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Ireland‘s unique opportunity to help Europe reduce its dependence on Russian oil could be hampered by a severe skills shortage for developing offshore renewable energy, industry experts have warned.

And unless the Government moves quickly on establishing a stakeholder liaison group, offshore wind and the fishing industry are on a “collision course”, a conference at the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) was told.

Ireland can be a leading wind and wave energy supplier, but it will only capture just over 20 per cent of jobs required unless the Government co-ordinates specific training, Wind Energy Ireland chief executive Noel Cunniffe said.

Wind Energy Ireland chief executive Noel CunniffeWind Energy Ireland chief executive Noel Cunniffe

Cunniffe was speaking at the event hosted by Simply Blue Energy, on the theme of “Our Offshore Renewable Energy Opportunity – Is Ireland Ready” which dealt with maritime qualifications and certification.

His organisation, which represents the wind energy industry, has urged development of specialist marine apprenticeship schemes and a skills plan for renewable energy involving schools and universities, he told the conference at the NMCI hosted by Simply Blue Energy.

This was echoed by Dr Alan Power of the Government’s expert group on future skills needs, who said that marine careers are a “significant growth area”.

To meet the Government’s five GW target for offshore wind by 2030, a range of key occupations will be required including engineers, ecologists, marine biologists, hydrologists, and people with construction and technical skills, Power said.

Marine operators and ship crew, wind turbine technicians and experienced professions in transport and logistics will also be required, he said.

Marine renewable expert Prof Tony Lewis of University College Cork recalled a similar discussion on skills shortages in oil and gas 40 years ago when the Kinsale gas field was being developed.

Prof Tony Lewis of University College CorkProf Tony Lewis of University College Cork

“We missed that opportunity then,” he said, urging a coordinated approach with an “enterprise focus” to ensure Ireland could supply the required expertise without losing out to foreign companies.

Mark de Faoite of Údarás na Gaeltachta said renewable energy jobs could also help to sustain Gaeltacht areas, but a holistic approach to skills and training was required by all Government departments and agencies.

Mark de Faoite of Údarás na GaeltachtaMark de Faoite of Údarás na Gaeltachta

However, offshore wind and the fishing industry are on a “collision course”, with fears about the impact on fishing now greater than the impact of Brexit, John Lynch, chief executive of the Irish South and East Fish Producers’ Organisation said.

“There is no question that we do require renewable energy and it is a great opportunity,” Lynch said, but it had “got off to a bad start”.

He described how renewable energy companies came to meetings with fishers with “a presentation, a map” but with “pre-determined sites” in inshore coastal areas.

“We had no input into the position of those sites,” he said, and “co-existence would have been far easier” if there had been prior consultation.

Even if fishing was allowed near an offshore wind farm, the risk of snagging gear, accidental damage to equipment and the risk of prosecution over same would pose serious challenges and could cause insurance problems, Lynch explained.

Co Waterford vessel owner Caitlín Uí Aodha said “the hunters are being hunted off their grounds”.

“We want to be green, but we need you to understand fishing is not just a job, but a way of life, a tradition, a heritage,” Uí Aodha said, emphasising the need for seafood protein suppliers to survive.

“I am not convinced that those involved in this [renewable] industry are there to look after me..you’re there to make money,” she told renewable energy representatives at the conference.

In his opening address, Minister for Marine Charlie McConalogue acknowledged delays in establishing an offshore renewable energy/seafood liaison forum, and recruitment was ongoing for a chairperson.

Attracta Uí Bhroin of the Irish Environmental Network identified delays in marine spatial planning by Government as being critical.

Ireland is required to extend its network of marine protected areas, but any attempt to co-locate offshore wind farms in protected areas cannot be a “box-ticking exercise” in relation to protected of the marine environment, she said.

Published in Power From the Sea

Green Party MEP Grace O’Sullivan has welcomed this week’s High Court judgment which will see the European Court of Justice being asked to rule on a missed deadline set for sustainably set fish quotas in European waters.

Environmental group Friends of the Irish Environment CLG (FIE) brought the case to the High Court over the alleged failure by the Irish State to meet a legally defined deadline of ending overfishing of all stocks by 2020.

FIE, which was supported by the legal non-governmental organisation (NGO) Client Earth, claimed the main goal of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) was to restore and maintain fish stocks above sustainable levels.

