Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Marine Institute Banner Advert

Displaying items by tag: Fishing

Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue TD, today attended and addressed the Atlantic Stakeholder Platform Conference taking place in the Convention Centre, Dublin.

The conference is part of a new approach for a sustainable blue economy in the EU. 

Speaking on his way into the event, the Minister said “The western seaboard is an important part of the European Union’s maritime community and this is a welcome occasion to celebrate and acknowledge the work that is being done throughout the Atlantic area to ensure the region provides vision, strategic direction, and support to the maritime community both in the Atlantic region and further afield”.

The European Green Deal and the Recovery Plan for Europe will define the European economy for many years, or even decades. And the EU’s blue economy is fundamental to both efforts. 

Minister McConalogue addressing the ConferenceMinister McConalogue addressing the Conference

The Atlantic Stakeholder Platform Conference is an annual event of the Atlantic Strategy Committee which is being chaired by Ireland in 2021. This year, the event also celebrates 10 years of the Atlantic Strategy which aims to address challenges in the maritime sector for which collaborative efforts are required. The conference also features the 5th Atlantic Project Awards which recognises projects that contribute to the implementation of the goals and actions of the Atlantic Action Plan 2.0, adopted by the European Commission in July 2020.

The Minister commented that “the discussions and conclusions from today’s stakeholder conference will provide a rich source of information and knowledge to help underpin the implementation of the Atlantic Action Plan 2.0. Project collaboration is a key feature of the Atlantic Strategy and the projects being highlighted here today demonstrate all that can be achieved through collaborative efforts and working closely with our EU partners at all levels.”

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

“Extremely long” working hours, very low wages, and racist insults and verbal abuse were commonplace experiences of a group of migrant fishermen interviewed for a Maynooth University research study.

Over two-thirds of those interviewed said they would work between 15 and 20 hours a day, and pay was usually below the minimum wage, the study, which was funded by the International Transport Federation (ITF), found.

Over half of the 24 participants interviewed for the research said they had been subjected to “racial and verbal abuse”.

Just one-third of participants in the study reported feeling safe on a vessel, although some pointed out that fishing is “an inherently dangerous occupation”, the study found.

Five of the 24 participants reported being “satisfied overall” with their working situation, and the study identified their key challenge as uncertainty around their immigration status and lack of freedom to change employer or section.

The analysis by Dr Clíodhna Murphy, Dr David Doyle and Stephanie Thompson of Maynooth University’s law department drew on semi-structured interviews conducted with 24 male migrant workers in the Irish fishing industry.

Over half the participants had lived in Ireland for ten years or more. The interviewees were described as highly skilled fishers who collectively had over 200 years of fishing experience, the researchers note.

All but two of the interviewees who had been in Ireland since before 2016 “indicated that conditions in the sector had worsened overall since that time”, the study says.

The study says the Atypical Working Scheme (AWS) permission - under which the worker is contracted to an individual employer- and the necessity to renew this permission each year can be used by employers as a “means to threaten and exploit workers”.

Less than half of those interviewed recalled boats being inspected by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) or any other agency representative about work- related issues.

“ Fear of losing one’s job and work permit, along with language barriers, were key challenges for workers to engaging with employers or inspectors to seek better working conditions,”the authors state.

The study recommends reforms to the work permit system, including facilitating access for undocumented migrant fishers to the Department of Justice’s planned regularisation scheme.

It says applications should be allowed to vary Stamp 1 permission to Stamp 4 (as in line with section 4(7) of the Immigration Act 2004), and these applications should be expedited.

It recommends AWS permits should be granted for the sector, rather than tied to an individual employer, and the model contract used in this scheme should be reviewed and overhauled.

It says the WRC and the Department of Transport’s Marine Survey Office (MSO) should perform more outreach work and speak directly to migrant fishers in private “as a matter of course”.

It says inspectors monitoring workplace conditions should be accompanied by trained interpreters when interviewing migrant crew.

It recommends that legal barriers to claiming employment rights for undocumented workers should be removed , and an expanded role for NGOs to support workers making complaints should be considered.

