The Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Michael Creed has announced the opening of an initial public consultation to inform the development of a new operational programme for the sustainable development of the seafood sector for the 2021-27 period.
The Programme will be developed in the context of the proposed EU Regulation on a European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund, which is presently being negotiated by the EU co-legislators with a view to enactment in the Autumn of 2020. The new operational programme will be co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union.
Speaking at the launch of the public consultation, Minister Creed said: “My Department’s present EMFF Operational Programme for the seafood sector is nearing its end and will be wound up in 2021. It has been a success in channeling €240 million into vital investments to promote the sustainable growth of our seafood sector and will leave a lasting legacy of enhanced sustainability, profitability, competitiveness and enhanced value. We are now facing into a new Programme period starting in 2021 and while many of the challenges and opportunities facing our seafood sector will continue to be relevant for the future programme, there will also undoubtedly be some new and changed investment priorities. Adapting our seafood sector to the changed landscape that Brexit will bring will be a vital consideration. Climate change is a top priority for Government and we must consider what the new Programme will contribute to Ireland’s response. Preservation of marine biodiversity and clean oOceans and ensuring the sustainability of our fish stocks will continue to be top priorities. And we must continue to enhance the competitiveness, value and productivity of our sector through innovation, training, and targeted capital investment. In this initial public consultation, I am asking our stakeholders to share their views on how we should address these and other relevant issues in our new programme, in what ways we should intervene, and how should we prioritise and get the right balance in distributing the available funds”.
The open call for submissions will run until 5pm on Friday 7 February 2020.