Mr Patsy McGlone (Mid Ulster): To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs to detail the causes for delay in COVID-19 support payments to fishermen on Lough Neagh. [Priority Written]
Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs: I fully recognise the pressures faced by the Lough Neagh fishing industry as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
I have had to consider closely complexities relating to the eligibility criteria for a scheme while balancing the need for an inclusive approach. I have now directed my officials on how I wish to proceed with a support scheme to alleviate the financial impacts of the pandemic on commercial fishermen licensed to fish on Lough Neagh.
My officials are liaising with the Department of Finance to seek approval to proceed with the scheme.