Displaying items by tag: Coveney
Taking control at the Department of Defence is Tánaiste Simon Coveney who said one of his immediate priorities in the role will be to address the manpower crisis in the Naval Service, writes Irish Examiner.
Mr Coveney said on RTÉ's Morning Ireland that the Naval Service needs a “response” from him well in advance of a Commission which is to be set up to examine all aspects of Defence.
PDForra, which represents 6,800 enlisted personnel in the Defence Forces, said the first step Mr Coveney should take is to increase allowances across the Defence Forces.
General secretary, Ger Guinan, said further increases in allowances are needed in the Army, Air Corps and in particular the Naval Service: “Doing this is an absolute necessity, and it must be recognised it is most needed in the Naval Service."
For more on this story click here in addition to the newspaper's previous related coverage written by Colonel Dorcha Lee (retd) who is a former Defence Forces Provost Marshal and Director of Military Police.
Cork Boat club in Blackrock Village, Cork has celebrated the completion of an 18-month programme of renovation of its clubhouse with a re-opening ceremony attended by club members and their families, as well as local public representatives.
As Afloat.ie reported previously, the works were funded by a 2014 grant of €100,000 from the government’s Sports Capital Programme, Cork City Council and club members.
Cork’s Lord Mayor Cllr. Chris O’Leary and Minister for Agriculture, Food, Marine and Defence Simon Coveney attended along with TDs Ciarán Lynch, Jerry Buttimer and Micheál Martin, Deirdre Clune MEP and Cllr Laura McGonigle and Cllr Des Cahill.
Three construction projects were completed: the ruin of Blackrock Coastguard Station, which dates from the 1840s, is part of the club’s grounds and a prominent landmark in Blackrock Village and was in imminent danger of collapse. Through collaboration with Cork City Council, the club rebuilt and restored the building in a sensitive manner, preserving its historical value. The roof of the large clubhouse designed by renowned Cork architect Frank Murphy was also replaced in its entirety and the club’s gym received a complete renovation with new windows, reconstructed walls and painting. Part of this work involved restoring windows on the eastern perimeter revealing views toward Blackrock Castle.
Minister Coveney officiated at the ceremony. He said:
"The transformation of Cork Boat Club in recent years has been remarkable. The extent of work done is a credit to the club and is a tremendous example of the direct impact that the government’s Sports Capital Programme is having in the community. The club has shown itself to be a leading light in terms of collaboration with local agencies and organizations as shown by their recent partnership with Cork City Council to save the iconic Blackrock Coastguard Station which was in imminent danger of collapse, their agreement this year with Christian Brothers College to augment the rowing programme at one of city’s leading secondary schools and their work with Port of Cork and Cork City Fire Brigade to allow access to the site for emergency search and recovery launching. I commend the club and its members for their work to date and encourage them to continue with their ambitious plans for the club, one of the most successful in the country.”
Minister Coveney cut a ribbon held between oars painted in the club colours, assisted by club stalwart Tom O’Riordan and the newest member of the Boat Club family, six-month-old Rory Judge Joyce. Rory’s parents, Fran Judge and Eamonn Joyce, both competed for club and country.
#salmon – The future of salmon farming in South Connemara got a considerable boost today following the the assignment of aquaculture licences from five separate operators to Bradán Beo Teoranta, a company established by Údarás na Gaeltachta to consolidate and revitalise the operation of sustainable salmon farming in the area.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, approved the assignments. The assignment of the licences took place with the agreement of the former licence holders and follows a lengthy examination of all issues associated with salmon farming in South Connemara by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Údarás na Gaeltachta and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
Commenting on the assignment Minister Coveney said "This assignment of licences will consolidate operations in one licence holder and thereby greatly assist in the sustainable development of salmon farming in the area while also ensuring the maximum ongoing protection of the environment. The initiative provides a good example of Government Departments and State Agencies working together to secure a solid future for employment in the aquaculture industry".
The aquaculture licences assigned to Bradán Beo Teo were formerly held by the following companies: DMCI Golam Teo.,
Muirachmhainni Teo., Eisc Ui Fhlathartha Teo., Eisc Iathglas Teo, Muir Gheal Teo.
#marine – in a wide-ranging speech on Saturday Simon Coveney T.D., Minister for Agriculture and the Marine promised an integrated marine plan - to be published within months - which will ensure that the development of Ireland's enormous offshore zone [more than ten times our land area] will take place in a planned, sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.
The announcement came at the weekend when Coveney addressed the Glandore Classic Boat Summer School.
