IRELAND South MEP, Billy Kelleher has welcomed confirmation of proposals to support fishermen and the wider fishing sector affected by the current and ongoing Covid-19 crisis through a number of practical yet important measures.
'We have been informed that the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) will be made more flexible and that member states will now be able to provide support to the following sectors: fishermen through the temporary cessation of fishing activities; aquaculture farmers for the temporary suspension or reduction of production and provide support, producer organisations for the temporary storage of fishery and aquaculture products,' said Mr Kelleher.
'These are positive yet practical proposals that will support fishing communities across Ireland South. It is essential now that the intention of the Commission in announcing these supports becomes a reality for our fishermen and is not delayed by red tape. The Irish government have been given the flexibility to support the fishing industry and the thousands of families dependent on the industry for their livelihoods.'
He said that they now need a quick response from Minister Michael Creed as to how his Department will implement these proposals as he said fishing communities need certainty as quickly as possible.
'At this important time, we need to support every community who are seeing their livelihoods put under severe pressure. I’ll keep working with my colleagues in the Parliament and with officials in the Commission to prioritise and swiftly bring forward further measures that fishing communities, and other vulnerable communities, need to keep their head above water,' he concluded.