Displaying items by tag: maritime
#ISLANDNATION – The effect of six-on/six-off hours of watchkeeping on accidents at sea, boat hooks aboard lifeboats, 67 children drowned in 10 years, a traditional beauty in Cork Harbour and the astonishing discovery beneath the Arctic ice are my topics this week.
SIX-ON SIX-OFF WATCHES AND SEAFARER FATIGUE
Seafarer fatigue and tiredness have been blamed as contributory factors in shipping accidents. Though seafarers and accident investigators have regularly drawn attention to the issue, much of this has been anecdotal. The six-on/six-off watch system has come in for criticism as the cause of stress and tiredness. The Nautical Institute, the professional body for seafarers, says that for the first time scientific proof has established that tiredness levels are the "real issue that seafarers and accident investigators have known it to be for years."
The evidence is in the EU-funded Horizon Project co-ordinated by Warsash Maritime Academy, part of Southampton Solent University with partners in Sweden and elsewhere, which measured the effects of different watch-keeping regimes. It provides advice to relevant authorities on how to address the issues and a fatigue projector tool developed for risk mitigation processes.
BOAT HOOKS AND LIFEBOATS
Stephen McNulty, Achill lifeboat mechanic
"There are two boat hooks on the lifeboat. The starboard one is blue and the port is white and they are the only items on the modern boat which remains as a tradition from the past."
When Stephen McNulty, Achill Lifeboat's Mechanic told me that, I learned something new about maritime tradition. I love visiting lifeboat stations. They are very special places with a strong sense of community spirit, the foundation base for the lifeboat service. I was being shown around the Achill Trent class boat, Sam and Ada Moody, on the pontoon at Cloghmore in Achill Sound, an area of magnificent coastal scenery with the highest cliffs in Ireland. Achill lifeboat crews have received eight awards for gallantry.
Achill lifeboat - white pole on port side
"I saw you looking at the boat hooks and thought you mightn't know their background," Stephen McNulty chuckled as he saw me looking more closely at them and wondering why I hadn't noticed them before on other boats!
"Traditionally on the old rowing lifeboats, when the boats were wood and the men were steel, the oars were blue on the starboard and white on the port side," he said. "It continues the tradition in the way we have them aboard today and they remind us of what those in the past did for the saving of life and the challenges they faced."
67 CHILDREN DROWN IN 10 YEARS
The Irish Water Safety Association has drawn attention to the start of summer holidays for primary school children in a few weeks, "many of whom may lack an awareness of how to stay safe when playing near or on the water."
John Leech, CEO of the Association and a former Naval Service Officer, is a man I have known for many years whose dedication to the concept of safety on the water has driven awareness of wearing lifejackets on leisure craft and urging fishermen to wear personal buoyancy at sea.
"Sixty-seven children aged fourteen and under drowned in Ireland in the last ten years. Responsible parental supervision guarantees child safety yet tragic drownings occur every year when children escape the watchful eye of guardians."
The Water Safety Association's "PAWS" programme (Primary Aquatics Water Safety) is a component of the primary school curriculum teaching children how to stay safe around water.
The beauty of traditional boats was evident in Cork Harbour when the beautiful craft pictured here sailed past while I was on the water on Bank Holiday Monday. Many more traditional craft will be on the harbour waters next weekend, June 15, 16, 17 when the annual Crosshaven Traditional Sail is held, organised by a local committee in association with Crosshaven Vintners. It is always a great weekend to meet and talk with the owners of traditional boats who are so outgoing with information about their boats, conveying the pride and dedication which are an essential ability of the owners of traditional craft.
The beauty of traditional boats in Cork Harbour
Pat Tanner is the event Co-ordinator with the experienced sailor, Dave Hennessy, as Officer of the Day. Boats can register on arrival at Crosshaven Pier. For everyone who turns up, afloat and ashore, adults and children, they are running a "Mad Fish Headgear Competition" – 'Let everything nautical go to your head.'