The European Commission had set a target of 2015 for sustainable levels for all fish stocks to be achieved - or by 2020 at the latest.

FIE claimed the European Commission has set total allowable catches for national fleets, for a wide range of fish stocks, at unsustainable levels in 2020.

It said it would have “profound negative consequences for the marine environment and the sustainability of European fishing activities”.

In his judgment on February 8th, Mr Justice Barr said that while the court was satisfied that the issues between the parties in relation to the 2020 Regulation and the fisheries management were “moot”, given the fact that time had passed, it was likely to be a “live issue” in respect of other regulations issued by the EU Council in the future.

“Accordingly, it is desirable that a decision be reached on the general legality of such regulations in terms of their compliance with Article 2(2) of the CFP,” he said.

He also said that the case raised issues of “general public importance” for two reasons.

“Firstly, the application raises issues in relation to the conservation of fish stock, which are of fundamental importance to the citizens of the EU and secondly, the issues raised

herein have enormous ramifications for the fishing industry in the member states of the EU,” Mr Justice Barr said.

Mr O’Sullivan, who is Green Party spokesperson on the marine and a member of the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee, welcomed the ruling.

“Time after time, member states, including Ireland, have exceeded the scientific advice provided for sustainable fishing levels,” she said.

“In the North Atlantic alone, around 46% of Northeast Atlantic total allowable catches (TACs) could be considered ‘unsustainable’ in 2020,” she said.

“ This goes against the EU’s own legal commitment to end overfishing and is extremely damaging to our marine environment, not to mention the fishing communities that depend on healthy stocks,” she said.

Ms O’Sullivan said it was significant that this first challenge came from Ireland, as the European Commission recently expressed concern that “Ireland continues to be the most expensive member state in which to make an environmental claim before the courts”.

“The European Union has set many ambitious goals recently, in light of the European Green Deal and the Environment Action Programme to 2030. But if we do not act on the science, then our efforts to end the climate and biodiversity crises will be pointless,” she added.

Published in Fishing

The announcement by Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue that he is establishing a Common Fisheries Policy Review Group is being seen as a response to increased pressure from the fishing industry for a strong level of preparation for changes in the CFP.

The Policy which has been blamed for causing severe damage to the Irish fishing industry, because of the bigger size of quotas it allocated to foreign vessels in Irish waters, while keeping Irish quotas much smaller.

The ten-year review of the CFP has to be completed by December 2022. However, this review does not imply major changes being made in the Policy.

In fact, on his visit to Ireland last October, EU Commissioner for Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius, said: “We’ll do a review, and we will be listening to stakeholders’ concerns, and we’ll look at certain changes, but I cannot promise we will be reopening the CFP.”

The general attitude in the Irish industry is that only a thorough review of the Policy can address the Irish fleet’s reduced access to quotas and the impact of Brexit, as well as the refusal of other EU countries to agree to “burden-sharing” of the Brexit impact. The initial response to the Minister’s announcement is that it is a “needed, welcome and positive move, needed to get a strong Irish position established about the CFP,” industry sources told Afloat.

"a forum of key stakeholders to produce a report to inform Ireland's position"

Commissioner Sinkevičius acknowledged that the review will have to take Brexit into account. He added that climate change, pollution and sustainable fishing would also be included.

EU Commissioner for Fisheries Virginijus SinkevičiusEU Commissioner for Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius

“The seafood sector has faced challenges over the recent past, arising in particular from Brexit,” said Minister McConalogue in announcing the Review Group. It will be, he said, “a forum of key stakeholders to produce a report to inform Ireland's position during the course of the CFP review. This forum will be able to draw on the expertise in my own Department, the Marine Institute and BIM, to provide the necessary policy, scientific and technical support.”

It will be chaired by Mr John Malone, former Secretary General of the Department of Agriculture. Mr. Malone will be assisted by a steering committee comprising Mr Micheal O Cinneide, former Director of the Marine Institute and Environmental Protection Agency and Mr Donal Maguire, former Director in BIM.

The Group will involve representatives of stakeholders, including Producer Organisations, National Inshore Fisheries Forum, the Aquaculture industry, Co-Ops, and the Seafood processing industry. It will also include representatives of environmental NGOs. Its purpose is to examine the issues that arise for Ireland in the context of the CFP Review, to advise the Minister on priorities for the negotiations and to identify strategies most likely to influence the outcome of the review.

