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Latest Updates on Covid-19 Tie-Up Scheme

65 OF 104 TIE-UP APPLICATIONS APPROVED

A total of 104 applications were received for the Temporary Fleet Tie-up Scheme for the month of June. Bord Iascaigh Mhara, which is administering the scheme says that 9 did not fully complete their applications, 5 missed the closing date, but have been offered an alternative tie-up month, 25 were closed and so 67 applicants were initially approved to tie-up in the month of June. However, two of those approved applicants did not hand in their sea fishing licences as required under the conditions of the scheme, so only 65 have been finally approved.

Of the 39 unsuccessful applicants, 12 did not qualify for the June period due to insufficient SFPA registered sales notes. The Scheme remains open for applications to tie-up for the months of July and August.

PRODUCER ORGANISATIONS GET NO FURTHER RESPONSE FROM MARINE MINISTER

The country’s four Fish Producer Organisations have again asked the Minister for the Marine to meet them about assistance to the industry, but Mr.Creed has not so far responded.

“We are seeking an urgent meeting to discuss the full range of measures available to him,” the MARINE TIMES was told.

The four POs remain dissatisfied with the scheme offered by the Minister, which was described by them as “completely unfit for purpose”.

TIE-UP FUNDING WON’T EVEN COVER INSURANCE PAYMENTS

While supertrawlers from other member states are continuing to fish in Irish waters fishermen in the inshore fisheries sector are on their knees, Donegal Sinn Féin TD, Pearse Doherty, said in the Dáil this week.

“I have been corresponding with Minister Creed on this subject to let him know that the tie-up aid announced, the funding for which is European Union backed, will not cover the monthly cost of insurance for many fishermen with smaller vessels, let alone cover loans or other commitments that they have,” he said.

“While the health crisis has been tough on various sectors right across the country those in the inshore fishermen were struggling long before this crisis came to pass. With herring quotas and scientific quotas reduced and boats tied up, small boat fishermen are on their knees. Those working in inshore fisheries in Donegal are crying out for help. It is not an exaggeration to say that many of them just won’t be fishing this time next year if the proper supports and protections are not forthcoming.”

Tanaiste Simon Coveney, replying on behalf of the government, did not respond specifically to the question posed by Deputy Dohery- “What further supports are expected from the EU in terms of funding for inshore fisheries should the current crisis continue?”