ASTONISHING ARCTIC DISCOVERY
Scientists from Stanford's School of Earth Sciences in the USA have reported the discovery of a massive bloom of phytoplankton beneath the ice of the Chukchi Sea in the Arctic, which they say challenges long-held assumptions about the Arctic's ecology. The scientists from Stanford's School of Earth Sciences in the USA were researching aboard a Coast Guard icebreaker 200 miles west of the Alaskan coast. It seems the phytoplankton, seen for an estimated 60 miles, are thriving because the Arctic sea ice has been thinning for years, a result of global climate change. Phytoplankton are the crucial diet for many marine organisms. They make up the base of the entire Arctic food chain, supporting fish, walrus, seabirds and more. The ice was between two-and-a-half and four feet thick where the phytoplankton cells were growing and at least four times greater than in open water.
This NASA Aqua satellite image from 2003 shows clouds of phytoplankton off of Greenland's eastern coast (AFP/NASA/File)
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#DOCKLANDS – The Waterways Ireland Docklands Summer Festival 2012, bathed in gorgeous sunshine was a highly fun and exciting family event with over 100,000 people in attendance over the two days. The festival ran over Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th May and took place in the Docklands around the Grand Canal Basin.
Sponsored by Waterways Ireland and organised by members of Docklands Business Forum(DBF), the 2012 festival follows on from its inaugural success in 2011. Speaking at the launch, John Martin Chief Executive Waterways Ireland said "The Waterways Ireland Docklands Summer Festival highlighted the superb resources that the waterways provide within Dublin City Centre. All the organised events encouraged the public and those who work and live around the Docklands to participate in waterway activities and enjoy the fun and frolics off the water."
Last year over 50,000 people visited the festival. This year the organisers added even more events to ensure a bigger and better family day out. 100's of people watched the dragon races and thrilling wakeboarding demonstrations by the Irish Wakeboarding team and some even tried walking on water in a 'Waterroller!'. The Viking's from Dublinia invaded the Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre, running free children's crafts workshops, demonstrating Viking crafts, playing Viking games. All the workshops were fully subscribed. The Irish Navy has queues both days for visits to the L.E. Aoife on Sir John Rogersons Quay for the weekend.
The DBF in conjunction with Irish Village Markets provided face painting, balloon modelling and kiddies amusements. The performers from the World Street Performance Champions were also there and Irish Village Markets served up delicious foods from around the world. Visitors will also enjoyed food from a wide range of local suppliers including Il Valentino, Ely Restaurant and Herb Street.
As a special promotion local water sports experts, Surfdock, ran "come and try it" sessions. For those who fancy trying the exciting new sport of stand up paddling or have a go at kayaking the half-hour classes running over both days provided a great opportunity and were fully booked.
The local shops and businesses sold rubber ducks for a duck race in aid of cancer research charity Biobank Ireland and had a great turn out both days.
#ISLAND NATION – The Commissioners of Irish Lights, the seafood industry and country's ports and shipping movements all provided indications this week of how important the marine sector is to this nation.
Twenty-one seafood companies are investing €15.5m. and creating 142 jobs at a time when Ireland needs employment. This how the seafood sector is developing. This investment follows investments of €7m. in 2011 and €2.7m. in 2010, all of which indicates a continuing path of development in the fishing industry.
Marine Minister Simon Coveney said the seafood sector is a high growth area of the economy: "The investment involves companies significantly growing their businesses and diversifying, which will lead to increased profitability and increased employment."
The companies are based in Wexford, Dublin, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Louth and Kerry and their investment is being supported by grants of €3.2 million under the EU co-funded Seafood Processing Business Investment Scheme which is administered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara. BIM is the national fisheries board and its future has been under question in the review of State services. In my view it is time that the future of BIM was clearly and unambiguously stated. It is a necessary part of the fishing industry and must be maintained.