The 9th Glandore Classic Boat Summer School had the theme 'Our Ocean Wealth'. It took place over two days of sunshine, which were a welcome bonus for those who attended. Even a few traditional boats turned up: Leo McDermott's Síle a Dó with her distinctive cream sails; Uilliam Ó Lorcáin's An tÍascaire and Tim Cooke's pretty lug-sail Ilur on display inside the pier.
The Summer School offered a varied programme of talks and lectures, book-readings and launches. The model exhibition, in the little stone Church above the pier, was a popular attraction. Among the models on show were a beautiful Towelsail Yawl made by Kevin O'Driscoll of Lisheen and a Long Island Mackerel Boat by Liam Hegarty. Also on show were Brian Harte's Kinsale Hooker, the Cork Harbour One-design Querida, the Bantry Long-boat Fionnbarra and Tim Severin's Brendan.
The weekend kicked off with a reading from the newly-published book: G.L. Watson, The Art and Science of Yacht Design, by Hal Sisk, in Hayes' Bar. Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries the Marine Simon Coveney performed the southern launch of the book on Saturday evening after his wide-ranging address to the Summer School when he reinforced many of the issues raised during the day on matters such as marine spatial planning, opportunities for sea-food exports, and the promise of an Integrated Marine Plan.
The speakers on Saturday's theme: "OUR OCEAN WEALTH" included Kieran Cotter, cox of the Baltimore life-boat, who told of his Life with the Sea and the many connections in West Cork and the wider world. Wesley Flannery speaking on Marine Spatial Planning gave many examples and case studies from abroad and called for a new agency to co-ordinate policy across the multiple unconnected agencies with responsibility for the marine. Jason Whooley, CEO of BIM, presented a clear and ambitious vision for Irish sea-food production in a future which would see demand inexorably grow with increased world population and advances in prosperity by developing countries. Dr. Andrew Wheeler of UCC showed fascinating footage of the recent discovery by the Celtic Explorer of the so-called "black smokers", hot vents in the volcanic mid-Atlantic ridge, at a depth of 3,000 metres.
On Saturday afternoon John O'Sullivan, Exploration Director of Providence Resources told of the recent confirmation of the large oil reserves – estimated at 1m. bbl. – in the Barryroe field and of the company's focus on pathfinder projects. Commodore Mark Mellett of the Irish Naval Service presented his compelling rationale for the work of the Navy, their promotion of a culture of innovation and their ground-breaking alliances with other agencies. Micheal Ó Cinnéide, director of the Environmental Protection Agency, took the audience on a fascinating tour of governance and decision-making processes as they affect the marine . Lord (David) Puttnam rounded off the afternoon's programme with a thought-provoking lecture on educational potential, pointing out that Ireland was losing ground educationally, particularly compared with Asian countries and that a new generation of teachers would have to be able to prepare students for an unknowable future.
Afloat's Tom McSweeney directed a lively and wide-ranging panel discussion at the end.
Sunday's programme catered for traditional boat enthusiasts with a reading from Seanchas Ó Chairbre by Maureen O'Donovan , Pat Nolan told the story of the 50-footer BIM trawlers, Holger Lonze's presentation on his sculptural work in bronze and a projected re-enactment of a Bronze Age tin voyage, an update on the Tradboats scanning project by Pat Tanner and Hal Sisk followed by the launch of the 'Virtual Museum' web-site [www.tradboats.ie] and a round-up of local boat-building projects in Oldcourt.
The organisers, Glandore Harbour Yacht Club wish to acknowledge their sponsors: CH Marine, Skibbereen & Cork, Providence Resources plc and Glenmar Shellfish, Union Hall as well as the local hostelries: The Glandore Inn, The Marine Hotel, Caseys Bar and Hayes' Bar.
A large and diverse audience enjoyed the lectures and presentations but probably enjoyed even more meeting kindred souls and old acquaintances in the welcoming and stimulating environment that these events in Glandore provide.
#FISHING – Marine minister, Simon Coveney T.D. at today's EU Fisheries Council welcomed the Danish Presidency proposal which allows each Member State to implement its own management arrangement for fish quotas. Ireland had strongly opposed the EU Commission proposal that would have required all Member States to privatise national fish quotas, and allow them to be traded on the open market.
Minister Coveney said "Since my appointment as Minister, I have made the protection of Ireland's fishing resources and fishing industry my top priority. At every available opportunity, such as last month's Fisheries Council, at bilateral meetings with fellow Ministers, I set down my strong opposition to this proposed privatisation of our national fish quotas. Privatising fish quotas would have been a serious threat to the economic survival of our coastal communities. If fish quotas were traded on the open market they could be bought by international corporations and would no longer be landed into Ireland. This would directly threaten economic activity in our main fishing ports with the loss of jobs not only in the fleet but also in the vital fish processing sector".
