Dáil Éireann - Volume 499 - 02 February, 1999

Written Answers - Fishermen's Compensation.

136. Ms Coughlan asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources if he will consider a bad weather payment for fishermen and fish farmers who have lost considerable income arising from stormy weather; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2540/99]

[1022] Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources (Dr. Woods): I fully appreciate the concerns of fishermen whose activities have been seriously hampered by bad weather this winter. I am particularly concerned about low income fishermen in the whitefish and inshore fleets who are particularly vulnerable to prolonged periods of bad weather which interfere with fishing activities.

I have met the fishermen's organisation to discuss the matter and have asked the organisation to prepare a comprehensive case which can be fully considered.

While the EU state aid rules for the fishing industry are generally intended to rule out aid packages for income loss due to periods of bad weather, I am exploring all possible avenues which could be appropriately pursued to address the difficulties arising.