Details of the companies involved in the seafood development are attached at the end of this column.
Light On The Future
I met and interviewed Yvonne Shields several times when she was Director of Strategic Planning and Development at the Marine Institute, responsible for management of the National Marine Research Programme. She is the first lady to become Chief Executive of the Commissioners of Irish Lights. In the current edition of BEAM, the magazine of the Irish Lighthouse Service, she writes that Ireland is on the cusp of great developments in the nation's relationship with its marine resource.
Yvonne Shields CEO of Irish Lights
"These developments will bring great challenges and opportunities," she says, referring to the Government's consultation programme on harnessing Ireland's ocean wealth and securing part of what is a €1.3 trillion global ocean market. "At European level there is a renewed focus on the Atlantic and the need for an integrated strategy for its production and development. Ireland will be central to any Atlantic strategy as, in terms of seabed, we are one of the largest EU States with an area of 900,000kms containing many key resources."
When senior people in the marine sphere put emphasis in public on the importance of our marine resources the maritime sphere is enhanced.
Bantry Bay Makes The Difference
Glenn Murphy, Director of the Irish Maritime Development Office, has always been clear in his view that the volume of shipping and port traffic indicates the state of the national economy.
"The Irish Ports and Shipping sector is heavily influenced by events globally. As the stability of the European economy remains fragile, uncertainty for Irish consumers and businesses will inevitably persist, which will be clearly reflected in freight volumes passing through Irish ports," he told the European Shortsea Conference in Dublin on Thursday when he said that the volume of shipping and port traffic through Ireland declined in the first quarter of this year.
Lift-on/Lift-off) trades were down 1%; Roll-on/Roll-off by 3%; Break bulk volumes down 4%.Total container traffic declined by one per cent.
An oil tanker transhipment in Bantry Bay
There was growth in oil imports driven by Bantry Bay which recorded a marked increase at its international trans-shipment activity, a crude oil and products facility. Tankers are regular callers to Bantry and can be seen from the shoreside but probably pass unnoticed nationally. Liquid bulk volumes of tanker based petroleum products through Irish ports therefore increased by 30% in the first quarter of the year.
The US-flagged Maersk Texas a container ship thwarted a pirate attack in the Gulf of Oman this week. An onboard security team fired warning shots when pirates in several boats approached the ship north-east of Fujairah. The pirates fired at the ship, but retreated when the security team opened direct fire on them. .
All sailors on board were safe, and the vessel proceeded on its voyage to the US, said Kevin Speers, a Senior Director of Marketing for the Maersk Line. The Iranian Navy issued a statement claiming it had repelled the pirates. Mr Speers said the ship had issued a distress signal and, while the Iranian navy responded, "it was never on scene, our own team dealt with the emergency."
Decent Working Conditions
Representatives of the EU's employers and trade unions in the sea fisheries sector have signed an agreement to ensure that fishermen have decent working conditions on board fishing vessels. It lists minimum requirements for conditions of service, accommodation and food, occupational safety and health protection, medical care, and social security.
World's Oldest Junk
The world's oldest surviving Chinese junk returned home to Taiwan on Thursday, nearly 60 years after it set sail on a historic voyage to the United States. Called the Free China to mark Taiwan's severance from mainland China arrived in the northern port of Keelung aboard a cargo ship from San Francisco. It will be restored and displayed in a maritime museum in the city, said L.S. Lwo, Head of the Boat Restoration Project. The 100-year-old boat is believed to be the oldest surviving wooden Chinese sailing ship, or junk, in existence and the last of its kind, according to the Chinese Junk Preservation Society which has been trying to save it. The boat and its six crew left Keelung in 1955 to cross the Pacific during a yacht race and arrived in San Francisco after a 112-day voyage. The vessel, which was in need of an overhaul upon arrival, went through several owners and was left in a shipyard while it continued to deteriorate until Taiwan's government stepped in to save it.
