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Ireland - ‘Green New Deal’ & Assurances For Fisheries Sector Among Pledges In Draft Programme

A ‘Green New Deal’, protections for Ireland’s fishing sector and a successor to Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth with a greater focus on sustainability are among the promises included in the draft Programme for Government published this afternoon (Monday 15 June), which as previously reported also features an emphasis on high performance sport.

Under the ‘Marine’ heading, the document states:

We are committed to prioritising the development of the marine. As an island nation, Ireland has a special relationship with the ocean. Everything must be done to protect marine biodiversity and to secure a sustainable future for the fisheries sector while supporting coastal communities.

We will:

  • Develop a new integrated marine sustainable development plan, as a successor to Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, focusing on all aspects of the marine, with a greater focus on sustainability and stakeholder engagement and centrally co-ordinated by the Department of the Taoiseach to be implemented over the life of the Government.
  • Ensure protection of the interests of the Irish Fishing industry by insisting that a Fisheries Agreement with the UK is concluded as an integral part of an overall EU Free Trade Agreement with the UK.
  • Recognise that the critical issue in these negotiations for the Irish industry is continued access to UK waters and quota share and the danger of displacement of the EU fleet into Irish territorial waters.
  • Seek EU Commission contingency supports and market disturbance funding for the fisheries sector to mitigate against the impact of Covid-19 and Brexit.
  • Ensure that inshore waters continue to be protected for smaller fishing vessels and recreational fishers and that pair trawling will be prohibited inside the six-mile limit.
  • Support the inshore fishing fleet in generating greater marketing and promotional capacity by facilitating the establishment of a Producer Organisation for these smaller fishing vessels, thereby providing additional opportunity for the island and coastal communities involved in the inshore sector.

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