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Commercial Fishing


Ireland announces extension to Brexit tie-up scheme

Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, has announced an extension of the 2022 Brexit Voluntary Temporary Fishing Vessel Tie-up Scheme for the polyvalent and beam trawl fleets to include the month of November 2022. The scheme is an extension of the 2021 Tie-up scheme, with some modifications, and will help mitigate the impacts of quota cuts for 2022 arising from the Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement. The scheme delivers on a recommendation of the Report of the Seafood Task Force – ‘Navigating Change’ (October 2021) and is proposed for funding under the EU Brexit Adjustment Reserve. In light of the quota cuts taking effect in 2022.

Minister McConalogue modified the scheme so that vessel owners can, if they wish, choose to tie-up for up to two calendar months. This enhanced tie up opportunity will free up additional quota for those vessels continuing to fish, supporting viability in the wider fleet. Payment rates will be the same as the 2021 scheme. Vessel owners participating in the 2022 scheme will again be required to distribute one third of that payment to crew. In order to maintain the supply of fish to processors and fish mongers, vessels choosing to tie-up for two months must maintain a two-month gap between tie-up months, for example June and September or July and October.

On announcing the scheme on 11 May 2021 Minister McConalogue undertook to request an amendment of the State Aid approval of the scheme to encompass November so as to provide for an additional August/November tie-up option. This is an important option for the fishing industry as it enables them to effectively manage and maintain the supply of fish to industry and fish mongers.

On receipt of the formal State Approval Notification and after initial exploratory discussions between the European Commission and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, a formal State Aid Amendment Notification was made to the European Commission by written procedure on 31 May 2022. Today (21 June 2022) a formal response has been received that the European Commission has decided not to raise objections to the scheme, as amended, on the grounds that it is compatible with the internal market pursuant to Article 107(3)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

The Minister said: “I am pleased to have secured this extension of the time frame allowable for the 2022 Brexit Voluntary Tie-up Scheme. The third option of an August/November tie-up is key to the industry’s ability to manage and maintain the supply of fish to all its customers throughout the six month period of the tie-up scheme. This extension has been sought by industry and I welcome their responsiveness to learnings from the experiences of the 2021 scheme.”


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