It also says under-crewing of vessels should be investigated and pursued.

ITF fisheries campaign lead Michael O’Brien expressed concern about the report’s findings, and endorsed its recommendations.

He welcomed a statement from Minister of State with responsibility for law reform James Browne that the AWS scheme is to be reviewed.

“ Through various measures the migrant fishers have to be liberated from the exclusive relationship they are forced into with individual boat owners,”he said.

“ The impending migrant documentation scheme to be finalised by the Department of Justice, if it is sufficiently inclusive, could be the most direct means to achieve this,”he said.

Mr O’Brien said there were “worrying indications” that a new scheme would be “restrictive and contain anomalies that will serve to exclude most migrant fishers”, although Minister of State Jim Browne had said the scheme would offer a path to documentation for many fishers.

The ITF is undertaking a number of initiatives, including supporting judicial review proceedings to seek correct transposition into Irish law of the Working Time at Sea Directive EU 2017/159, in a bid to ensure complaints relating to illegally long hours at sea can be heard by the WRC and Labour Court.

The ITF says it is also holding discussion with the Ghanaian seafarer’s union MDU to explore what steps can be taken to “combat the activities of bogus recruitment agents in Ghana”.

It says these agents have been responsible for the trafficking of fishers to Ireland, north and south, in recent years.

The union says it aims to disseminate information to fishing communities in Ghana about “the pitfalls and dangers of coming to work in Ireland for exploitative employers”.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

The Minister for the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, today announced that he has received the final report of the Seafood Sector Task Force that he established in March 2021. The Taskforce examined the impacts on the fishing sector and coastal communities of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom. This final report follows an interim report submitted by the Task Force in June 2021.

The Task Force was chaired by Aidan Cotter, assisted by a steering group of Margaret Daly and Mícheal Ó Cinnéide, and comprised of ten representatives of the fishing sector, representatives of the aquaculture and seafood processing sectors, coastal communities, coastal local authorities and various State enterprise development agencies.

Following receipt of the report, Minister McConalogue said: “The departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement that was agreed at the end of 2020 have had some profoundly damaging effects for Ireland’s fishing sector and the coastal communities that depend on fishing. Such a once in a generation event required a collective response involving the seafood businesses and coastal communities that are impacted and the full range of State bodies with a role to play in our response. This is why I established the Seafood Sector Task Force in March of this year and after seven months of deliberations by the Task Force, I have today received and welcome its Final Report which charts a way forward for the sector and the coastal communities dependent upon it ”.

Minister McConalogue added: “I wish to thank Aidan Cotter for his leadership in chairing the Task Force and thank Margaret Daly and Mícheal Ó Cinnéide for their dedication and hard work in assisting Aidan in steering the work of the Task Force. I also wish to sincerely thank all of the members of the Task Force for their constructive engagement with the work of the Task Force and for the many hours and days they put into the process. Lastly, I thank BIM for their hard work as secretariat and I wish to acknowledge the importance of their research and analysis in informing the work of the Task Force”.

Minister McConalogue continued: “I have asked my Department to urgently examine the report with a view to quickly implementing a comprehensive response to the impacts of the TCA on our fishing sector and coastal communities. The recommended measures will be examined with particular regard to available funds and to the eligibility of the recommended measures for funding under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve, the European, Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund and with other relevant funding sources and with regard to State Aid rules and the Public Spending Code”.

The establishment of the Seafood Sector Taskforce is an Action in the Department’s Action Plan 2021 under the Strategic Goal to ‘Deliver a sustainable, competitive and innovative seafood sector, driven by a skilled workforce, delivering value added products in line with consumer demand’.

The full report of the Seafood Sector Task Force is available to download below

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

EU Commissioner for Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius has said he is taking a “cautious” approach to reviewing the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

In an interview with RTÉ Radio 1 Countrywide during his two-day visit to Ireland early last week, the commissioner said he “cannot promise” any fundamental change.

The Irish South and West Fish Producers’ Organisation believes only a thorough review of the CFP can help to address the impact of Brexit on the Irish fleet’s reduced access to quotas.

