Dáil Éireann - Volume 643 - 11 December, 2007
Written Answers. - Fisheries Protection.
Deputy Joe McHugh Deputy Joe McHugh
Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources further to Parliamentary Question No. 605 of 4 December 2007, when details of the hardship scheme were sent to Brussels; the reason for the delay in payment of the hardship scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34117/07]
Deputy Eamon Ryan Deputy Eamon Ryan
Deputy Eamon Ryan: The Salmon Hardship Scheme, being administered by the Loughs Agency, is intended to provide a  measure of relief to individuals in line with the degree of hardship likely to be experienced on foot of the cessation of fishing for salmon arising from the closure of the interceptory fishery seaward of Lough Foyle and the reduction of the number of commercial licences operating within the Lough.
The scheme is joint-funded by the Irish Government and the Northern Ireland Executive. Both sponsoring Departments simultaneously lodged a State Aid Notification with the Commission on 12 September 2007, pursuant to Article 88 (3) of the EC Treaty. The necessary State Aid approval by the European Commission of the Hardship Scheme is still awaited and it has not been possible for payments to be made by the Loughs Agency to date. The European Commission is being pursued for an urgent decision. I am advised that as soon as approval is received, applicants will be invited to complete their applications and payments will commence.
Dáil Éireann 643 Written Answers. Fisheries Protection.