we are supporting 4 capital projects specifically aimed at handling and storing fish landed under the CFP landing obligation.
These specific projects are the first of their type to be approved under the EMFF Sustainable Fisheries Scheme, which aims to support fishermen, co-operatives and processors to implement the landing obligation.
The grant awards will support total investment of €6.9 million in 2017. The grants are awarded under 5 EMFF schemes and are co-funded by the Exchequer and EU and subject to terms and conditions..
Minister Creed said: “This funding will assist 4 key players in the sector in providing infrastructure for the handling and cold storage of unwanted catches. By having such facilities in place, these parties will have more options for disposing of such unwanted catches, including sale to the high end pet food market, as bait for shellfish fishermen or in the longer term for the production of health care or pharmaceutical products.
“The projects are innovative in their approach and demonstrate foresight on the part of these businesses in planning ahead to address the challenges of the landing obligation”.
These grant awards contribute to the Action Plan for Rural Development.
Ireland’s EMFF Operational Programme 2014-2020 was adopted by the European Commission in December 2015 and launched in January 2016 by the Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine. The Programme provides €240m in funding to the seafood sector (fisheries, aquaculture and seafood processing) over the period 2014 to 2020. The Programme is co-funded by the Exchequer and the EU.
The EMFF OP is providing a suite of 3 support schemes for the fish catching sector, namely:
- The Sustainable Fisheries Scheme provides supports to the catching sector and others involved in implementing the landing obligation, including cooperatives and processors, and also supports the catching sector in other aspects of the CFP.
- The New Fishermen Scheme supports young fishermen entering the catching sector to purchase their first fishing vessel.
- The Inshore Management and Conservation Scheme supports the inshore fleet in implementing the Small Scale Coastal Fisheries Action Plan, in particular by supporting inshore stock conservation measures and inshore fisheries management.
The EMFF OP is providing a suite of 3 development schemes for the seafood processing sector, namely:
- The Seafood Innovation and Business Planning Scheme aims to incentivise seafood innovation and new product development and assist the sector with business planning, environmental management and energy efficiency.
- The Seafood Capital Investment Scheme supports capital investment in state of the art equipment to produce value added seafood products thus maximising the return from raw materials.
- The Seafood Scaling and New Market Development Scheme gives processors the tools to diversify and develop their export markets and encourages cooperation in the sector to improve route to market structures.
The EMFF OP is providing 2 Schemes to the aquaculture sector to help achieve the aims of the National Strategic Plan for Sustainable Aquaculture Development. The Plan is seeking to sustainably grow production by 45,000 tonnes.
- The Sustainable Aquaculture Scheme supports capital investment by licensed aquaculture enterprises to sustainably grow production and reduce environmental impact of aquaculture.
- The Knowledge Gateway Scheme promotes and supports innovation, technological development and disease management in the aquaculture sector.
Bord Iascaigh Mhara has been provided with €26 million of EMFF funds in 2017 to disperse to the seafood sector over 10 EMFF support schemes.