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#Valiant – Following our pre-launch coverage of Arklow Valiant, the above footage shows the third Royal Bodewes newbuild make first contact with the water at the Dutch yard for Arklow Shipping, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Newbuilding 723 was launched from the quayside at the yard in Hoogezand, Groningen, last Friday for ASL’s Dutch division, Arklow Shipping Nederland B.V. 

The single-hold 5,150dwat cargoship will became the 17th Dutch-flagged vessel out of the total fleet of 46 ships which are otherwise Irish-flagged.

Notably, she also differs to her completed 5,100dwat Trader sisters, Arklow Vale and Arklow View,  in terms of an efficient and cost-effective straight stem bow design.

She is the first vessel in the Arklow fleet to be named ‘Valiant’ in the series also known as the V class. Over the decades there have been previous V class generations that have carried names among them, Valour, Venture and Villa.

The christening of Arklow Valiant will be performed at a handing over ceremony in the port of Delfzijl that is reached from the inland yard by canal. Delfzijl is where Arklow View was also named.

Unlike last year's launch of leadship Arklow Vale where the naming was carried out at the Hoogezand yard.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#MaidenVoyage- Arklow Vale, the newest addition to Arklow Shipping's Dutch division has been handed over to her owners following builders sea trials, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The newbuild departed Delfzijl on her maiden voyage to the inland port of Ghent in neighbouring Belgium.

The leadship of 10 newbuild 'V' class cargoships on order from Royal Bodewes yard in the Netherlands, Arklow Vale now joins the Arklow Shipping Nederland B.V. fleet. She is to a design of the Bodewes 5,100dwt Trader Series and has a total hold capacity of 6258m3 / 221,000ft3.

Last week, Arklow Vale which is 89m (length overall) and has a gross tonnage of 2,999 carried out sea trials off Eemshaven on the Wadden Sea.

In order for sea trials to take place the Arklow Vale was towed from the the inland building yard of Royal Bodewes in Hoogezand outside Groningen and along connecting canals to Delfzijl. From there the Rotterdam registered newbuild entered the River Eems estuary on the Dutch-German border.

The distinctive bow of Arklow Vale has a straight-stem that slices the waves coupled by an upper slope to deflect wave resistance. In all the design is to reduce on energy costs.

A main engine consisting of a MaK 6M25 1740 kW with Siemens Gearbox and Berg controllable pitch propeller provides a speed of around 14.5 knots.


Published in Ports & Shipping

#FinalGreen – Arklow Breeze has been chosen as the name of the final of six 8660dwt newbuilds that features a cargo hull designed with 'green' credentials, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The slender sharp hull lines of newbuild (no. 414)  are to be launched on 20 March from Ferus Smit B.V. Westerbroek. The Dutch yard is also where her 'B' theme named sisters: Bank, Beach, Bay, Beacon and Brave were completed for Arklow Shipping subsidiary Arklow Shipping Netherlands B.V. 

The series leadship, Arklow Bank which called to Dublin Port last month was completed a year ago. The 'bulb-less' hull forms part of her 'green' design is to reduce wave resistance while not compromising on cargo-loads. The vessels two-hold grain capacity is 9902,6m³ and for bale of 349.706ft³ . For further details click the above link.

Arklow Breeze is a bulk oriented general cargoship that ASL will mainly employ in the shipment of wheat, corn and other bulk commodities in European waters.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#ArklowLeadship – has followed the progression of Arklow Shipping's series of 'B' class newbuilds almost a year ago to the day and that of leadship Arklow Bank which departed Dublin Port yesterday, writes Jehan Ashmore.,

Arklow Bank is the first of six in a series of cargoships ordered for ASL's Dutch division, Arklow Shipping Netherlands B.V. The leadship newbuild was delivered into service in early 2014 from shipyard, Ferus Smit B.V. of Westerbroek.

Flying the Dutch flag, the Rotterdam registered 8,660 total dwt cargoship had arrived from Spain to Dublin Port to berth along the port's south bank quays on Monday evening. 

The previous port of call is understood to be from Gijon, however can confirm that the cargo on board was granulated slag in bulk.

The quay at the Deepwater Berth (locally referred as the 'Coal' Quay) is also where scrap metal is a main trade carried out along this part of the port. It is also where a crane is dedicated in the memory of the famous musician Ronnie Drew of The Dubliners.

