Thursday, 9 April 1987
Dáil Eireann Debate
Mrs. Doyle: asked the Minister for the Marine the plans, if any, he has submitted or will be submitting to ensure Ireland gains maximum advantage from the EC over the next ten years from the structural measures for the fishing industry which have been drawn up by the EC.
Mr. Daly: Under this regulation, each member state is required to submit a multi-annual guidance programme in respect of the proposed development of its fishing industry and subsequent applications for grant-aid will be considered in the context of this programme. At present, the Irish multi-annual guidance programme is in course of preparation and I can assure the Deputy that the  scope of this programme will be such as to allow for the continued development of the Irish fishing industry and the maximum benefit for Irish applicants under the scheme in the future.
Mrs. Doyle: This question is tied up with the last one. Will the Minister agree with me that to gain maximum advantage from the new structures plan and for our multi-annual guidance plan or programme that we have to submit by the end of April, we would need an increased quota to have any real effect for the industry here?
Mrs. Doyle: Will we be looking for laying up premiums and grants rather than grants for fleet investment and for exploratory fishing? Without an increase in our percentage of the TAC it would be for laying up. We will be looking for support from the Minister under the structures planned rather than for development for our ports and new fishing areas.
Mr. Daly: I never said that. The items I would see as priority would be fleet development, mariculture projects to enable us to develop our mariculture industry and ensure that it gets off properly, processing development because, the Deputy will be aware, at present there is adequate scope for futher secondary processing which would increase greatly the value of the catch and of our exports, and the whole infrastructural development which is essential for the development of a modern fishing industry. If we are to utilise some of the species which at present are not the subject of quota where there is no question whatever of any restrictions being placed on us at Community level, then we can use some of the resources of this structures policy to enable us to prepare for that. In talking about utilising species which are at present not the subject of quota and where there is potential for development, some of which I have mentioned  already, I am also talking about the question of the quota which is available to us such as cod and whiting which I have indicated. There are others as well which are the subject of quota and where at present we are not taking our quota. Some of the investment in these areas would enable the industry to take the full quota available to them under the present arrangement.
Mrs. Doyle: Are the Government prepared to invest up to 25 per cent as will be required of them to obtain the 40 per cent grant that will be available in Europe for fleet investment, particularly for investing in the non-quota species?
Mr. Daly: At this time we are in the course of preparation of this programme and we will take the Deputy's view on that into account. In my view up to now we have not availed fully of the benefits available to us in the Community. Our intention in the future will be to ensure that we get the maximum benefit from Community funding for the development of an industry here which we have not been getting up to now. During the term when the Deputy's party were in Government we had the second lowest uptake from the moneys available in this area.
Mrs. Doyle: How can we gain maximum advantage from the structures plan unless we match the European money with money here, from the Irish Government, as will be necessary? Will we be taking the line that we will be opting for laying up premiums and grants for selling our tonnage outside the EC area? If we are investing either in exploratory waters or in new fleet we will have to match that investment by at least 25 per cent of the money from this country. How will we get that maximum advantage unless we are prepared to put that money up front?
Mr. Daly: When the percentage was much lower in the past four years the Deputy's Government in office did not utilise the money that was available. In  fact, during the last year of their term in office the percentage uptake of the Community funding was one of the lowest ever.
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