Fianna Fáil TD for Wexford James Browne has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine to amend the new COVID-19 Temporary Fleet Tie-up Scheme to include aquaculture farmers and companies.
The details of the scheme were announced earlier this month, but aquaculture has been excluded.
Deputy Browne said,
“This scheme is extremely important to fishing communities in Wexford and in coastal towns and villages across the country. The seafood industry here is worth over €1bn euro to the economy and with the restrictions brought about as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of livelihoods in Wexford are at risk.
“While the scheme will help fishermen, by approving payments to relieve the burden of the costs associated with keeping their vessels tied-up, there is nothing at all for aquaculture.“
“Mussel farmers and their businesses have been locked out of the scheme, despite the fact that they are also suffering a hit. It’s unbelievable that they have not been factored in.“
“I am calling on Minister Creed to amend this scheme or bring in an alternative scheme so that the aquaculture community is included.”
“Aquaculture is an important sector of the fishing industry here in Wexford. It beggars’ belief that it was excluded from this scheme and I am urging Minister Creed to rectify this omission as a matter of urgency”