Commissioner Sinkevičius said the next ten-year review of the CFP, which has to be completed by December 2022, will not only have to take Brexit into account, but also climate change, pollution, and sustainable fishing.

“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,” he said.

“Fishermen have to go through a lot to comply with the rules, and I think it would be unfair to make many changes, so I take a very cautious way here, and only after a review is done and gaps are identified can we take additional action,”he said.

Commissioner Sinkevičius, who also holds the environment and oceans portfolios, acknowledged the large burden borne by Ireland as a result of the Brexit deal.

He said he had planned to come to Ireland for some time but had been unable to do so due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The Lithuanian commissioner met Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Charlie McConalogue in Killybegs last Monday, before holding discussions with Irish fishing industry representatives which he described as “frank”.

He said that Ireland was entitled to the largest proportion of the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR), and flexibility clauses allowed the Irish government to allocate funds to those sectors suffering the most.

The BAR and the new European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) would help the Irish industry to “move forward” in compensating those who would be required to adjust to a new reality, he said.

“We had nine member states which were impacted, and we knew from the very beginning that the fisheries sector had nothing to gain from Brexit,” he said.

The unilateral decision by Norway and the Faroe islands to exploit mackerel – a species which he described as “in danger” – is “unacceptable”, but also a consequence of Brexit, the commissioner said.

“We were trying hard to get back to the table and have a sustainable agreement as we had in 2014. Unfortunately, both parties did not agree to that,” he said.

The EU aimed to avoid an escalation of the issue and to try and solve it in a “diplomatic manner”, the commissioner said.

Commissioner Sinkevičius is heavily involved in delivering the European Green Deal, and stressed that the support of both fishers and farmers was vital in making this work.

He welcomed Ireland’s plans in relation to offshore renewable energy, but warned that account must be taken of competing interests including the fishing industry, shipping, tourism and the health of the marine ecosystem.

The renewable energy industry must also comply with the EU Birds and Habitats directives, he warned.

EU member states must draw up marine spatial plans which allowed for sensitive management, he said.

A podcast of the full interview can be heard here

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

A documentary on the crisis facing Irish coastal communities in the wake of Brexit is due to be released today. (View video below)

Oireachtas members are invited to view the 26-minute film at a screening in Dublin when it will also be released online.

Individual fishermen and business owners, who rely on the fishing industry for their income, describe the impact of a continuing lack of access to raw material – as in fish in Irish waters.

There is considerable anger over the final Brexit deal, which resulted in a 15 per cent overall reduction in Irish fish quotas, particularly the key species of mackerel and prawns, to the value of 43 million euro.

Brendan Byrne, CEO IFPEOBrendan Byrne, CEO IFPEO

Some coastal towns depend for up to 90 per cent of their income on fishing, the documentary points out.

Niall Duffy, editor of the monthly journal The Skipper, says the documentary was made with the assistance of Sean Moroney of Santander Media in Kilmore Quay, Co Wexford.

It was commissioned on foot of the protests by the industry over the summer in Cork and Dublin ports.

Patrick Murphy, CEO, IS&WFPOPatrick Murphy, CEO, IS&WFPO

Moroney is the creator of The Fishers Voice, a social media initiative created to “garner support for the plight of Irish fishermen who feel their voices are unheard by our government and representatives”, Duffy says.

Invitations have been sent to all political party leaders, fisheries spokespersons and coastal community TDs to attend the screening, and a link will also be sent to TDs and senators who cannot attend.

“Five months in the making, this documentary lifts the lid on decades of unfairness, whereby the EU, under the Common Fisheries Policy, allocated the lion's share of 85% of the total allowable catch (Quota) to the mainland European countries, despite the majority of this fishing taking place in Irish waters,” Duffy says.

The documentary points out that Belgium, as a case in point, has 0.1% of EU fishing grounds while Ireland has 10%.

“Yet the Belgian fleet has a greater quota for some prime species in Irish waters than local Irish fishermen,” Duffy says.

