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104 Applications For Department’s Scheme

One hundred and four applications were made to the Department of the Marine’s Temporary Fleet Tie-up Scheme by the time the first closing date for applications closed on Wednesday.

Bord Iascaigh Mhara, responsible for administering the scheme on behalf of the Minister, said that 104 applications had been received for inclusion in the scheme for the month of June. Applications for July and August will be accepted until June 20 and July 20 respectively.

No information was immediately available on the size of boats, nor their home ports, for which applications had been made.

The Department rejected calls from the country’s four fish producer organisations for an alternative scheme.

The Irish Fish Producers’ Organisation (IFPO), the Irish South and East Fish Producers (ISEFPO), the Irish South and West Fish Producers’ Organisation (ISWFPO) and the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation (KFO) which form the backbone of a €1.22 billion industry that supports more than 16,150 jobs, last week described the Minister’s scheme as “completely unfit for purpose.”

Posting to the Marine Times Facebook page, Art Kavanagh suggested: "If fishermen are prepared to go fishing and accept the financial difficulties resulting, why not pay them the amount offered for the Tie Up Scheme to help cover their costs? It is an insulting amount but maybe slightly better than nothing. The Socioeconomic effects of tying up a Fishing Vessel affect the whole local coastal community. The Food and Fuel providers, the transport providers and other ancillary industries. How can any Government Dept with an ounce of pride treat their sector in this way?"

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, did not respond to a request from the MARINE TIMES for information on how many boats are eligible to make applications for inclusion in the scheme in each category.

The BIM Covid-19 Temporary Fleet Tie-Up Scheme is now open for applications, offering support to vessel owners for fixed costs incurred while tied up. Applications for July and August will be accepted until 20th June and 20th July, respectively.

To apply, go to: https://bim.flexigrant.com/