"We are happy that she has arrived safely," said Calvin Mehlert, an original crew member of Free China who has assisted in the junk's return to Taiwan. "We are pleased that Taiwan is going to restore this treasure," he said.
• The photo shows the "Free China" that set sail on a historic voyage from Taiwan to the US nearly 60 years ago.
Kinsale held the inaugural Mario Bertelotti Race last Friday night to remember their Club Steward whose kindness and courtesy always impressed when visiting the Kinsale clubhouse. Twenty-eight boats from five classes took part. The trophy was won by Johnny Godkin sailing Godot and presented by Patricia Bertoletti. Second were the MacCarthy Brothers in Mac Magic II. Rob Gill with his A Class came third.
(Above) The Bertoletti family with John Godkin winner of Mario Bertoletti Trophy and Cameron Good, Commodore KYC and (top) the late Mario
At an 'Italian evening' with the Bertoletti family and friends that followed, Commodore Cameron Good spoke about the late Mario and his contribution to Kinsale YC during his time as Club Steward.
WORLD'S GREATEST MARITIME DISASTER
The sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912, which is being commemorated this centenary year is probably the world's most famous shipwreck, but it was not the biggest.
Wilhelm Gustloff sank in wartime
The wartime sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff during World War II, with the loss of 9,300 people in 1945 remains the greatest maritime disaster ever.
Sea level rise near Papua New Guinea in the southwest Pacific is estimated at seven millimetres per year, double the global annual average of 2.8 to3.6 mm.
While in Castletownbere on the Beara coastline in the past week I heard about the first vessel of its kind ever to be built in the area. The Orchid was constructed by Beara Iron Works of Eyeries for the Marine Harvest Company. A 15.6 metre work vessel, it will be used to service aquaculture facilities in the South West.
THE SEAFOOD COMPANIES INVESTING €15.5M
Maximum Grant Approved
Sofrimar Ltd , Kilmore Quay Co. Wexford
Kilmore Fish Co. Ltd Kilmore Quay Co. Wexford
Dunns Seafare Ltd Jamestown Business Pk., Finglas Dublin 11
Atlantis Seafoods Wexford Ltd. Kerlogue Ind. Estate, Rosslare Rd. Wexford
Shellfish De La Mer, Dinish Island, Castletownbere, Co. Cork
Rockabill Shellfish Ltd, Stephenstown Ind. Estate, Balbriggan, Co. Dublin
Sean Ward Fish Exports Ltd. Killybegs Co. Donegal
Iasc Mara Teo. ,Rossaveal, Co. Galway
Earagail Eisc Teo Meenaneary Carrick Co. Donegal
Charlie Vial (Fish Merchant) Ltd, Dunkineely Co. Donegal
Premier Fish Ltd. Kinncaslagh Co. Donegal
Atlanfish Ltd Malin Rd. Donegal
Proseail An Clochan Liath Teo. Meenmor Dunglow, Co. Donegal
Breizon Ltd, Rossaveal Co. Galway
Keohane Seafood Ltd Unit 28, Kinsale Road, Ind. Estate, Kinsale Rd. Co. Cork.
Kish Fish Ltd. Malahide Road Industrial Park Coolock, Dublin 17.
Seafood Processors Ltd. T/A Morgans Fine Fish, Omeath, Co. Louth
Good Fish Processing (Carrigaline) Ltd. Carrigaline Industrial Estate, Crosshaven Rd. Carrigaline Co. Cork
Castletown Bere Fishermens Co -op Ltd Castletownbere Co. Cork.
O Cathain Iasc Teo An Dangain, (Dingle) Co. Kerry
Ballycotton Seafoods Garryvoe, Co. Cork.
