Hundreds of Irish fishing boat owners sign up to post-Brexit aid package

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Hundreds of Ireland-based fishing boat owners have adopted a new support scheme which aims to help adapt their businesses to a post-Brexit market, according to the state agency for fisheries and aquaculture Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).

To date, 870 fishing boat owners have joined the scheme which, depending on the size of their boat, will see them granted aid of between EUR 2,700 (USD 3,000) and EUR 4,000 (USD 4,400) at the from a tailor-made course. training program comprising a series of e-commerce and marketing modules.

BIM CEO Jim O’Toole said the agency is happy to see support and interest in the program ahead of the March 31, 2022, application deadline.

“Training modules to be undertaken before receiving the grants include digital skills, finding alternative market opportunities and developing new business ideas and plans,” he said. “We believe they will better equip this sector to face and meet the challenges they face. I want to salute the resilience of the sector over the past two years, and despite the many obstacles ahead, they are determined to overcome them. Supports like this are currently crucial.

The new scheme, which is administered by the BIM, is based on the recommendations contained in the final report of the Seafood Sector Working Groupcreated in 2021 by the Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Navy, Charlie McConalogue.

McConalogue said the task force’s recommendations have been key to the government’s support for the industry, which contributes more than €1 billion ($1.1 billion) to the Irish economy.

“The world we live in is very different from that of a few years ago, and the fishing industry is feeling this keenly, as well as many other industries. Just as society here is fully reopening after a two-year pandemic – which is still very much “alive” – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is leading to inflation and spikes in energy and food prices,” said McConalogue. “My government colleagues and I are committed to doing all we can to mitigate the impact of Brexit, COVID-19 and this new conflict, both on the fishing industry and on society. in general. I am extremely happy to see this program, planned as part of the Seafood [Sector] Working Group, collecting such adoption so that ship owners can adjust their activities.

The Irish inshore fishing sector comprises around 1,800 vessels, which catch a range of fish and shellfish species and generally operate in waters close to the coast. Historically, the sector has exported up to 90% of its catch, but the effects of Brexit and associated new fisheries agreements have impacted exports, in part because access to or transit through the UK market is now more complex.

Photo courtesy of Neil Tackaberry/Shutterstock

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