The Minister is seeking from the Group recommendations in relation to the CFP Review, to focus on supporting the social and economic health of our fisheries dependant coastal communities, economic development in our sea-food sector, delivering long term sustainability of fish stocks and maximising protection of habitats and the marine environment.

The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) Regulation (Regulation EU 380/2013) provides that the European Commission will report to the European Parliament and the Council on the functioning of the CFP by the end of 2022. The European Commission has launched an online questionnaire as part of its public consultation on the preparation of this report. The Commission has stated that it intends to close its consultation process with a stakeholder event before the summer of 2022.

The Minister has asked the Review Group to complete its work by June to ensure that Ireland’s priorities are clearly set out and inputted into the formal Commission process.

Minister McConalogue said that he is issuing invitations to the relevant Stakeholder organisations for nominations to the Group and expects the Group to get to work once all nominations to the Group are in place.

Those being invited to be part of the Group have been named as:

  • Fishing and Aquaculture representatives - One representative each from: Irish South and East Fish Producers Organisation; Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation; Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation; Irish Fish Producers Organisation; Irish Islands Marine Resource Organisation;
  • National Inshore Forum; Irish Fish Processors and Exporters Association; IFA Aquaculture.
  • Co-Ops: 2 representatives
  • Environmental NGOs: 2 representatives
Published in Fishing

The International Transport Workers' Federation says it is handing in a study Maynooth University conducted on migrant fishing crew to a Government review today.

The study by Maynooth University’s law department on the experiences of non-EEA workers in the Irish fishing industry will be submitted to the Government's review of the Atypical work permit scheme.

Michael O’Brien, who is the federation’s fisheries campaign lead for Ireland, says the study is a “devastating critique of the failures of the Atypical scheme since its inception six years ago”.

He says it makes a number of recommendations that, if implemented, would “go far in liberating migrant fishers, both documented and undocumented, from below minimum wage employment and precarious status in the state”.

The study collated testimony from migrant fishers of “ongoing abuses in the sector”, O’Brien said.

The Government announced that an inter-departmental group, headed up by the Department of Justice, would carry out the review of the Atypical work permit scheme.

Read the submission here

Published in Fishing

The EU’s fisheries commissioner has paid tribute to Irish fishermen for their role in shifting the location of Russian military exercises outside the Irish exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

In a tweet, Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius said that “Irish fishermen got their diplomatic game on! “

“They managed to stop Russian military exercises that would undermine their activities and marine life,” he said.

“ Real custodians of the sea on duty! The world could use more of you!” the commissioner, who holds the environment, oceans and fisheries portfolio, tweeted.

He was responding to a report on Irish Central headlined “Irish fishermen defeat the Russian navy”.

The Russian ambassador to Ireland has credited both the Irish South and West Fish Producers’ Organisation (IS&WFPO) and the Irish government with its decision to relocate planned military exercises outside the Irish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

In a statement on Saturday, Ambassador Yuriy Filatov said that the Russian Federation’s defence minister Sergey Shoigu has decided “as a gesture of goodwill” to relocate exercises on February 3rd to 8th to an area outside the Irish EEZ.

The military exercises had been planned to take place some 240 km off the Irish southwest coast, within the Irish EEZ.

This had led to serious concerns among fishermen about the impact on their economic activity, while environmental groups expressed fears about the impact on marine life, including cetaceans.

North American news network CNN has described the latest development as a victory for Irish fishermen.

“Russians blink after Irish fishermen’s vow to block Navy war games,” CNN said in a headline to the report by CNN correspondent Donie O’Sullivan, broadcast live from Castletownbere, Co Cork on Saturday.

IS&WFPO chief executive Patrick Murphy, who met the Russian ambassador to Ireland over the issue last week along with Irish Fish Processors’ and Exporters’ Association chief executive Brendan Byrne, has stated that Irish fishing vessels were not protesting, but were asserting their right to fish their quota on their traditional grounds.

The breakthrough on Saturday was confirmed by Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney,m who said that he had written to his counterpart, the Russian Federation’s defence minister, this week, “to request a reconsideration of naval exercises off the Irish coast”.