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#ISLANDNATION – What the first woman Chief Executive of Irish Lights thinks about the Irish marine sphere; the first vessel of its kind built in Castletownbere; remembering Kinsale's Mario; China's oldest vessel; an 18th century Russian sailing ship takes to the seas again; decent onboard conditions for fishermen and the greatest maritime disaster ever. All these and more on tomorrow morning's edition of THIS ISLAND NATION on afloat.ie
#MARITIMEFESTIVALS – Rosses Point in County Sligo is hosting its third International Shanty and Seafaring Festival from the 15th – 17th June 2012.The launch of the festival takes place on Thursday 31st of May in the Yeats County Hotel, Rosses Point.
“The festival is a celebration of the long maritime tradition of Rosses Point and Sligo area” stated Willie Murphy, chairperson of the festival committee.
“Shanties were working songs used on board sailing ships. The songs were mostly sung when the job involved several crew members working in rhythm together.With many international and local groups performing “songs of the sea” this festival helps to preserve the seafaring tradition here in Rosses Point.
The Festival is run in aid of the RNLI which provides a 24 hour lifeboat search and rescue service across the West Coast for our seafaring population. Proceeds from “Songs for the Lifeboat” concert in the Church of Ireland on Friday 15th and the Main Festival Concert in the Yeats Country Hotel on Saturday 16th will go to the RNLI" added Mr. Murphy.
There will be artists from seven different countries performing at this years event namely, England, Ireland, Norway, Finland , Germany, Netherlands and Spain. There will be free performances in several venues throughout Rosses Point and if the weather is kind a number of outdoor venues will also be used.
This week Seascapes the Maritime programme on RTE Radio 1 will broadcast an interesting piece on the festival. The story of the Norwegian Barque Narayana wrecked on the back of Coney Island in the mid 1800’s and its connection to the Norwegian group Riggerloftets who are performing at this years festival. The programme will be aired on Friday night 1st June at 10.30 pm.
#MARITIME – From Friday, May 4 I will be writing a new weekly page for the Afoat.ie website, covering the maritime sphere in its widest application – marine, shipping, fishing, leisure, research and development.
This will be accompanied by a monthly newsletter which will be circulated to readers of Afloat.ie.
Sign-up detais will issue on May 4.
We have further plans for development of maritime coverage through the Afloat.ie website, providing the widest coverage of the marine sphere.
I look forward to your interest in this new approach and you can also follow this coverage on Afloat Twitter and Facebook and on Twitter @TomMacSweeney and on my Facebook page.
#SAR – Force 10 storm, zero visibility, 40ft waves, someone needs rescuing. It's time to go to work. Search and Rescue, the new blockbuster exhibition from National Maritime Museum Cornwall invites you to enter the world of the rescue services where ordinary people lead extraordinary lives, risking their life to save yours.
Opening on 16 March, the exhibition takes you on an interactive, stimulating and emotive journey into the role of the maritime rescue services, celebrating the work of the RNLI, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, HM Coastguard and other organisations.
Objects of epic proportions include a 70ft Sea King helicopter, kindly loaned by the MOD, one of the Museum's most ambitious installations. Uniquely painted in the colours of both the Royal Navy and RAF Search and Rescue (SAR) services (red and grey one side and yellow on the other) it offers you the rare opportunity to climb inside, without having to be rescued. Dress as a pilot, listen to accounts from the crew and from those that have been rescued, explore their lifesaving equipment and discover the world of the Royal Navy and RAF SAR teams.
Revisiting rescues from the past, some well-known and some untold, this exhibition showcases the individuals whose job it is to head into the eye of the storm, when most of us would flee. The exhibition traces the evolution of rescue equipment from the early days of Henry Trengrouse's rocket line to the cutting edge equipment of today and shows that although the equipment might have changed, the determination and grit of rescue men and women to save lives has never changed.
At the heart of the exhibition is an interactive coastguard operations room. Put yourself in the coastguard hot seat, make the life or death decision to bring in the right service for the rescue and begin your journey through the incredible work and lives of the coastguard rescue, air and sea rescue teams.
