€1 million capital grants awarded to 13 aquaculture enterprises

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, today announced the award of €1 million in grants to 13 aquaculture enterprises under his Department’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Programme . The grant awards will support total investment in these businesses of €2,917,572. 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 €1 million in grant awards to a further 13 aquaculture investment projects, bringing the total awards in 2021 to €3.8 million to 57 aquaculture enterprises, supporting €10 million of investments in our aquaculture sector. With these latest awards, the €30 million allocated to the aquaculture sector in my Department’s EMFF Programme is now fully committed. However, a new Seafood Development Programme for the 2021-27 period is being prepared and I have already put in place arrangements for an interim Seafood Capital Investment Scheme to ensure capital grants to aquaculture, fisheries and seafood processing enterprises continue to be available pending the completion and adoption of the new Programme. I understand that BIM intend to open that scheme to the aquaculture sector very shortly.”

Ireland’s EMFF Operational Programme 2014-2020 is dispersing €240 million in funding to the seafood sector (fisheries, aquaculture and seafood processing). The Programme is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union.

Two EMFF Programme support schemes are available to the aquaculture sector. The Knowledge Gateway Scheme promotes and supports innovation, technological development and disease management in the aquaculture sector, together with support for professional advisory services. The Sustainable Aquaculture Scheme supports capital investment by aquaculture enterprises to sustainably grow production and reduce environmental impact of aquaculture. The grant awards announced today are under the Sustainable Aquaculture Scheme. Both of the above schemes are now closed. BIM will shortly open an Interim Seafood Capital Investment Scheme under the forthcoming Seafood Development Programme 2021-27 (see below), providing on an interim basis capital grants to fisheries, aquaculture and seafood processing enterprises on the basis of the rules applying under the existing EMFF schemes.

The new EU Regulation establishing a European Maritime, Fisheries & Aquaculture Fund for the 2021-27 period was enacted on 14 July 2021. The EMFAF will provide EU co-funding to Member States programmes for the development of their seafood sectors. Ireland is to be allocated €142 million. The overall development budget will be determined by the extent of Government co-funding, which is yet to be agreed. Minister McConalogue is preparing a Seafood Development Programme 2021-27 to disperse these funds. The new programme will allow the Minister to implement various support schemes for the fisheries, aquaculture and seafood processing sectors and for coastal communities.

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