Covid-19 Aquaculture Support Scheme

About the Scheme

The new Covid-19 Aquaculture Support Scheme is available to rope mussel and intensive (trestle and bag) gigas oyster farmers only. Eligibility is confined to those enterprises that had stock on site in the period of February to June 2020. Terms and conditions include, inter-alia, compliance with aquaculture and foreshore licence conditions, tax clearance certification, and submission of returns to BIM of the Aquaculture Production and Employment Survey in each of the three years 2017, 2018, and 2019. Returns must have been submitted before 22nd October 2020. Returns made after this date shall not be taken into consideration.

For the purposes of the scheme, producers will be classified, and grant payments capped, according to their previous production levels contained in their returns over the period 2017-19, based on three categories:

  • < 50 tonnes 
  • 50 > 100 tonnes
  • ≥ 100 tonnes 

The table below details the capped one-off payments that will be applied to successful applicants.  

Available Grant Aid

Aid will be paid in the form of one-off capped payments. Aid will be provided at 100% of eligible costs using a ‘Simplified Cost’ approach. A multiplier cost per tonne (€447 for mussels / €1,914 for oysters) will be applied to the average stated production over the three years 2017, 2018, and 2019 referencing BIM’s Annual Aquaculture Production and Employment Surveys.

These payments will be capped as follows:


Rope Mussels

Intensively Cultured (Trestle and Bag) Gigas Oysters

Enterprise Size Category

<50 T

50<100 T

≥100 T

<50 T

50<100 T

100 T

Capped payment

Up to €1,300

Up to €3,600

Up to €9,000

Up to €6,800

Up to €11,300

Up to €16,300

Eligibility Criteria

This scheme is open to Intensive gigas oyster farmers (trestle and bag) and rope mussel farmers who inter alia:

  • Have a statutory consent to engage in aquaculture and any necessary consent under the Foreshore Acts, and who are in compliance with the terms and conditions of those consents
  • For each of the years 2017, 2018, and 2019 complied with their legal obligation to submit returns to BIM of the Annual Aquaculture Production and Employment Survey. Businesses with less than 3 years production may be eligible if the business was set up in the last 3 years and this is the reason for which no return was received
  • Had stock on site during the period February to June 2020 and who submitted a self-declaration to this effect
  • Suffered a reduction in production or sales in the period 1 February to 30 June 2020 as a consequence of the Covid 19 outbreak and who submitted a self-declaration to this effect
  • Are admissible for EMFF aid pursuant to article 10 of the EMFF Regulation (508/2014) and have made the self-declaration required under that article

How to apply

Only applications made through the BIM Grants Electronic Management Portal shall be accepted for consideration.

  • You must register with the BIM Grants Portal
  • To do this you will need your e-mail address and a contact phone number.
  • You will need to enter a password which you will need every time you log into the Grants Portal.
  • You will be required to verify your account by clicking on the link in an e-mail that will be sent to your e-mail account as soon as you submit the registration form.
  • Once you are registered, you can log into the system and start an application.

Getting Started Guide

Click here to download a copy of the “Getting Started with the BIM Online Grants System” guide


To complete the application form you will need:

  • Your Aquaculture Licence T Number or your Shellfish Fishery Order T Number.
  • Your bank details. Please note the bank details must be for the applicant or the applicant company. You will be required to upload and submit a scanned copy of a bank statement for the account clearly showing the BIC and IBAN.
  • The Tax Reference and Tax Clearance Access Numbers.

Key Dates

  • Closing date for receipt of applications 24th November 2020
  • Applications after this date will not be accepted


Once you have submitted your application along with all supporting documentation/data, BIM will assess your application for eligibility. Assuming all is in order, your aquaculture licence details will be submitted to Department of Food and Marine (DAFM) for compliance checking.

If your application is found to be invalid for whatever reason BIM will send you a rejection email outlining the reason. Your application will then be closed pending rectification of the issue outlined.

In most cases, for example where the reason given is

Insufficient data returns made to the ‘Annual Aquaculture Production and Employment Survey’

you should contact your BIM case officer if you wish to query / appeal the decision.

However, if the reason is:

Your licence is found to be non-compliant

you must contact the Aquaculture Licencing Section of DAFM to rectify the matter (see below)

Aquaculture Licence Queries:

Aquaculture Licensing Section
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
National Seafood Centre
Co. Cork

Once you have rectified any issues you must then contact BIM to re-open your application. In the case of licencing issues BIM shall re-submit your licence details for a second compliance check.

When all is in order you will be issued with a letter of offer outlining terms and conditions of the scheme.

You must revert agreeing to the terms and conditions in a timely manner.

The appropriate grant amount will be lodged into your nominated bank account.


Key Dates

Status: Closed

Due Date: - 

How to Apply

Apply online at

Contact Details

Cormac Murray
Direct: +353 1 2144208