Get up close to one of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) Atlantic 75 inshore lifeboats and see a fascinating assembly of the charity's collection boxes spanning 150 years. Take to the beach and become a virtual lifeguard, climb aboard a quad bike and take action to make sure the swimmers and surfers are between the right flags. See real seaside rescues and listen to accounts from volunteer crewmen and women.
Ben Lumby, Exhibitions Manager of National Maritime Museum Cornwall, says: "This is our biggest and most ambitious exhibition to date but more importantly it is the first time anyone has celebrated the maritime rescue services in this way."
"Working with these incredible teams has been a true privilege; they have kindly allowed us to see inside their world and shown us they're real people doing an amazing job. They belong to different organisations and charities but work as a team and you can be safe in the knowledge that if things do go wrong at sea, there's a service that will be there for you."
The new Search & Rescue exhibition at National Maritime Museum Cornwall opens on 16 March. Honouring the work of the heroic men and women who risk their lives at sea and around our coast, it invites you to be part of their world and shares their lives with you.
Throughout the two year life of the exhibition there will be a number of events including air sea rescue demonstrations, 'meet the crew' days and opportunities to climb aboard an RNLI all-weather lifeboat. To keep up to date with what's on when, visit www.nmmc.co.uk
#POWER FROM THE SEA - A €9 million Europe-wide wave energy trial programme is one of the key elements of a new Government programme designed to transform Ireland as a maritime nation.
According to The Irish Times, University College Cork's Hydraulics and Maritime Research Centre will run testing of wave energy, tidal energy and offshore wind energy devices across a network of sites in 12 European countries participating in the new marine renewables infrastructure network Marinet.
Irish test sites in the network include the national ocean test facility in Cork and centres operated by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) at Galway Bay and Belmullet.
The UCC centre also forms part of the new Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster (IMERC), launched last Friday by Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
The cluster comprises UCC, the Irish Naval Service, Cork Institute of Technology and the National Maritime College of Ireland with the initial aim of creating 70 new research jobs by 2014 in the areas of wave energy, green shipping and sustainability of ocean resources.
IMERC director Dr Val Cummins said: “The aim of IMERC is to promote Ireland as a world-renowned research and development location that will unlock Ireland’s maritime and energy potential."
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.
- Irish Naval Service
- Galway Bay
- National Maritime College of Ireland
- wind energy
- Cork Institute of Technology
- renewable energy
- wave energy
- sustainable energy
- tidal energy
- Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
- Taoiseach Enda Kenny
- Hydraulics and Maritime Research Centre
- Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster
- Dr Val Cummins
#FERRIES–On 19th February 2008 the Stranraer Police were alerted to an unaccompanied freight trailer which had been off loaded from the Larne to Stranraer Ferry. The officers noticed that the trailer was giving off a strange odour and that it was not placarded. They confirmed with the loading terminal at Larne that the content of the trailer was declared as peat.
When the driver arrived at 8 o clock that evening he told the police that the cargo was aluminium smeltings known locally as "skulls", a by product from smelting and that it gave off dangerous gases and could go on fire if it got wet. He gave the police a copy of the manifest which confirmed that the freight was aluminium smeltings.
The shipper was Tinnelly International Transport, a road haulier who is no longer trading, but was investigated following an incident where an explosion occurred aboard an Irish Sea Ferry on 8th July 2007. During this earlier investigation it was revealed that there is no need to placard the trailer carrying this material under EU legislation while on the road, however under the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code it must be declared to the shipping company and the trailer must be placarded for transport by sea.
At the Magistrates Court in Larne on Friday 2nd December 2011, Mr McGivern, the driver of the tractor unit that delivered the trailer to the Port of Larne, pleaded guilty to failing to declare a cargo of dangerous goods known as Aluminium Skulls and was fined £3,000 with contribution to costs of £1,000.
Tinnelly International Transport were found guilty of failing to declare the cargo and failing to placard the vehicle, and was fined £10,000 and costs of £6,000.
