Dáil Éireann - Volume 669 - 03 December, 2008

Written Answers. - Fishing Fleet Modernisation.

Deputy Catherine Byrne asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the amount of the fund set aside for decommissioning that has been spent to date; the amount remaining; when the remaining funds will be allocated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43946/08]

Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if there is money left over in the decommissioning allocation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43938/08]

  Deputy Brendan Smith: I propose to take Questions Nos. 96 and 105 together.

[629] In February this year acting on a central recommendation from the Cawley report and following State Aid approval by the European Commission, a scheme to permanently withdraw capacity from the whitefish sector of the Irish fishing fleet was launched.

To date 57 vessels have been approved and offered decommissioning grants. 45 vessels have accepted with a total of 21 million Euros being spent in 2008 and in excess of €16 million committed for decommissioning payments in 2009. This amount of €16m is provided to BIM in the 2009 Estimates and accordingly there is no remaining balance of funds available for reallocation for 2009.

Under the Seafood Development Operational Programme 2007-2013 €46 million is the maximum amount that can be paid out by the State on decommissioning; this allows for 75% of the €46 million to be paid by the EU. As already stated €37 million of this has been committed under the current scheme and 75% of this amount will be recouped.

This decommissioning scheme announced in February is now closed and final payments under the scheme will be made in 2009.