Minister Coveney added "I have argued consistently that Member States should be able to determine their own management arrangements for their own particular circumstances. In Ireland, fish quotas are a State-owned national asset and can be used to the benefit of our coastal communities and family owned fishing fleet. This win helps us to ensure that the public resource model for our fisheries is not threatened and the family ownership of our fishing fleet is protected". The Common Fisheries Policy reform agenda is under discussion by the EU Fisheries Council and the EU Parliament. This will continue into the Irish Presidency during the first 6 months of 2013. Discussions today focussed on EU funding arrangements under the new Common Fishing Policy, covering the funding for development support, innovation in the seafood sector, scientific advice and control. There were also discussions on providing scientific advice for fish stocks so that in future years there will be greater assurance that stocks are fished in a sustainable manner.
#FISHERIES – There has been a record outcome for Ireland at EU Fisheries negotiations with a total Value of 2012 Fishing Opportunities of €250 million it was announced early this morning.
Following the conclusion of lengthy and complex EU fisheries negotiations the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, said "I am delighted at the outcome of these negotiations which delivered my key priorities and will allow the Irish fishing fleet to look forward to 2012 with optimism. The measures agreed in these negotiations will maximise employment and economic activity in our coastal communities." The Minister said that he had secured "141,000 tonnes of pelagic and tuna quotas and 36,000 tonnes of whitefish. I am satisfied that this will provide an excellent range of opportunities for our fishing industry in 2012."
Minister Coveney was speaking after three days of intensive negotiations, which concluded in the early hours of this morning. The Minister described the Council as "very challenging" and said that "my priority from the outset was to achieve an outcome that protected the Irish fishing industry while respecting the most up-to-date scientific data for priority stocks of critical importance to our fleets."
Mr Coveney described the reopening of the Irish Sea prawn fishery as "a very significant hard-won achievement, which will allow Irish fishing vessels to return to this important fishery immediately." This fishery had been closed in mid-October and was due to remain closed until 1 February 2012 but will now reopen after Minister Coveney secured additional fishing effort entitlements for the Irish fleet.
The Minister highlighted the agreement on total allowable catches (TACs) and quotas in 2012 on a number of species of particular economic importance to the Irish industry including the agreement to maintain quotas of prawns in the Irish Sea and off the south and south-west coasts. This fishery is estimated to be worth €52 million in 2012.
Mr Coveney said that "there is very good news for the fisheries along the south coast". The Irish quota for cod in the Celtic Sea is increasing by 77 per cent. He said that the Commission accepted the strong case he made for an increase in quotas for haddock and whiting in the Celtic Sea of 25 per cent and 15 per cent respectively which the Minister said "were entirely justified on the scientific data which I presented to the Commission." The original Commission
proposal was for a 25 per cent reduction in both stocks. The Minister said that the increases in these quotas would be worth an extra €3.5 to the south coast fishing industry. In addition, this morning's agreement ensures that quotas for Pollock and Saithe in the Celtic Sea will remain at existing levels next year. A very positive element in securing the future of these fisheries was the commitment to adopt new measures to reduce discarding of small fish in the Celtic Sea.
In addition, the Irish quota for Celtic Sea herring is increasing from 11,407 tonnes to 18,236 tonnes, a 60 per cent increase. "These are valuable quota increases and will support additional onshore employment in the processing industry." The Minister noted this increase was due to conservation measures in the Celtic Sea and responsible conservation management in recent years in partnership with the industry.
The Minister also negotiated a very significant increase in the Irish quota of 155 per cent for the spring Boarfish fishery off the south-west coast. This quota, which the Minister described as "a new and very exciting fishery" will increase from 22,227 tonnes to 56,666 tonnes.
There is a very significant increase of 200 per cent in the haddock quota off Donegal. There is also agreement that the Commission would bring forward new rules by the middle of February to assist catching of this greatly increased quota.
Mr Coveney recognised the position in relation to cod in the Irish Sea and accepted the proposal to reduce the TAC for 2012 by 25 per cent. "This approach is consistent with scientific advice and adherence with the Long Term Management Plan, which is designed to ensure that the stock recovers to sustainable levels in the future. This is vitally important from both an industry and conservation perspective."
The important €9 million quota for the Albocore Tuna summer fishery, off the south-west coast, has been increased by 342 tonnes to 3,896 tonnes for 2012. The Blue Whiting quota for the spring fishery, off the north-west coast, has increased from 1,187 tonnes this year to 7,498 tonnes for 2012.
