By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
Home A-Z Index Subscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird

Minister Killeen announces approvals under the 2008 Whitefish Decommissioning Scheme

A Scheme to permanently withdraw capacity from the whitefish sector of the Irish fishing fleet

The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mr Tony Killeen T.D., today announced grant aid totalling €41.1 million to decommission 46 fishing vessels under the 2008 fishing vessel decommissioning scheme.

Approved applicants have until 18th July 2008 to accept the offer and if they do so must have surrendered their fishing licences by the 12th September 2008. Failure to meet these deadlines by an applicant will result in the next vessel on a reserve list being offered the opportunity to decommission their vessel.

The 2008 Decommissioning Scheme, administered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), was launched in February of this year, to permanently withdraw large fishing vessels from the whitefish sector of the Irish fishing fleet. This delivers on a central recommendation of the Seafood Industry Strategy Review Group and complements the earlier, successful, 2005 - 2006 decommissioning programme.

Today's announcement will see some 46 boats over 18 metres in length and with a combined capacity of 7,590 gross tonnes permanently exit the whitefish fleet over the coming weeks. With an average size of 165 gross tonnes per vessel, these boats represent 68% of the overall target set for the scheme (11,140 gross tonnes) and are in addition to the 27 whitefish boats (3,323 gross tonnes) decommissioned in 2005 - 2006.

Minster Killeen said "Overall a total of 33% of the over-18 metre whitefish fleet involving 73 large vessels will have been decommissioned since 2005. The result of this decommissioning will be a significant boost to the economics of those boats remaining in the fleet. This economic lift comes from the redistribution of the whitefish and prawn catch previously taken by the vessels being decommissioned and is currently estimated at some €20 million. This will, over the next 5 years result in up to €100 million in additional catching opportunities for those boats that remain".

Additionally for those availing of decommissioning aid, payments received under the scheme will qualify for capital gains tax (retirement relief) which, subject to certain conditions, provides for an exemption from CGT for proceeds up to €750,000 with marginal relief applying above this limit. The qualifying age requirement for an individual making such a disposal has been reduced from 55 years to 45 years, and the required period of ownership and usage of the asset is reduced from 10 years to 6, also if a balancing charge arises (in relation to income tax) these can now be spread over 5 years commencing in the year in which the payment is received.

Minister Killeen said "Overall this will help to put the sector on a more sound financial footing, deliver a sustainable future for Ireland's fishermen into the future, and to bring about a viable future for the fishing sectors that will support the economies of coastal communities dependent on fishing."

23rd June, 2008

Annex 1: Homeports of vessels

Region Home Port No. Qualifying
East Clogherhead 8
East Howth 6
South Ballycotton 1
South Helvick 1
South East Duncannon 2
South East Dunmore East 2
South East Kilmore Quay 9
South West Castletownbere 3
South West Dingle 4
South West Kinsale 2
South West Schull 3
South West Union Hall 1
West Rossaveal 4
Total 46

Date Released: 24 June 2008