“This evening I received a letter confirming the Russian exercises will be relocated outside of Ireland’s EEZ. I welcome this response,” Coveney tweeted.

"We don’t know where they plan to have military exercises, but it certainly won’t be in international waters that Ireland has responsibility for,” Mr Coveney told RTÉ News.

Ireland would try be a voice for compromise to help avoid a war between Russia and Ukraine describing any conflict as potentially being the largest land war in Europe since the second world war, he said.

Published in Naval Visits
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Two fishing industry organisations have sought to clarify what they describe as “confusion” in some media outlets over their talks with Russian ambassador Yuriy Filatov on the forthcoming Russian military exercises off the south-west Irish coast.

Irish South and West Fish Producers’ Organisation (ISWFPO) chief executive Patrick Murphy and Irish Fish Processors and Exporters’ Association (IFPEA) Brendan Byrne issued the statement on Friday morning, the day after what they described as a “successful and positive meeting” with the ambassador in Dublin.

The Irish Times reported that the Russian embassy has disputed claims by Irish fishing industry representatives that the ambassador gave them “an absolute guarantee” that their fishing grounds will not be affected by the military exercises 240 km off the Cork coast.

“There was no discussion of guarantees of any kind,” the embassy’s spokesman Nikita Isakin said in a statement.

However, Murphy and Byrne said that they were " referring to the areas known as the Porcupine Bank and the Porcupine Sea Bight - fishing grounds immediately north and northwest of the area in which the naval drill is scheduled to take place in early February".

“The confusion has arisen in that some media outlets believed the traditional fishing grounds and the naval drill area to be one and the same area,” they said.

“ This is not the case, they are two specific areas that adjoin one another, “ they said.

“The Russian Ambassador made it clear to the fishing delegation that the naval exercises would only take place within the exclusion zone as notified to Ireland, therefore it is self-evident that no impact or intrusion will occur into the areas known as the Porcupine Bank and the Porcupine Sea Bight,” they said.

“Both the IS&WFPO and the IFPEA are again at pains to stress that fishing activity is guaranteed to be uninterrupted or negatively impacted in the traditional fishing grounds of these two areas namely the Porcupine Bank and Porcupine Sea Bight. The naval drills and exercises will take place within the notified area south of these traditional fishing areas,” Murphy and Byrne said.

“Both the fishing vessels and the Russian Navy can co-exist for the duration of these exercises at safe distance apart while both go about their respective tasks and routines,” the fishing industry organisations said.

Published in Naval Visits
Tagged under

The Russian Embassy in Ireland has described as “constructive” and “positive” the outcome of discussions with two Irish fishing industry organisations in relation to proposed Russian military exercises next week in the Porcupine Seabight off the south-west Irish coast.

Irish South and West Fish Producers’ Organisation (IS&WFO) chief executive Patrick Murphy and Irish Fish Processors’ and Exporters’ Association (IFPEA) Brendan Byrne also said the 50-minute discussion with Russian ambassador to Ireland Yuriy Filatov was very positive.

Byrne, who said he was “very surprised” by the wealth of knowledge of the ambassador about issues relating to the Irish fishing industry, said it was agreed that there would be a “buffer zone” between Russian vessels and fishing trawlers when military exercises are underway.

Russian ambassador to Ireland Yuriy FilatovVery positive - Russian ambassador to Ireland Yuriy Filatov

This is subject to approval from Moscow, Murphy confirmed, adding he was very happy with the meeting.

Irish South and West Fish Producers’ Organisation (IS&WFO) chief executive Patrick MurphyIrish South and West Fish Producers’ Organisation (IS&WFO) chief executive Patrick Murphy

“We have now come to an accommodation where there is a pathway for coexistence for the naval exercises and for our fishing fleet,” Byrne said.

Both men praised the level of communication with the Irish industry which, they said, was better than anything they had experienced from their own government.

Earlier, Murphy had expressed anger at publication by the Department of Transport of a marine notice – without advance consultation with the fishing industry - warning of “serious safety risks” posed by military exercises 240 km off the Cork coast from February 3rd to 8th.

The marine notice said the Russian Federation “has indicated that the exercises will include the use of naval artillery and launching of rockets”.

