£5m fishing vessel launched in Killybegs


The Minister for the Marine, Mr Fahey, has launched the largest new fishing vessel under the Government's fleet renewal scheme, in Killybegs, Co Donegal.

The Minister also earmarked £10,000 towards the initial devolution of State fisheries management in the north-west.

The £5 million Mark Amay launched in the Co Donegal fishing port was built in Denmark and Poland for father and son, Patrick and Shaun Conneely. The 38-metre vessel was supported by a grant of almost £1 million from the EU and Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM). It is one of 14 vessels approved for Donegal under the Government's whitefish fleet renewal scheme. Mr Pat Keogh, chief executive of BIM, said it marked a new departure for the whitefish fleet.

The Minister also unveiled the layout for the new pier which is due to be built at Killybegs, at a cost of £35 million. A planning application is expected to be lodged in early January. The new fisheries management advisory group established by the Minister will focus on mackerel, horse mackerel, north-west herring, AtlantoScandic herring and blue whiting. It represents a "considerable challenge" for the industry, the Minister noted, "in line with the principles of subsidiarity".

The group is charged with ensuring that fishing remains within quota; equal distribution of the quota; and ensuring that the needs of both catchers and processors are met.