Participants were asked to give their views in harbours extending from Malin Head peninsula in Donegal to the Beara peninsula in West Cork.

The full documentary can be viewed on YouTube below

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius yesterday accompanied Minister Charlie Mc Conalogue T.D. on a visit to Killybegs Fishery Harbour Centre, as part of his two-day visit to Ireland.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue, T.D., invited the Commissioner to come to Killybegs to meet with fishing industry representatives and see at first hand the activity in one of Ireland’s biggest fishery harbours and to discuss the significant EU related issues of concern to the Irish Fishing Industry.

As Afloat reported earlier, the Commissioner, accompanied by Minister McConalogue, met with representatives of all of the major Irish fishing industry organisations. Representatives from Irish South & West Fish Producers Organisation, Irish South & East Fish Producers Organisation, Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation, Irish Fish Producers Organisation, Irish Islands Marine Resource Organisation, Irish Fish Processors and Exporters Association and National Inshore Fisheries Forums all attended the meeting with the Minister and the Commissioner.

Whilst in Killybegs, Commissioner Sinkevicius had the opportunity to view fish being landed by a pelagic vessel at the Fishery Harbour Centre.

Minister McConalogue said: “I am very pleased to welcome Commissioner Sinkevičius on his first official visit to Ireland. I’d also like to thank our industry representatives for their positive engagement today. The last year and a half has been a challenge for us all. Ireland’s Seafood Sector has been among the most seriously impacted by BREXIT. This meeting allowed industry to set down clearly for the Commissioner the challenges they continue to face and identify opportunities that will help to rebuild and support a robust sector in the future. It is more important than ever to work together to restore the confidence of the industry and to ensure that every opportunity is pursued so that we build a sustainable future for our industry and the coastal communities which depend on it.”

The Commissioner will also visit a FLAG funded project at Cooley Oysters Ltd in Carlingford County Louth, as part of his visit.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

EU Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius is due to begin a two-day visit to Ireland this morning with a visit to Killybegs fisheries harbour in Donegal.

The commissioner plans to meet representatives of the fishing industry in Killybegs, at a time when there is considerable concern over the impact of the Brexit deal and a 15 per cent overall reduction in Irish quotas.

He will hold a press conference on Monday evening with Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Charlie McConalogue in Killybegs.

He is also due to visit the ‘Wild Atlantic Nature’ LIFE Integrated Project at Donegal’s Slieve League Special Area of Conservation.

The commissioner will view a “blue economy project” in Co Louth - Cooley Oysters – on Tuesday.

He will then hold a series of meetings in Dublin with Mr McConalogue, Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan, and junior ministers Malcolm Noonan and Pippa Hackett.

Commissioner Sinkevičius is responsible for the Common Fisheries Policy, and also holds the environmental portfolio.

He is heavily involved in delivering the European Green Deal, described as “the ambitious EU policy thrust for stopping climate change and ensuring sustainable and more secure future for the planet”

He is also in charge of the EU new Biodiversity strategy, including a circular economy action plan to promote the use of sustainable resources.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

Fethard RNLI lifeboat was requested to launch today (Saturday 25 September) by the Irish Coast Guard shortly before 12.30 pm, following a call for help from two stranded fishermen in a small open punt. Their craft had outboard engine difficulties in thick fog off Creadan Head in the Waterford Estuary.

The volunteer crew of Fethard Lifeboat launched at Duncannon Strand and proceeded to the coordinates given by the men on the broken-down vessel. The water was flat calm; there was a light breeze. However, visibility was less than 4 metres in a thick fog. The fishermen were located off Woodstown, where they tied up to a lobster pot marker buoy. There, the lifeboat crew assessed the situation, and it was decided to tow the fishermen back to the safety of Duncannon Harbour.

Commenting about the callout Thomas Stafford, Volunteer Helm, said, "The two lads did everything right. They wore their lifejackets, they tied up to a marker when the engine failed, and they had the means to call for help and give their coordinates when things went wrong. All this led to a positive outcome with the two lads being returned to safety."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Birdwatch Ireland says it is “deeply concerned” at a refusal by the Court of Appeal to continue the Government’s interim ban on large vessels fishing inside the six nautical mile zone.

