€1.1m Grants to Support €3m Investments by 19 Seafood Enterprises
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, today announced the award of €1,105,022 in grants to 19 aquaculture and seafood processing enterprises under his Department’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Programme. The grant awards will support total investment in these businesses of €2,957,627. The grants are co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union and are subject to terms and conditions.
Announcing the grants, Minister McConalogue said, “I am delighted to announce today grant awards to a further 16 aquaculture investment projects, adding to the grants to 28 aquaculture projects I announced on 5 March. Despite the uncertain business environment created by Brexit and Covid, our aquaculture sector is showing a very strong appetite to invest in and grow their businesses. Taken together, I have now announced some €2.8 million in grant awards to 44 aquaculture enterprises in 2021 and these awards are supporting €6.9 million of investments in our aquaculture sector”.
Minister McConalogue added: “County Donegal has accounted for 13 of the aquaculture investment projects supported so far in 2021, while there has been 8 in Kerry and 7 in Cork. Investments on oyster farms have dominated the aquaculture projects supported by my Department’s EMFF Programme in 2021 and some 11 of the 13 Donegal based projects supported have been investments in oyster farms. This places Donegal at the centre of our growing oyster sector”.
Ireland’s EMFF Operational Programme 2014-2020 was adopted by the European Commission in December 2015 and launched in January 2016 by the Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine. The Programme provides €240m in funding to the seafood sector (fisheries, aquaculture and seafood processing) over the period 2014 to 2020. The Programme is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union.
Two EMFF support schemes are available to the aquaculture sector. The Sustainable Aquaculture Scheme supports capital investment by aquaculture enterprises to sustainably grow production and reduce environmental impact of aquaculture. The Knowledge Gateway Scheme promotes and supports innovation, technological development and disease management in the aquaculture sector, together with support for professional advisory services.
Three support schemes are available to the seafood processing sector to foster and support innovation, value-adding, new market development and investment in new equipment and premises. The Seafood Processing Capital Investment Scheme provides up to 30% aid to seafood processing premises to encourage capital investment in value-adding production capacity. The Seafood Scaling & New Market Development Scheme provides up to 50% aid to groups of seafood processing enterprises who work together to develop new export exports. The Seafood Innovation & Business Planning Scheme provides aid of up to 50% to seafood processing enterprises to foster innovation in new product development.