A Coops & Nieborg pontoon system operated the hatch covers of the 119m long hull which has a 'bulb-less' bow and a hull form designed with 'green' credentials.

By examining the slender hull while alongside the newbuild, the fresh sharp waterlines could be seen and notably that of her straight-stemmed bow. 

Both the design of the bow and hull combined are to reduce wave resistance even in rougher conditions and while not compromising on cargo load volumes.

She is classed with Bureau Veritas and has a two-hold grain capacity of 9902,6m³ and for bale of 349.706ft³ .

Powerplant is sourced from a Mak engine delivering a maximum 13 knots.

To date the Arklow Bank has been joined by a quartet of sisters with a final unit to complete the series. In the meantime, it was business as usual as the 'Bank' departed yesterday afternoon bound for Porsgruun in Norway.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#MaidenPortCall - Arklow Beacon, made her maiden port of call to Dublin Port this weekend, the second newest 'B' class dry-cargoship of the Arklow Shipping fleet, had docked loaded with slag from Spain, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 8,660 dwt Arklow Beacon's voyage across the Bay of Biscay began on Friday having departed Gijón in the Asturias region which forms part of 'Green' Spain.

She is the latest of six sisters, noting that second ship, Arklow Bay featured on with a video voyage showing spectacular scenery of the Norwegian fjords.

Arklow Beacon has no bulbous bow, but to retain hull efficiency, her 119m hull form is optimised with 'green' credentials without compromising on cargo loadings. In addition the ships slender hull is designed to perform in varying sea-states.

As previously reported here on, Arklow Beacon was launched last September and she began her career the following October.

She along with her sisters, were ordered for ASL's Dutch subsidiary, Arklow Shipping N.V. based in Rotterdam. It is also in the same country as to where the newbuilds were contracted to Ferus Smit's shipyard in Westerbroek.

The series are not to be confused with a pair of other ships beginning with 'B' names, the Arklow's 'Bridge' and 'Brook'. This pair were also Dutch built but by another yard, Bodewes Shipyards B.V. in 2011 and are in fact differently designed having a deadweight of 7,575 tonnes.

ASL 's combined fleet of Irish and Dutch flagged ships totals 45 vessels to date, the majority are registered in Arklow. The largest series in the fleet are those of the  'R' class series which number 15 vessels.

These 4,399dwt ships were all custom-built during 2002-2007, however what makes them differ to their fleet-mates is that they are the only same-ship series to fly both the Irish and Dutch flags.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#ArklowGreenNewbuild – Arklow Shipping's latest B class newbuild with 'green' credentials, Arklow Brave which is designed with a bulb-less hull form is to be christened and launched next month, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Arklow Brave follows a quartet of bulk orientated general cargo ships sisters, starting with leadship Arklow Bank launched in January from the Ferus Smit B.V. Netherlands shipyard in Westerbroek.

At 119m in length, Arklow Brave's slender bow form which also features a straight stem is designed to take into account the various loading drafts and wave conditions. She and her sisters are to be deployed in the shipment of wheat, corn and serve in other bulk commodity markets.

When the 4,800dwt Arklow Brave which is scheduled for launching on 12 December makes contact with the water, this will present a spectacular spectacle, given the yard's procedure of launching amidships or sideways. An example, being her predecessor, Arklow Bay... click HERE for report and footage!

The launch onto the waterway of Arklow Brave will represent the fifth out of a total of six B class ordered for the Irish company. She will serve under their Dutch based division, Arklow Shipping Netherlands N.V.

As previously reported on, Arklow Bay which called to Dublin Port in late October, has returned in recent days and she is currently berthed at the Deep Water Berth (Coal Quay) along the south quays.

The newbuild on her previous call to the port had docked at the Boliden Tara Mines Ltd jetty which has a conveyor-belt loading system to transfer the zinc and ore cargo on board having arrived to the port by train. She then headed for the Norwegian smelting works at Odda.

Alongside the jetty today is a larger fleetmate, Arklow Willow at 14,001dwt albeit in a lay by capacity following routine maintenance in dry-dock that was carried out by Dublin Graving Docks Ltd.

When Arklow Brave is delivered to her Rotterdam based subsidiary, she will be part of a 46-strong fleet that includes a majority of Irish-flagged ships that carry cargoes mostly throughout northern Europe.


