A new initiative designed to help mitigate the impacts of quota cuts on the Irish fishing fleet arising from the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) agreed in December last year between the European Union and the United Kingdom has been announced by Ireland Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue.
The Brexit Temporary Fleet Tie-up Scheme, which is targeted at whitefish vessels in the polyvalent and beam-trawl segments, delivers on a recommendation made by the Seafood Sector Task Force in its June 2021 Interim Report.
McConalogue said that because of the E.U.-U.K. Brexit agreement, Ireland is set to lose 26,412 metric tons (MT) of quota per year on a phased basis up to 2026, valued at around EUR 43 million (USD 50.9 million).
“These quota cuts affect many of our most-valuable fish stocks and have significant impacts for incomes in our fishing fleet in 2021. The task force I established in March has carefully considered this issue and recommended in its June 2021 interim report that a temporary fleet tie-up scheme should be implemented for the whitefish fleet to make best use of the reduced quota available in 2021 and to ensure continuity of supply throughout the remainder of this year,” he said.
The minister said vessels in the polyvalent and beam-trawl segments will be invited to tie-up for a one-month period during October to December 2021.
Vessels are to tie-up at the quayside and cease all fishing activities for that month. In return, the vessel owners will receive a payment compensating for the lost fishing income.
In turn, the vessel owners will be required to distribute one-third of that payment to the crew.
For vessels under 10 meters, the payment for the one-month tie-up will be EUR 4,600 (USD 5,447), for 10-12 meters, EUR 7,100 (USD 8,410); for 12-15 meters, EUR 14,200 (USD 16,819); for 15-18 meters, EUR 24,500 (USD 29,020); for 18-21 meters, EUR 45,400 (USD 53,774); for 22-24 meters, EUR 59,000 (USD 69,886); and for 24-40 meters, EUR 88,700 (USD 105,065).
Photo courtesy of Gabriela Insuratelu/Shutterstock