From the outset of the negotiations an absolute priority for Ireland was the satisfactory application of the Hague Preferences, which are of crucial, political economic importance for this country and have been successfully protected.
Finally, Mr Coveney said he was satisfied that Ireland had achieved what was necessary in this year's negotiations to provide significant opportunities for the fishing industry and coastal communities around the country and will protect our fishing stocks for future sustainability.
#BUDGET – Announcing his expenditure estimates for 2012 today the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD said The marine and fisheries sector is particularly important to coastal communities and savings have been made through redeployments at a number of state agencies. The Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) where Revised arrangements for meetings & communications with port offices saved €300,000 per annum. At the Marine Institute Internal redeployment will make savings of €304,000 per annum. Reduced rental and storage costs at Bord Isacaigh Mhara will lead to savings of €138,000 per annum
In addition to funding for investment schemes in the processing sector, aquaculture development and fishery harbours, the Minister said that he is providing for an increase in the grant-in-aid for BIM in recognition of the on-going valuable role which it plays in the development of the fishing sector but also in view of the added responsibility which it will have in relation to the deep sea aquaculture.
The Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Capital Programme provides funding for works at the six State-owned Fishery Harbour Centres, (Howth, Dunmore East, Castletownbere, Dingle, Ros a Mhíl and Killybegs) as well as other Local Authority owned harbours and landing places around the coast.
Funding allocated under this programme will be used for the improvement of the Fishery Harbour Centres to ensure the future viability of the fishing industry, bring the Fishery Harbour Centres up to a best in class standard, reduce congestion and improve safety for all harbour users.
This programme enhances harbour infrastructure, provides much needed employment in coastal communities during the construction phase and establishes a platform to create and support sustained employment in the fishing, aquaculture and marine leisure sectors.
The UN estimates that the world will need an extra 42 million tonnes of seafood every year from 2030. The Minister said "my Department, the public servants working in this new facility and I are committed to making sure that every effort is made to position Ireland to take full advantage of the enormous opportunities we see for expanding the Seafood Sector in Ireland". The Minister added that he "is focussed on firstly moving away from selling 85% of our seafood production in commodity form and instead developing new high value processed seafood products in Ireland. Secondly, I want to attract a higher percentage of the near one million tonnes of seafood caught around Ireland to be landed into Ireland and serviced from Ireland. Thirdly, I am focussed on significantly expanding and developing sustainable Aquaculture in Ireland. I want this expansion to be in traditional fin fish and shellfish farming but also I am taking new initiatives to drive on new large scale deep water aquaculture which I see as a game changer in terms of Jobs and economic activity for our aquaculture industry and coastal communities".
This National Seafood Centre is being opened at a time of great challenge for Ireland but great opportunity for the seafood sector as a whole. Minister Coveney stated that "the Seafood Sector is very important to Ireland and holds a key to economic recovery and employment in many coastal areas and coastal communities from Greencastle in Donegal right around to Carlingford in Louth. Contrary to some people's perceptions, this is an industry for the future and in my view we have only begun to tap into the potential of the Seafood Sector in Ireland. Irish Seafood exports increased in value, in 2010 relative to 2009, by 14 % to €378m. In the first seven months of this year they are up by a further 10% relative to the first seven months of 2010".
This National Seafood Centre is a bespoke design by the Office of Public Works (OPW) to meet the specific needs of these organisations and the functions and services being delivered from the building. The idea of co-locating all of the State seafood industry related services in one building is designed to improve co-ordination, and maximise the sharing of expertise in order to enhance development of the Seafood Industry in Ireland. The Centre incorporates the State's first dedicated facility for the development of new high value seafood products and presentations and this facility has had 330 large medium and small Seafood Processing companies through its doors since opening and has been associated with the development of new seafood products accounting for sales of €10m to date and growing. At present there are 140 people directly employed in the Centre many of whom have relocated from Dublin and other parts of Ireland to the area thus adding to the economic viability of the Clonakilty area.
The Minister added "the new National Seafood Centre is testament to the Government's commitment to developing the Seafood Industry in Ireland and the work done at this Centre will be central to realising the potential of our Seafood sector". Minister Coveney concluded by congratulating all involved in bringing this Centre into being before unveiling the naming stone for the new National Seafood Centre and officially opening the building.
The Programme for Government provides that a Sea Fisheries Sustainability Impact Assessment, based on consultations with stakeholders will be brought before the Dáil annually before EU fisheries negotiations commence. Minister Coveney said "As soon as the EU Commission brought forward its proposals for 2012 TACs and quotas, I initiated a consultation process and asked stakeholders to provide their comments on the proposals. I also arranged a meeting with representatives of stakeholders to assist and inform consideration of the proposals. I have now received the views of the fishing industry and also of environmental interests which I have carefully considered. I presented to the Dáil today a formal assessment which takes account of these views and also the expert contributions from the Marine Institute and BIM".
