The European Commission has agreed and adopted Ireland’s €241m seafood development programme to 2020, co-funded by Exechequer and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

“I am delighted to announce that our comprehensive €241m investment package for the seafood sector has now been adopted in law by the Commimssion and that the programme can now be implemented in full,” remarked Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney.

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Schemes will begin to roll in early 2016 to assist enterprises to sustainably grow their production, add value to seafood exports and create coastal employment, he added.

Ireland’s seafood sector is worth roughly €850m annually and is targeted to reach €1bn sales by 2020.

Funding 

Sustainable Development of Fisheries (€67m)

Implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy, in particular the discards ban, e.g. landing obligation; selective fishing gear; methods to avoid unwanted catch; vessel decommissioning in imbalanced fleet segments; support of sustainable inshore fisheries and implementation of the Habitats, Birds and Marine Strategy Framework Directives.

Sustainable Development of Aquaculture (€30m)

Sustainably growing production, value and employment and promoting knowledge, innovation and technology.

Processing and Marketing (€33m)

Promoting innovation, competitiveness and employment through increased value-added, fish processing; promotion of new product development and increased scale.

Fisheries Local Action Groups (€12m)

Support to a maximum of seven Fisheries Local Action Groups to develop and implement local development strategies for coastal areas to create growth and jobs in those areas, in particular by adding value to seafood products and diversifying the local economy towards new economic activities offered by the broader maritime sector.

Control and Enforcement (€45m)

Implementation of Common Fisheries Policy and State investment in database systems; traceability systems; vessel monitoring systems; training and investment in new fisheries patrol vessels.

Data Collection (€41m)

Scientific and economic data on the seafood industry to support decision-making at EU and national level on CFP implementation, e.g. research vessel surveys; contracting of scientific and economic resources and outsourced expertise to survey, compile and analyse data.

Integrated Maritime Policy (€10.6m)

Developing a marine spatial planning system and other Integrated Maritime Policy measures.