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Displaying items by tag: Maria Damanaki

#Fishing - Key to proposals to end fish discards in this year's reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is the introduction of new technology like wheelhouse cameras and 'smart nets'.

So argues EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki, as BBC News reports on trials of new net designs that can separate fish catches and reduce damage to the seabed.

One of the fishing net innovations involves a bendable plastic grid attached to the middle of a trawl net that allows smaller fish and juveniles to pass through while snaring the valuable larger catch.

Another design, the Rollerball net, attempts to eliminate the problem of heavy trawling gear churning up debris on the sea floor while reducing drag and saving on boats' fuel bills.

Assuaging concerns over the prohibitive costs for fishermen, Damanaki says she hopes that such 'smart nets' will be subsidised by as much as 85% - while emphasising that the adoption of new technology could mean the difference between being allowed to fish or being banned from the ocean.

Wheelhouse CCTV cameras are another method that has been shown to reduce discards to less than 1% in some cases - and Damanaki says they will be essential if the CFP reforms indeed include a zero tolerance policy on fish discards.

BBC News has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing

#FISHING - The Guardian reports that an alliance of EU member states plans to "hijack" a council meeting of the union's fisheries ministers today to prevent a ban on fish discards.

EU maritime affairs commissioner Maria Damanaki has stated her commitment to ending the practice, describing it as “unethical, a waste of natural resources and a waste of fishermen’s effort.”

Half of all fish in the North Sea - and up to two-thirds in other areas - are thrown back under the quota system implemented under the EU's common fisheries policy. The practice was recently highlighted by TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's 'Fish Fight' campaign.

Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney has called on EU states to support Ireland's effort to deal with fish discards, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

But some member states, led by France and Spain, have dismissed the proposed ban as "unrealistic" and "too prescriptive", and will attempt to pass a declaration to allow the practice to continue indefinitely.

According to the Guardian, the charge is being led by industrial-scale fishing enterprises who want to retain the permission to discard lower value fish in order to maximise profits.

Brussels insiders say that if the declaration were to pass it would "kill the reform".

Published in Fishing

#FISHING - The Minister for the Marine has spoken out over plans by the European Commission to make cuts in certain fish stocks that could see €65 million in lost earnings for Ireland's fishing fleet.

According to The Irish Times, Minister Simon Coveney said there was "very credible data prepared by the Marine Institute to back up" the case against proposals by EU maritime affairs commissioner Maria Damanaki to cut certain stocks by as much as 25%.

He told the paper he would "challenge anyone to say we are not sticking with scientific advice", and also suggested that the fishing industry is being more responsible in its own proposals.

"The European Commission is recommending a 60 per cent increase in the total allowable catch for Celtic Sea herring, whereas the industry is seeking 30 per cent as a more responsible approach,” said Minister Coveney.

“So this shows it is not true to say that fishermen are irresponsible, as some would suggest."

EU fish talks continue today in Brussels. The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
The European Union's maritime affairs commissioner has promised a "level playing field" during the review of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), The Irish Times reports.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Maria Damanaki was in Dublin on Thursday to discuss reform of the policy with Irish stakeholders.
She admitted that Ireland had suffered under the current policy, which has led to overfishing in Irish waters by other EU member states such as Spain.
The commissioner said that better maritime planning and protection of "small-scale fisheries" were fundamental to the new CFP.
But she denied that Ireland's situation would worsen under the new proposals, which include concessions on transferable quotas that critics - including Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney - fear would see multinationals buying up Irish fishing rights.
She said similar concessions had worked in Denmark, the US, Australia and New Zealand, adding that the system is designed to compensate those who want to leave fishing without straining the EU's finances.
Damanaki also discussed encouraging the development of offshore aquaculture to combat rising imports of seafood, and her commitment to ending the practice of fish discards - which may also involve a programme to provide lower-income individuals with cheaper fish.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

The European Union's maritime affairs commissioner has promised a "level playing field" during the review of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), The Irish Times reports.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Maria Damanaki was in Dublin on Thursday to discuss reform of the policy with Irish stakeholders.