Non-governmental organisations have expressed serious concerns about the impact on marine wildlife, while military sources that the Russian Federation had selected the sea area as the “EU’s back door”, with risks posed to vitally important undersea communication cables.

International news networks covering the Ukraine crisis have reported on the Irish dimension, focusing on the stance taken by the Irish fishing industry.

Commenting on the row on January 26th, before the meeting between the Russian ambassador and Irish fishing industry representatives, North American television commentator Rachel Maddow of MSNBC noted that there was not much that Ireland could do about the military exercises. See clip below.

Maddow referred to Ireland’s weak defence capability – “no offence, but they don’t have much of a navy” and the “lack of a military radar".

She referred to Irish concerns about a Russian “spy ship”, the Yantor, which turned up off the Donegal coast last August.

“You know what Ireland does have to defend itself in this instance....it has very annoyed fishermen,” Maddow commented.

Maddow then played recent RTÉ news reports with the IS&WFPO, recorded before the organisation’s meeting with the Russian ambassador.

“The whole world, to Vladimir Putin’s great delight ...the whole world is on tenterhooks, waiting to find out whether Russia is going to start another war,” Maddow said.

“Irish fishermen on the other hand are heading out to actively stop it and fish for mackerel while they’re at it. God bless them, every single one of them,” Maddow said.

The Irish Times reported last night that the Russian embassy disputed claims by Irish fishing industry representatives that the ambassador to Ireland gave them “an absolute guarantee” that their fishing grounds will not be affected by the military exercises.

“There was no discussion of guarantees of any kind,” the embassy’s spokesman Nikita Isakin said in a statement released to The Irish Times.

Published in Naval Visits
Tagged under

Irish fishermen planning a peaceful protest over Russian naval exercises off the south-west Irish coast have been invited to talks by the Russian Ambassador to Ireland.

Ambassador Yuriy Filatov asked members of the Irish South and West Fish Producers’ Organisation (IS&WFPO) to discussions at the Russian embassy in Dublin on Thursday to hear their concerns about the proposed naval exercises planned for early February.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said Russia should call off its plans for military exercises off the Irish coast, saying it would “demonstrate goodwill” that they want to de-escalate tensions at a time of concern over a potential war in Ukraine.

The IS&WFPO announced its protest earlier last week over concerns about the potential harm to fish stocks and cetaceans from the effect of military sonar use and possible disruption from live ammunition drills in the area during the drills.

ISW&FPO chief executive Patrick MurphyISW&FPO chief executive Patrick Murphy

It is expected that the ISW&FPO delegation headed by chief executive Patrick Murphy will request that the planned area for the five-day exercise would be relocated further south west into deeper water off the Continental Shelf.

Up to 60 fishing vessels affiliated to the IS&WFPO pledged to peacefully disrupt the exercises, due to take place within Ireland’s exclusive economic zone, due to the threats to marine life and biodiversity.

Murphy said that there were currently "half a billion tonnes" of blue whiting in the area that move up along the coastline, representing "a one million tonne fishery".

"We should be entitled to go fishing there, and if we're fishing there then these boats, these warships, shouldn't be having war games."

Murphy said an issue of "real concern" was that fishing gear could get tangled with a submarine.

In a comment, the Russian Embassy said it would be “reckless” for the fishing organisation to send vessels to the area within the exercise.

Ambassador Filatov said earlier this week that controversy around the exercise was "hugely overblown"..

He told a press conference that the planned exercises by Russian naval vessels were "not in any way a threat to Ireland or anybody else" and that no harm was intended by it.

Filatov said three or four ships would be involved, but he did not know if missiles or submarines would be used.

In an interview on RTÉ Radio’s Claire Byrne Show on Wednesday, Varadkar said that while he respected fishermen’s right to peaceful protest, he urged them not to be “naive” and not to put themselves at risk.

He said the Russian plans for naval exercises in the Republic’s exclusive economic zone are “not illegal” but “not welcome” and this had been conveyed to the Russian ambassador by Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney.

Minister of State for Heritage Malcolm Noonan said he was “ deeply concerned” about the impact on marine mammals, and the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group has expressed similar fears.

Published in Naval Visits
Tagged under

The British-registered gillnetter detained by the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) off the Irish coast last week has been released without charge.

