Budget 2015 response: Blue Economy

The Environmental Pillar cautiously welcomes the marine measures in the budget but warns that the increase in the blue economy must not come at the cost of small fishermen and the environment.
The proposed Marine Tax review is an opportunity to focus tax support on smaller specialist fishing vessels that can fish sustainably and provide local employment.
‘By targeting tax breaks on small vessels, jobs can also be provided in high quality high value fish processing. Artisanal industries that add value to locally caught fish will have an added benefit by boosting Ireland’s clean green image. This will also boost our tourism potential.
‘By using the Marine Tax review to encourage sustainable local marine industries and services, we can create local economic benefit which will have national impact and will actually improve our clean green image,’ said Karin Dubsky of the Environmental Pillar.
The Environmental Pillar hopes that the plan to double the Blue Economy will not be at a cost to the environment or the numbers of people employed. More fishermen and women are employed in small sustainable marine industries and in the marine tourism sector. These sectors go hand in hand as quality locally sourced fish and shellfish is what our tourists are looking for.
‘We can dramatically increase Ireland’s marine economy whilst improving our ecological protection by using a little imagination by moving away from supporting large scale factory fish farming and processing. There is more value to Ireland Inc. in a single wild salmon than in an entire cagefull of battery-farmed fish,’ said Karin Dubsky.