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Deal on allocation of EU fisheries fund reached

Agreement on how a fisheries fund of approximately €6 billion will be allocated among EU Member States was reached in Luxembourg today following two days of negotiations at the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Mr. Simon Coveney T.D has been making the case to maximise Ireland’s access to the fund which will provide significant funding to the seafood sector over the period 2014-2020, and enhance growth and jobs in this vital part of the economy.

Not for the first time, the Fisheries Council worked through the night to come to a final compromise on the way in which funds will be spent to develop a competitive yet sustainable fishing industry.  The fund, which will be used to support the new Common Fisheries Policy, (CFP) can be used for fleet modernisation, safety equipment, aquaculture development, adding value through processing, in addition to investment in new fishing gear to more effectively target stocks and assist in the reduction of discards.

Speaking early this morning, Minister Coveney stated that "The Irish seafood industry is a hugely important part of the economy, providing employment for more than 10,000 people. It is my job to drive a hard bargain on behalf of fishermen and their families but also to put a policy in place which will protect and build our fish stocks. Negotiating access to finance through the CFP is essential to that effort".

In previous years Ireland’s allocation from similar funds has been lower than warranted according to Minister Coveney who has been fighting to increase Ireland’s share and deliver support to a sector which has the potential to create further jobs and assist in Ireland’s economic recovery.

Note for Editors:

The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) covers the period 2014-2020 and replaces the European Fisheries Fund (EFF). The Fund, which has a proposed budget of €6 billion, is designed for the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), the sustainable development of fisheries areas and inland fishing, and the Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP).   The Agriculture and Fisheries Council agreed on a common position on this fund ahead of seeking final agreement with the European Parliament during the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Date Released: 24 October 2012