The 23-metre Govenek of Ladram, which played a starring role in the series, The Catch, was escorted into Castletownbere, Co Cork last Friday.

It was detained by the EFCA's fishery protection vessel Aegis 1 in the Celtic Sea for alleged fishing offences.

The EFCA, based in Vigo, Spain, said the vessel was inspected by two Irish fishery officers, who were on board the European agency’s charter vessel, Aegis 1, “in the framework of EFCA´s joint deployment plan for western waters”.

An EFCA spokeswoman said Ireland’s Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) requested the Aegis 1 to escort the detained vessel to Castletownbere port.

The EFCA said it handed over the file to the SFPA, and an SFPA spokeswoman confirmed the vessel was released with "a warning".

It is understood the detention related to placement of cetacean pingers on the buoy line, and the inspectors believed the pingers – to prevent bycatch of marine mammals - were not spaced correctly on the float line.

The 1986-built British registered gillnetter is based in Newlyn, Cornwall, and is part of a fleet run by family-owned fishing company, Waterdance.

It fishes for hake, monkfish and turbot, using static gill and trammel nets.

Its skipper Phil Mitchell and crew vividly portrayed the everyday lives of fishermen when the Channel 4 series was broadcast in 2015.

The Waterdance company did not respond to a request for comment.

The EFCA organises joint fisheries control and inspection activities in EU waters through a specific control and inspection programme adopted by the European Commission in association with member states.

Authorised fisheries inspectors use EFCA chartered vessels, with activities always co-ordinated by an EFCA official on board, the EU agency says.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

Staff with the State’s Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) have served notice of a 24-hour work stoppage this week with further strike action to follow.

Barring last minute efforts to resolve issues, the move is expected to cause disruption in designated fishing harbours around the coast.

The SFPA monitors and enforces sea fisheries and seafood safety legislation, and works with the Naval Service on inspections of fishing vessels under the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy.

The State seafood regulator was established in 2007 as an agency independent of, but working with, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Lack of consultation with staff over a new strategy and organisational changes are among key reasons cited for the industrial action.

The Fórsa trade union’s marine branch representing approximately 110 members of the SFPA.

They undertake inspections of landings and monitor certifications at six sea fishery harbours - Killybegs, Co Donegal, Ros-a-Mhíl, Co Galway, An Daingean (Dingle), Co Kerry, Castletownbere, Co Cork, Dunmore East, Co Waterford and Howth, Co Dublin.

Industrial action had originally been due to take place in March 2021, but this was suspended when invitations were issued to attend talks at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

However, after failure to resolve issues at several WRC conciliation meetings, the dispute was referred to the Labour Court which convened a hearing in June 2021.

The Labour Court said it could only assist in the context of binding arbitration, and adjourned its hearing for both sides to consider this.

When the hearing was reconvened last July, the SFPA is understood to have said it would need approval from the Departmental of Agriculture, Food and Marine in advance of agreeing to be bound by court recommendations.

Fórsa has described this as “procedural gymnastics”, and has accused SFPA management of continuing to “unilaterally alter our members’ core working conditions and agreements”.

The union has served notice under the 1990 Industrial Relations Act of 24-hour work stoppage by all Fórsa members from midnight Wednesday, January 19th to midnight Thursday, January 20th.

This may be followed by a 48-hour work stoppage by all Fórsa members from midnight Tuesday, January 25th to midnight Thursday, January 27th unless there is a resolution.

The union has indicated the action could be avoided if the SFPA agrees to binding arbitration by the Labour Court.

In a statement, SFPA management said it had been notified of strike action, and said that the Sea-Fisheries Protection Consultative Committee, comprising representatives of Ireland’s marine community including industry, had also been informed.

“ The SFPA has requested Forsa to confirm that minimum cover will be provided on these days, as is required under the code of practice on disputes procedures, to help minimise disruption to industry and seafood trade,” it said.

The organisation would be “making best efforts to minimise the impact on industry from this industrial action, but some disruption of SFPA services may be unavoidable”, it added.

“The SFPA is keen to secure as early a resolution to matters as possible and is disappointed that industrial action is being taken at this time,”it said.

Former Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine principal officer Paschal Hayes was appointed executive chair of the SFPA by Minister for Marine Charlie McConalogue earlier this month.

Published in Fishing
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