She admitted that Ireland had suffered under the current policy, which has led to overfishing in Irish waters by other EU member states such as Spain.

The commissioner said that better maritime planning and protection of "small-scale fisheries" were fundamental to the new CFP. 

But she denied that Ireland's situation would worsen under the new proposals, which include concessions on transferable quotas that critics - including Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney - fear would see multinationals buying up Irish fishing rights.

She said similar concessions had worked in Denmark, the US, Australia and New Zealand, adding that the system is designed to compensate those who want to leave fishing without straining the EU's finances.

Damanaki also discussed encouraging the development of offshore aquaculture to combat rising imports of seafood, and her commitment to ending the practice of fish discards - which may also involve a programme to provide lower-income individuals with cheaper fish.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki will visit Ireland this week to discuss reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.
Commissioner Damanaki will speak tomorrow at the Institute of International and European Affairs where she will address Irish stakeholders on the new policy, which aims at preserving fish stocks at sustainable levels by managing fisheries in a responsible, science-based way.
She will also meet with Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Simon Coveney.
On Friday she will travel to Galway with EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, to visit the Marine Institute and participate in a roundtable on maritime policy with representatives of the Irish administration and the Irish maritime sector.
Commissioner Damanaki will also gauge the views of Irish stakeholders on the upcoming Atlantic Strategy under the Integrated Maritime Policy, which the European Commission is currently drawing up.

EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki will visit Ireland this week to discuss reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.

Commissioner Damanaki will speak tomorrow at the Institute of International and European Affairs where she will address Irish stakeholders on the new policy, which aims at preserving fish stocks at sustainable levels by managing fisheries in a responsible, science-based way.

She will also later meet with Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Simon Coveney.

On Friday she will travel to Galway with EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, to visit the Marine Institute and participate in a roundtable on maritime policy with representatives of the Irish administration and the Irish maritime sector.

Commissioner Damanaki will also gauge the views of Irish stakeholders on the upcoming Atlantic Strategy under the Integrated Maritime Policy, which the European Commission is currently drawing up.

Published in Fishing
The Irish Wildlife Trust has welcomed the proposed EU ban on discarding fish as part of the Common Fisheries Policy.
The organisation said it was a "vital step" towards "restoring the ecological balance in Irish seas".
IWT chairman Pádraic Fogarty said: “Discarding is tremendously wasteful and is causing untold damage to our marine ecosystems."
EU fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki has described the practice of discarding as “unethical, a waste of natural resources and a waste of fishermen’s effort.”
The proposals to ban discards have come after a high-profile campaign against the practice of fishermen dumping dead fish, through which it emerged that half of all fish caught in the North Sea are thrown back.

The Irish Wildlife Trust has welcomed the proposed EU ban on discarding fish as part of the Common Fisheries Policy.

The organisation said it was a "vital step" towards "restoring the ecological balance in Irish seas".
IWT chairman Pádraic Fogarty said: “Discarding is tremendously wasteful and is causing untold damage to our marine ecosystems."

EU fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki has described the practice of discarding as “unethical, a waste of natural resources and a waste of fishermen’s effort.”

The proposals to ban discards have come after a high-profile campaign against the practice of fishermen dumping dead fish, through which it emerged that half of all fish caught in the North Sea are thrown back.

Published in Fishing
Fishing boats will have to land their entire catch - whether or not the fish are in a saleable condition - according to new European Union proposals.
The Guardian reports that EU fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki has pledged to bring and end to the "nightmare of discards" in response to the high-profile campaign against the practice of fishermen dumping dead fish from their catch.
Half of all fish in the North Sea - and up to two-thirds in other areas - are thrown back under the quota system implemented under the EU's common fisheries policy.
Damanaki said that her proposed reforms to the system would be phased in over a number of years pending approval by the European parliament.
She acknowledged the concerns of fishermen, who fear the value of their catch will plummet if they are not allowed the choice of which fish to keep, but said they would benefit in the long term as ending discards would help to protect stocks of commercial fish.
Meanwhile, Irish conservation groups have joined a worldwide campaign to put the environment at the heart of the EU's fishing reforms.
The Irish Times reports that Birdwatch Ireland, Coastwatch Europe, the Irish Wildlife Trust and Irish Seal Sanctuary have all signed up to the Ocean 2012 initiative, which hopes to work with the fishing industry to find a balance that preserves both the ecosystem and fishermen's livelihoods.

