Fisheries: Northern Ireland

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 10th November 2021.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in the Northern Ireland Executive on the introduction of a funding scheme to ensure the use of energy-efficient machinery in the fishing industry.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

There is regular contact between Defra ministers and their devolved administration counterparts, including in the Northern Ireland Executive, at the Inter-Ministerial Group.

The Government is providing £57.8 million for the devolved administrations to support fisheries over the Spending Review 2021 period - of which £9.3 million has been secured for Northern Ireland. This money is to fund data collection, to deliver control and enforcement activities and to enable each of the fishing administrations to deliver their own domestic funding schemes. It is for the NI Executive to decide how it designs its domestic scheme, which could include investment into energy-efficient machinery in parts of the fishing industry. The Fisheries Act 2020 provides the NI Executive with the power to establish schemes of financial assistance in relation to commercial fishing and aquaculture in Northern Ireland.

In addition to this, there is the £100 million UK Seafood Fund to be invested into science and innovation, infrastructure, and skills and training. The Infrastructure pillar will include criteria around reducing carbon emissions in the industry and encouraging the use of renewable energy sources. More details on the Infrastructure pillar will be announced soon. The Fund is available to applicants throughout the UK, including Northern Ireland.

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