Minister McConalogue must announce National Scheme Without Delay
Fishing and seafood organisations say they are shocked and disappointed with the Minister for the Marine’s failure to have a draft national scheme available for immediate implementation regarding the additional costs arising from the Ukraine war.
During a lengthy meeting with the Minister on July 6th, all representatives demanded immediate action on the urgent need for a national scheme to mitigate the huge increase in additional costs, such as fuel and energy following the Russian invasion of the Ukraine. The entire delegation made it abundantly clear to the Minister that the survival of the entire seafood sector was at stake and that he must act now. The Delegation pointed out that the European Parliament on Wednesday had voted overwhelmingly to enable their unused funds in the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) to be utilised to cover the additional costs as consequence of the Ukraine war.
Some Member States have had quick and effective response with a reduction of the fuel prices, others such as Ireland, have refused to compensate their fishermen, which have sparked port blockades elsewhere.
The Delegation said afterwards, ‘’The Minister has no excuse now in light of overwhelming European Parliament vote not to use funds available in the EMFF to immediately implement a National scheme to cover the additional costs particularly fuel. Not to do so is a major threat to survival of the fishing/seafood sector and the coastal communities’ dependant on the sector which is worth € 1.26 Billion to the Irish economy.” The Delegation added; “We are obviously disappointed that the Minister did not announce a scheme at our meeting last night, but we do expect he will do so having reflected on the magnitude of the crisis as we very clearly articulated.”
The delegation consisted of the Irish Fish Producers Organisation (IFPO), Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation (IS&WFPO), the Irish Fish Processors and Exporters Association (IFPEA), the Irish Farmers’ Association aquaculture (IFA Aquaculture), the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation (KFO), the Irish Islands Marine Resource Organisation (IIMRO), the Irish South and East Fish Producers Organisation (IS&EFPO) and Ireland’s seven Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs).