23rd March

Funding to rebuild storm damaged piers, slips and harbours

The government is to allocate €8.8m for the repair of the publically owned pier, harbour and slipway network linked to fisheries and aquculture, marine minister Simon Coveney told colleagues in the Dáil today. 

A temporary "one-off scheme" of assistance for pot fishermen who have lost lobster and shrimp pots will apply to vessels under 15 metres and will be administered by BIM. It will provide a set amount of €24 per lost lobster pot and €12 per lost shrimp pot, representing circa 40% of the cost of gear relplacement. 

Inisbofin signal-tower

Inisbofin's signal tower -  before and after. Photo Marie Coyne

" While I am conscious that some pot fishermen have reported losing several hundred pots, I  belive those are exceptional cases. I am  therefore capping the number of replacement posts at 50 for under 12 metre vessels and 100 for under 15 metre vessels, "Minister Coveney said.

 Fishermen availing of the scheme will be required to provide evidence to BIM they were actively fishing in the months before the storms and evidence of purchase of lost posts. Fishermen will also be required to swear a declaration concerning their losses.                        

A maximum budget of €1.5m has been set aside by the department. "No additional funding will be made available and if applications exceed this budget, the rate of assistence will be reduce," he added.                                                                                              

The package is part of an overall coordinated response to the impacts of the recent "unprecedented weather conditions," Minister Coveney said.

An estimated 100 projects across nine counties are set to benefit from the €70 package. Minister Coveney added it was his intention to "immediately broaden" the remit of his department's 2014 capital programme to encompass to the greatest possible extent, possible works on the publically owned fishery and aquaculture-related infrastructure.  

Local authorities are to prioritise their list of eligible projects on a county-by-county basis. An upper limit of €150,000 grant aid per project applicable in previous schemes is being removed.

Minister Coveney also confirmed that his department start to repair storm damage to piers, harbours and coastal infrastructure in its direct ownership, including north harbour Cape Clear; Dunmore East Fishery Harbour Centre, Co Waterford; Gun Rock Beason, Inisbofin, Co Mayo; West Cove Navigational Beacon, Co Kerry and Doonagh Pier, Co Mayo.

 Full report and images from around the coast : Inshore Ireland (February/March) out 22/02.




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