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BIM Issues Details of State's Whitefish Scrappage Scheme

5th September 2022

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) has released further details of Ireland’s third whitefish fleet decommissioning scheme.

The information has been issued as a guide to fishing vessel owners who have registered expressions of interest in the scheme, which is being rolled out due to loss of quota as a result of Brexit.

The EU has approved the 80 million euro scheme – involving direct grants of 60 million euro and 20 million euro for tax adjustments – under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR).

Described as “voluntary”, it aims to decommission up to 60 vessels to ensure sustainability of the remaining fleet.

Five categories have been created to calculate the amount which vessels affected by loss of Brexit Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) stocks may receive, BIM says.

It provides for a basic payment of €3,600 per gross tonne(GT), and a “catch incentive premium” of up to €8,400 per GT for quota species covered under the TCA.

This will be calculated by indexing total vessel landings of quota stocks against the maximum total landings of quota stocks by any one vessel within each segment.

Landing data will be supplied by the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA), and will relate to a two-year period – either 2018 and 2019, or 2020 and 2021.

The fleet segments which the scheme applies to are: beamers; hake gillnetters’ prawn vessels 12-18m; prawn vessels 18-24m; prawn vessels 24-40m’ seiners; Tier 1; whitefish 12-18m: whitefish 18-24m; whitefish 24-40m;whitefish/prawn <12m.

Vessels within 80% or higher of the maximum total value of landings of TCA stocks within each fleet segment are eligible for 100% of the €8,400 per GT, BIM says.

  • Vessels with between 60-80% of the maximum value are eligible for 80% of the €8,400 (€6,720 per GT).
  • Vessels with between 40-60% of the maximum value are eligible for 60% of the €8,400 (€5,040 per GT).
  • Vessels with between 20-40% of the maximum value are eligible for 40% of the €8,400 (€3,360 per GT).
  • Vessels with landings below 20% of the maximum value are eligible for 20% of the €8,400 per GT (€1,720 per GT).

BIM gives an example to illustrate this - if a vessel with the most landings of TCA quota stocks in the ‘Whitefish 12-18m’ category landed 10 tonnes, any other vessel in the same category which landed eight tonnes or more would be eligible for 100% of the catch incentive premium.

Grant payments will also vary depending on the age and size of the vessel, under a points scheme.

Vessels over 30 years old will get 20 points, while vessels between 20 and 29 years old will get 10 points. Vessels between 10 and 19 years old will get five points.

Vessels greater than 150 GTs will get 20 points; vessels between 100-150 GTs will get 10 points; and vessels between 50-100 GTs will get five points.

Points will also be awarded on the average number of days fished during the two 12-month periods from January 1st 2018, and December 31st, 2019. For example, vessels fishing more than 180 days during this period will get 30 points.

Points will be given on a graded basis also for total landings of TCA stocks by weight as a percentage of total catch average over the two 12-month periods from January 1st 2018, to December 31st 2019.

BIM says EU BAR State Aid Guidelines for the fishery and aquaculture sector stipulate that the amount of aid for permanent cessation related to Brexit will be reduced by the amount of temporary cessation support – as in voluntary tie-up funding - and the amount of income loss support received by operators.

Support provided directly to crew as part of these schemes, such as voluntary tie-up, will not be deducted from the permanent cessation aid payable to vessel owners, it says.

The Brexit Permanent Voluntary Cessation Scheme will open for applicants in September, BIM says.

It says it is not in a position to provide individual calculations in advance of applications being received, but has provided an email address for further queries – [email protected]

Published in BIM, Fishing
Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Search and Rescue: True stories of Irish Air-Sea Rescues and the Loss of R116 (2022); Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004); and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010). She is also co-producer with Sarah Blake of the Doc on One "Miracle in Galway Bay" which recently won a Celtic Media Award

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