Dáil Éireann - Volume 618 - 26 April, 2006
Written Answers. - Fishing Industry Schemes.
Mr. Howlin Mr. Howlin
Mr. Howlin asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources the position in relation to the request for a compensation scheme for fishermen who were employed on decommissioned vessels from the Kilmore Quay fleet; the efforts made towards establishing such a scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15734/06]
Mr. Browne Mr. Browne
Mr. Browne: As the Deputy is aware, the fundamental aim of the decommissioning scheme is to secure the permanent withdrawal of excess capacity in both the whitefish and shellfish sectors to bring these fleets into balance with available fishing opportunities. The withdrawal premiums payable under the scheme for whitefish vessels are the maximum permitted by EU regulations and are related specifically to the permanent removal of the fishing vessels concerned from the  EU register of sea fishing vessels. The premium for scallop vessels is 20% below the maximum allowed. The scheme implements the recommendations of the White report, Decommissioning Requirements for Ireland’s Demersal and Shellfish Fleets, which was accepted by the Government last July.
The report does not provide for direct payment to the crews of the vessels concerned, however, the owners of vessels receiving decommissioning aid have been asked to acknowledge the contribution made by crew members, particularly those of long service and make an appropriate contribution to them from the aid. While the decommissioning scheme will remove some of the older and less economically viable vessels from the fleet right around the coast, the majority of the fleet will continue fishing and will continue to need crew. I understand that at present many skippers are experiencing great difficulty securing crew, as there is an overall shortage reflecting the strong performance of the economy generally. In this situation there remain good opportunities for crew members whose current boats are leaving the fleet.
Dáil Éireann 618 Written Answers. Fishing Industry Schemes.