On summing up the magistrate, Mr Alcorn said:
I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the charges are proved. It is only by the grace of God that something didn't happen. There might have been 500 lives lost.
The driver knew what he was transporting and he risked every life on the ferry.
Mr Alcorn compared the situation to that of the Princess Victoria which still resonates in Larne to this day. None of the guilty parties have set foot in this court in the lead up to this trial, whereas all the witnesses have been brought from Northern Ireland and Scotland because of a "couldn't care less attitude".
Captain Bill Bennett, Area Operations Manager ( Northern Ireland) for the MCA stated that
"This was a serious breach of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code with a cargo which is known to give off gases and to explode if it comes in contact with water. P&O Ferries had already banned the product for transportation on their vessels.
#JOBS – 250 jobs could be created over a three year period across five key maritime areas in Killybegs according to a report launched by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD,
Minister Coveney set up the group on the 3rd June this year following the Economic Report for the European Commission, which assessed the status, development and potential diversification of Killybegs as a fisheries dependent community. The Group comprising of representatives from the Irish seafood sector, tourism, education, enterprise and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine were tasked to identify potential jobs across key areas including seafood, ancillary services, offshore supports, tourism and marine leisure and green economy/renewable energy.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney with Sean O'Donoghue, Chairman, Chief Executive, Killybegs Fishermen's Organisation Ltd, Cecil Beamish, Assistant Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Seamus Neely, County Manager, Donegal County Council, Jason Whooley, Chief Executive, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Paul Hannigan, President, Letterkenny Institute of Education, Jim Parkinson, Representing Offshore and Ancillary Services, Niall O'Gorman, Representing Donegal Fish Merchants Association and Conor Fahy, Regional Director, Enterprise Ireland at the launch of a report on Job Creation in the Killybegs Region.
Minister Coveney commented at the launch; "I set ambitious targets for the group and I am very pleased to see that the group has not only clearly outlined how 250 jobs can be achieved but has also identified new areas where additional jobs can be created into the future. The importance of the seafood sector to Killybegs region cannot be overstated as it is responsible for 68% of the workforce. The Group has identified that through greater diversification and adding value to our existing resources, 130 jobs will be delivered in this sector. The Group are to be commended for working together to complete this task in the allocated time and I am looking forward to seeing the actions from the report completed and the benefits that they will bring to the people of Killybegs".
The report outlines 250 jobs to be created over a three year period across five key areas. In total, 130 potential jobs were identified within the seafood sector. The expected increased access to raw materials such as blue whiting and boarfish present the most significant opportunities, along with a concerted focus on value adding opportunities. Within the ancillary services, 24 jobs were identified if collaborative opportunities between various companies can be enhanced and their abilities promoted. The offshore sector could generate 20 jobs, however competitive service provision and appropriate skill resources are deemed fundamental to achieve this. Approaching 50 jobs were identified within the tourism/marine leisure area if a co-ordinated marketing strategy is developed, whilst the green economy and renewable energy area offers the potential to create up to 40 jobs.
The Minister added "This pilot approach of co-ordinated developmentally focused activity which is concentrated on natural resources has delivered results that will drive economic development and job creation in the Killybegs region. An example of this is the partnership between BIM and LYIT to address seafood value added activities. As a direct result of this jobs initiative, the College of Catering in Killybegs will become a focus for industry activity beginning with a workshop on new product development for crab suppliers is already planned for the 30th November".
Members of the High Level Group are:
Sean O'Donoghue, Chairman, Chief Executive, Killybegs Fishermen's Organisation Ltd
Cecil Beamish, Assistant Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine
Seamus Neely, County Manager, Donegal County Council
Jason Whooley, Chief Executive, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM)
Paul Hannigan, President, Letterkenny Institute of Education
Jim Parkinson, Representing Offshore and Ancillary Services
Niall O'Gorman, Representing Donegal Fish Merchants Association
Conor Fahy, Regional Director, Enterprise Ireland