A major pier extension and an upgrade of the shipyard facilities on Dinish Island in Castletownbere, Co Cork, was announced yesterday.
Agriculture, Food, and Marine Minister Simon Coveney, who announced the move, said the preliminary estimate for the works is estimated at between €15m and €20m subject to detailed design and tender.
He said he had officially opened the first phase of the pier development on Dinish in 2012. This has been very successful in facilitating the growth of the Castletownbere based fishing fleet.
It also underpinned the Government’s strategy to attract increasing numbers of landings from other EU fishing fleets into Castletownbere. “It has surpassed my expectations,” he said.
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 last year.
Mr Coveney said he was making a commitment to finalise the design of major development works in Castletownbere and to seek planning permission.
These works will double the size of Dinish Wharf, through a 200m-long 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.
“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,” said Mr Coveney.
He 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 this year 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.
Mr Coveney said the significant additional investment in the publicly owned harbour infrastructure signals the Government’s ongoing commitment to the social and economic fabric of coastal communities.
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