Grants provided to support Irish aquaculture, seafood processing ventures
Ireland Minister for Agriculture, Food, and the Marine Charlie McConalogue has confirmed the award of EUR 1,105,022 (USD 1.3 million) in grants to 19 aquaculture and seafood processing enterprises under his department’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Program (EMFF).
The grant awards, which will support a total investment of EUR 2,957,627 (USD 3.6 million), are co-funded by the government of Ireland and the European Union and are subject to terms and conditions.
McConalogue said the grant awards are on top of support for 28 aquaculture projects announced in early March.
“Despite the uncertain business environment created by Brexit and COVID, our aquaculture sector is showing a very strong appetite to invest in and grow their businesses," he said. "Taken together, I have now announced some EUR 2.8 million [USD 3.4 million] in grant awards to 44 aquaculture enterprises in 2021 and these awards are supporting EUR 6.9 million [USD 8.4 million] of investments in our aquaculture sector.”
The minister said County Donegal had accounted for 13 of the aquaculture investment projects supported so far in 2021, with eight in Kerry and seven in Cork.
“Investments on oyster farms have dominated the aquaculture projects supported by my department’s EMFF program in 2021, and some 11 of the 13 Donegal based projects supported have been investments in oyster farms. This places Donegal at the center of our growing oyster sector,” he said.
Adopted by the European Commission in December 2015 and launched in January 2016, Ireland’s EMFF Operation Program 2014-2020 has provided EUR 240 million (USD 292.1 million) in funding to the seafood sector.
Two EMFF support systems, the Sustainable Aquaculture Scheme and the Knowledge Gateway Scheme, are available to the aquaculture sector, while three support schemes are available to the seafood processing sector to foster and support innovation, value-adding, new market development and investment in new equipment and premises.
Photo courtesy of Ireland Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine