Coveney Announces Plans to Double the Size of Dinish Wharf in Castletownbere and an Additional €5M Package of Investment for 2015 in Harbour Development Works.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD today announced that he was moving ahead with detailed design of a major pier extension and an upgrade of the shipyard facilities on Dinish Island, Castletownbere.
The Minister explained “In April 2012 I officially opened the first phase of the pier development on Dinish. This development has been very successful in facilitating the growth of the Castletownbere based fishing fleet and underpinning the Governments strategy to attract increasing numbers of landings from other EU fishing fleets into Castletownbere. It has surpassed my expectations”
The total tonnage of fish landed into Castletownbere has increased by 38% from 25,427 tonnes in 2011 to 35,004 tonnes in 2014. In addition the number of landings of fish from vessels of other EU Fleets into Castletownbere has increased by 272 % between 2011 and 2014, from 442 to 1,207. In 2015 up to the end of June there were 671 landings from other EU fleets compared to 573 for the same period in 2014. (See note to Editors attached).
The Minister went on to say that “On foot of the overall increase in the tonnage of fish being landed into Castletownbere and the unprecedented success in increasing not only the foreign landings but also landings from our own fleet, I am making a commitment to finalise design of and seek planning permission for major development works in Castletownbere. These works will double the size of Dinish Wharf, through a 200 metre extension to the existing pier facility. The works will include dredging, a reconfiguration and upgrade of the boat yard and replacement of the syncrolift with an improved modern mobile boat hoist”. The Minister added that “The Preliminary Estimate for the works is between €15 and €20m subject to detailed Design and tender.”
The Minister concluded by saying “When completed the new facilities for the fishing industry and the wider seafood sector will be on a par with the best in Europe and will allow for a major expansion of the seafood and other marine industries in the South West."
The Minister also announced increased funding of €5m for a package of projects under the 2015 Fishery Harbours Capital Investment Programme. This brings the total capital investment under this programme in 2015 to €22.9m.
The additional €5m includes €3.9m for works at the six Fishery Harbour Centres, Cape Clear and other marine infrastructures owned by the Department and includes an additional €1.1m for 17 Local Authority projects.
The Minister said “I am delighted to be making this announcement today; it provides a significant additional investment in the publicly owned harbour infrastructure right around our coast. It signals the ongoing commitment of this Government to the social and economic fabric of our Coastal Communities by contributing to the continued development of fishing related activities, increasing participation in marine leisure, and augmenting measures to attract greater numbers of tourists which ultimately generate the environment for job creation”
As part of his visit to Castletownbere, Minister Coveney also met with the local fishing industry to discuss the introduction of the first phase of the new landing obligation or ‘discards ban’ for the demersal fleet. Minister Coveney said “Today was an opportunity for me to discuss what has been agreed in terms of the phasing in of the landing obligation under the new Common Fisheries Policy for our whitefish fleets. More importantly, it was an opportunity for me to listen to the concerns of our fishing industry with regard to this change in the way our fleets will operate in the future.”
The Minister will be having similar meetings with the fishing industry in the South East and the North West in the coming months. Minister Coveney went on to say “The key to coping with the landing obligation will be avoiding unwanted fish in the first place by improving selectivity and I am committed to helping the industry to do just that. By working together we will be able to phase out wasteful discarding and ensure a sustainable and profitable fishing industry into the future by safeguarding our stocks.”
Note for Editors - Harbour Development Works (doc 99Kb)