The Sustainability Impact Statement reviews all the stocks of importance to Ireland taking account of the scientific advice on the stocks. The statement also sets down the economic importance of stocks and the likely impacts from a socio-economic perspective. Minister Coveney said "It is very clear from the analysis undertaken by BIM that the current proposals could have significant consequences on our fishing industry and our dependant coastal communities. Potentially there is a loss of €16m for the fleet operating in the Celtic Sea, a loss of €5.3m for the fleet in the Irish Sea and €1.2m loss in the north-west. This equates to losses in the order of €60 to €65m for coastal communities where the direct cost and indirect costs (processing, net making etc) are taken into account".
Minister Coveney added "We must ensure that the state of fish stocks is not compromised and the scientific advice provided informs decisions on TACs and quotas for 2012. However, this can not mean that a simplistic approach is taken and automatic cuts are applied where full analysis of the stock in not available. We need to make use of all available data in setting next year's quotas so that decisions made are informed and appropriate".
In tandem with the Dáil debate the Marine Institute presented the Minister with 'The Stock Book' produced annually by the Marine Institute (MI). The Stock Book gives the latest scientific advice on the state of those fish stocks that are exploited by the Irish fleet and managed under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Minister Coveney said "The Stock Book is an important element in determining Ireland's position on stocks in advance of negotiations on fishing opportunities at the December Council. I am a keen advocate of fully informed decision making and the information contained in the Stock book is of vital importance in forming our position at the hard negotiations in December".
The Marine Institute and BIM produced the "Discard Atlas" – which is a detailed compendium of discards by the Irish Fleet on a stock by stock and area by area basis. The Atlas also outlines a range of potential measures to help reduce discarding. The "Discard Atlas - scientific observations and potential solutions" was compiled with the support of Irish Industry, to inform the EU wide discard debate, to identify where action needs to be taken and to inform on the appropriate measures.
Commenting on the Atlas Minister Coveney said "Ireland has now taken the lead in the debate on discards and this Atlas will inform the process to achieve real change and a significant reduction in discarding within the new Common Fisheries Policy". Minister Coveney emphasised that "discarding is an EU wide issue, not just an Irish issue. While the Atlas highlights discarding in the Irish fleet, all Member States fishing these stocks, do so at the same time, using similar gears and under the same market conditions. While there may be some differences, overall the discard trends will be similar for all".
In calling for all Member States to publish their figures, the Minister said "I have consistently said that discarding is a complex issue and the debate must be informed by all the scientific facts, so we can better understand the issues and identify potential solutions". The information provided in the Atlas is based on information that is collected by all Member States. However, the international data has not been compiled into an Atlas format. Minister Coveney said " It is only when the full extent of the available international data are compiled can we collectively make informed decisions on a coherent EU wide discard policy, underpinned by a focussed suite of measures to significantly reduce and ultimately eliminate discards. The information contained in the Atlas re-enforces my long held view that we need to tackle the discard problem on a stock by stock and fishery by fishery basis, and not by a blunt simplistic blanket ban which will be difficult to enforce".
The Atlas states that in a review of world discarding, the UN noted that the northeast Atlantic has the second highest discard level in the world, estimated to be 1.3 million tonnes, the majority being attributed to EU fisheries. The extent of discarding varies and where international data are available, the picture is mixed. In the Celtic Sea, international discarding of haddock was 12,400 tonnes (56% by weight) in 2010. In the Irish Sea; an average discard rate of 30% for haddock associated with Irish vessels is in line with other countries. However, there are cases where Ireland makes a very minor contribution to overall international discarding; for example in 2010, 1,183t of Cod was discarded in the North West fishery (area Via), yet Ireland contributed to less than 1% of this.
Minister Coveney said that "I want to commend the Irish industry in their decision to support this project, and acknowledge that they have already been pro-active in bringing forward proposals to reduce discarding of, Cod, Haddock and Whiting in the Celtic Sea. I intend to build on this good work by asking the Irish Fisheries Science Research Partnership (IFSRP) to look at the matter in light of the new Atlas information and explore the possibility of coming forward with further ambitious discard mitigation measure. It is only by this type of cross industry co-operation that a comprehensive set of proposals for dealing with the EU wide discarding problem can be designed and implemented, and I call on other Member States to follow the Irish lead and publish the full details of their discards so that our common goal for the elimination of discards can be realised."