The stay was applied for by Minister for Marine Charlie McConalogue, pending a Court of Appeal ruling on a permanent ban.

A full hearing took place on June 22nd, and judgement was reserved.

The case arose after former marine minister Michael Creed announced in December 2018 that vessels over 18 metres (m) would be excluded from trawling inside the six nautical mile zone and the baselines from January 1st, 2020.

A three-year transition period was granted for vessels over 18m targeting sprat, as the fishery is concentrated inside the six nautical mile zone.

Birdwatch Ireland says the ban followed extensive consultation and was supported by “expert analysis by the Marine Institute and the Bord Iascaigh Mhara”.

“These reports highlighted that restricting the access of larger vessels inside the six nautical mile zone would lead to improved protection of coastal environments and essential fish habitat, benefitting marine biodiversity and commercially exploited fish stocks,” the NGO said.

“They highlighted the socio-economic benefits for the smaller inshore vessels, that constitute the vast majority of Ireland’s registered fishing vessels. The potential benefits included diversification opportunities, more jobs, and added value of landings,” it said.

“Improved management of inshore waters could be achieved by aligning fishing more closely with local ecological and environmental objectives and by reducing conflict between mobile and static gears,” it said.

It said it could also strengthen the link between local fish resources and local economies.

Two fishermen sought a judicial review, challenging the validity of the policy. The High Court ruled on October 6th 2020 that the policy was made in breach of fair procedures, and was void and/or of no legal effect.

After a call by a number of NGOs, the minister appealed the High Court decision to the Court of Appeal.

Birdwatch Ireland policy officer Fintan Kelly said that it was of “serious concern”, that 2019 sprat catches increased significantly - relative to 2016-2018 - to 13,000 tonnes, at a value of approximately €3.5 million.

“Anecdotal evidence from inshore fishermen and anglers around the coast suggest that landings in 2020 may again be an increase on 2019 levels putting significant pressure on the marine environment,” he said.

“We now fear that overfishing of sprat will again occur this winter because of this ruling,” Kelly said.

He noted that European sprat is a critically important species, linking plankton and top predators including seabirds and marine mammals.

Sprat are also an important forage fish species for commercial fish species like herring, Kelly said, and overfishing poses “a significant risk to the health of commercial fish stocks which poses socio-economic implications for the fishing industry”.

“This is especially relevant when considering that three out of the five herring stocks that Irish fisher’s exploit has collapsed, and have zero catch advice for 2021,” he added.

He said BirdWatch Ireland’s research shows that sprat is an important prey species for 12 out of the 23 regularly occurring breeding seabirds in Irish waters. Many of these species are Amber-listed birds of conservation concern.

Overfishing sprat is also a threat to the whale species that pass through Irish waters during the summer months and which rely heavily on Sprat, he said, with up to half of the fin whale diet and 70 per cent of the humpback whale diet relying on young sprat and herring.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency is inviting Ireland’s fishing industry to take part in a survey of the labour force as part of a study on current issues facing the industry including recruiting and retaining crew. The aim of the study, that began in May, is to better understand how crew members working on Irish fishing vessels are employed and how working conditions and benefits within the sector compare to competing sectors in the Irish labour market.

The study is also looking at the different terms of employment within the industry, comparing the relative advantages and disadvantages of different working arrangements for crew and their impact on tax, social welfare and benefits for crew members and their employers.

The perceived attractiveness of the industry as a place to build a career will be explored by comparing fishing sector working conditions and overall benefits to other competing sectors of Ireland’s labour market such as the construction sector.

Once complete, the findings of the study will help inform industry on courses of action that could be taken to improve the attractiveness of the sector to potential crew. The findings will also be used to assist BIM in its future development of training programmes.

BIM is working with independent research organisation, Indecon, to deliver the study. For more details, please contact BIM Senior Economist, Richard Curtin E: [email protected]

Published in Fishing
Tagged under
Page 1 of 63

Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

 

At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating