State Has Not Offered Assistance to Aquaculture Sector
There is a general lack of understanding of the aquaculture sector, according to the IFA’s Aquaculture Executive who has warned that urgent action is needed by the government to deal with the impact on the sector caused by the Covid 19 crisis. After several discussions with the Department of the Marine and Bord Iascaigh Mhara, no formal assistance has been offered from the State.
“If the situation is not addressed urgently, there will be an even bigger and more difficult position to face, particularly in the shellfish sector,” according to Teresa Morrissey, IFA Aquaculture Executive.
Support schemes are being made available to producers in Northern Ireland and Scotland, but not so far in the Republic of Ireland.
“The Department of the Marine must now redirect available EMFF funds as financial aid for the Irish aquaculture industry to support it in dealing with the Covid-19 crisis. In addition to redirecting available EMFF funds as financial aid for the Irish seafood sector, both fisheries and aquaculture, additional funding has to be pursued both at EU and national level,” said the IFA.
The President of the Federation of European Aquaculture, Marco Gilmozzi, has said that “European aquaculture is facing its biggest challenge for decades” and that, if the situation is not dealt with correctly, market risks will continue in the aftermath of the Covid 19 crisis.