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Creed Launches Inshore Fisheries Forums Website

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. together with the National Inshore Fisheries Forum today launched the Inshore Fisheries Forums website, www.inshoreforums.ie.  

Minister Creed said, “Getting inshore fishing communities involved in decision-making is the key aim of the Forum initiative. The new website is a vital tool both to make information available and also to foster interaction and discussion.  I hope that it will become a regular port of call for all interested in developing a sustainable future for this sector.” 

The inshore sector (comprising fishing boats of less than 12 metres in overall length) make up more than 80% of the fishing fleet and are predominately active within six nautical miles of the Irish shore.

The Minister also thanked BIM and the Forum delegates for their work in designing and contributing to the Inshore Forums website. 

Today was the 8th meeting of the NIFF, which was established in 2014.  The Budget 2017 introduction of the Fisher’s Tax Credit (based on the seafarer’s allowance model) and changes to the Fish Assist Scheme were highlighted as important income support mechanisms for inshore fishing communities. 

Minister Creed acknowledged the role of the Forums and others in the fishing industry in advocating for income support “Maintaining jobs and attracting new entrants have been identified by our stakeholders as a key challenge for our fishing industry, including the inshore sector.  This annual tax credit specifically for fishermen of €1,270, which mirrors the value of the Seafarer’s allowance, is important recognition for their contribution to Ireland’s Blue Economy.” 

Proposals to revise the conservation measures for lobster and to introduce technical conservation measures for the velvet crab fishery were put forward for discussion by the NIFF at today’s meeting.   

Notes for Editors:

The National Inshore Fisheries Forum (NIFF) was set up to facilitate the development of a coherent inshore sector “voice” by encouraging inshore fishermen to discuss their fishing issues and generate commonly-supported initiatives.  A network of six Regional Inshore Fisheries Forums (RIFFs) around the Irish coast have nominated delegates to bring forward regional proposals to the NIFF for wider industry discussion. The RIFF members include inshore fishermen, environmental interests, marine leisure, marine tourism and other marine stakeholders.  The structures also provide opportunities for collaboration between the inshore fishing sector and their communities on sustainable strategies to optimise the income opportunities afforded by the coastal resource. 

A fisher’s tax credit of €1,270, available to those actively working on sea-fishing as employees, owner-operators or in a share-fisher capacity, was introduced in Budget 2017. It is similar to the seafarers’ tax allowance available to other maritime sectors. It is designed to assist in attracting and retaining essential crew and delivers on the commitment to support jobs in rural communities. This measure supports Ireland’s seafood industry, which was worth €1billion in GDP in 2015 and follows on from the recommendation in the Marine Taxation Review. 

Fish Assist, as Jobseekers Allowance for the self-employed, will increase by €5 per weekly payment in March 2017.  Means testing will also be based on 70% income rather than 100% in line with the changes in the Farm Assist scheme for off-farm self-employment.  Additional annual disregards of €254 for each of the first 2 children and €381 for the third and subsequent children will also be taken into account.


to view this Press Release as a PDF: DAFMPR 145/2016 (pdf 448Kb) 

Added 25.10.16

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. today launched the Inshore Fisheries Forums website, www.inshoreforums.ie. (From left to right) Paschal Hayes, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), Minister Michael Creed T.D., Roni Hawe, DAFM, Alex Crowley, Chair of the National Inshore Fisheries Forum and Eamon Aylward, DAFM.

Added 25.10.16

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. together with the National Inshore Fisheries Forum today launched the Inshore Fisheries Forums website, www.inshoreforums.ie.  

 

Date Released: 25 October 2016