Fishing boats will have to land their entire catch - whether or not the fish are in a saleable condition - according to new European Union proposals.

The Guardian reports that EU fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki has pledged to bring and end to the "nightmare of discards" in response to the high-profile campaign against the practice of fishermen dumping dead fish from their catch.

Half of all fish in the North Sea - and up to two-thirds in other areas - are thrown back under the quota system implemented under the EU's common fisheries policy.

Damanaki said that her proposed reforms to the system would be phased in over a number of years pending approval by the European parliament.

She acknowledged the concerns of fishermen, who fear the value of their catch will plummet if they are not allowed the choice of which fish to keep, but said they would benefit in the long term as ending discards would help to protect stocks of commercial fish.

Meanwhile, Irish conservation groups have joined a worldwide campaign to put the environment at the heart of the EU's fishing reforms.

The Irish Times reports that Birdwatch Ireland, Coastwatch Europe, the Irish Wildlife Trust and Irish Seal Sanctuary have all signed up to the Ocean 2012 initiative, which hopes to work with the fishing industry to find a balance that preserves both the ecosystem and fishermen's livelihoods.

Published in Fishing
The Irish Seal Sanctuary has called on the EU to assist fishermen in the switch to selective fishing gear to help restore viable stocks in Ireland's waters, the Irish Environment Network reports.
EU Commissioner Maria Damanaki had threatened to close the Irish Sea as well as seas off the west of Scotland if nothing is done to allow the drastically low stocks of cod to recover to a sustainable level.
But the sanctuary's Sea Fishery Advisory Group believes that trawling in the Irish Sea would only need to be suspended for a period long enough to allow one year's class of fish to mature and spawn.
“We do not seek a closure, as there are selective methods to catch prawns, which the smaller boats could easily use," said a spokesperson, who added that "many fishermen consider the Irish Sea, a relatively small shallow sea, an important spawning and nursery area for much of our national waters.
"Fish spawned in the Irish Sea could help repopulate the areas north and south of it, if they had the chance.”
The Irish Times reports that Commissioner Damanaki had upset the Irish fishing industry with her hard line proposals to slash quotas for cod in the Irish Sea and the west of Scotland and close those fishing areas by 2012.
The EU's annual negotiations on European fishing rights concluded this week with concessions that will see the industry as a whole face a 0.9% reduction in quota.

The Irish Seal Sanctuary has called on the EU to assist fishermen in the switch to selective fishing gear to help restore viable stocks in Ireland's waters, the Irish Environment Network reports.

EU Commissioner Maria Damanaki had threatened to close the Irish Sea as well as seas off the west of Scotland if nothing is done to allow the drastically low stocks of cod to recover to a sustainable level. 

But the sanctuary's Sea Fishery Advisory Group believes that trawling in the Irish Sea would only need to be suspended for a period long enough to allow one year's class of fish to mature and spawn.

“We do not seek a closure, as there are selective methods to catch prawns, which the smaller boats could easily use," said a spokesperson, who added that "many fishermen consider the Irish Sea, a relatively small shallow sea, an important spawning and nursery area for much of our national waters. 

"Fish spawned in the Irish Sea could help repopulate the areas north and south of it, if they had the chance,” the spokesperson added.

The Irish Times reports that Commissioner Damanaki had upset the Irish fishing industry with her hard line proposals to slash quotas for cod in the Irish Sea and the west of Scotland and close those fishing areas by 2012.

The EU's annual negotiations on European fishing rights concluded this week with concessions that will see the industry as a whole face a 0.9% reduction in quota.

Published in Fishing

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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