Published in Ports & Shipping

#ArklowWillow- According to organisers of a Irish Shipping Ltd reunion this evening in Dublin, today marks the 30th anniversary of the liquidation of the former state-owned shipping company in 1984, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Following the outbreak of WWI in 1939, the Irish Goverment realised the perilous state of not having a strategic fleet under its control and so led to the formation of ISL which secured vessels to bring strategic vital food supplies to the shores of our dependent island.  

As the decades passed a deep-sea global fleet developed. These Irish flagged ships were named from a theme based on tree species, for example Irish Willow. She was a general cargo ship of some 1,700 tonnes that served a career with the company from 1956 to 1969.

It is apt that an Irish cargoship currently has almost the same name, the Arklow Willow which is berthed in Dublin Port undergoing routine maintenance. In addition that the Arklow Shipping Ltd owned drybulk cargoship should be the only vessel from a 45-strong fleet to be named after a type of tree too!

At the time of ISL's collapse this day three decades ago on 14 November 1984, the state-company had only 7 vessels in service. 

Arklow Willow is the final sister of a trio of 'W' class Japanese built vessels berthed in Dublin Graving Dock Ltd. At 14,001 dwt Arklow Willow is the largest in this class, though there are larger fleetmates also in terms of deadweight tonnes.

They are the South Korean newbuilds Arklow Spirit as previously reported (and newer sister Spray) at 34,919dwt and are also the largest Irish-flagged cargoships notably since the sad demise of ISL.

Arklow Willow had recently arrived from Corunna, north-west Spain and the 136m long vessel occupies the 200m long Graving Dock No.2. This differs to last month's double dry-docking as previously reported of the smaller Arklow Ranger and Jeanie Johnston, which shared the dry-dock located in Alexandra Basin.

Dublin Port Company have submitted plans to re-develop the basin costing €200m which would form phase one of the port's Masterplan 2040. The project would involve the re-use of the site of the drydock which as a result would face closure.


Published in Ports & Shipping

#DublinDryDocks - Dublin Graving Docks Ltd which as previously reported on faces closure by Dublin Port Co. over plans to redevelop Alexandra Basin that incorporates the site of the 200m long graving dock is currently occupied by a pair of vessels, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The dry docked vessels at the ship-repairer and conversion business are the Dutch built Arklow Raider (2002/2,999grt) one of Arklow Shipping's general cargoships flagged in the Netherlands and the museum tallship Jeanie Johnston.

Up to 26 people are employed at the facility which has seen an increase in clients compared to last year. The dockyard primarily caters for trawlers and larger dry-cargo vessels than that of Arklow Raider, among them the 8,900 tonnes 'W' class and 9,700 tonnes 'M' class series from the Irish flagged fleet of Arklow Shipping Ltd.

One of the 'M' class vessels, Arklow Mill which was featured on during a call to the Shannon at Aughinish Alumina plant, had work carried out by Dublin Graving Dock in 2013. This was to increase the deadweight tonnage (dwt) up to 14,990 tonnes, making her one of the largest in the fleet until the more recent introduction of 'S' class sisters each of 34,905dwt.

The Dutch division of ASL operate a smaller fleet of vessels registered in Rotterdam from where Arklow Shipping Netherlands are based.
When either of the W and M class vessels are booked into the dry-dock due to their overall dimensions they take up the entire graving dock. The graving dock can accommodate ships drawing a maximum draft of 6.5m and having a beam of up to 24.5m.

In the current circumstance of two vessels within Graving Dock No. 2, a dockgate (caisson) divides the ships apart into separate chambers. This will allow the Dutch built Arklow Raider to vacate first as her work is scheduled to be completed prior to that of Jeanie Johnston.

The chamber where Arklow Raider occcupies will be flooded and without interrupting the Jeanie Johnston. Work on the barque is not expected to be completed until later this month. Her opening date as a museum ship has been advertised as 1 November. 


Published in Ports & Shipping

#ArklowGreenNewbuild- This afternoon Arklow Shipping's fourth out of a total of six 4,800dwt newbuilds, Arklow Beacon was launched from a Dutch shipyard, writes Jehan Ashmore.

She features a 'green' credential designed hull form which was given a 'sideways' launch. No doubt a proud moment for ASL officials, dignitaries and yard workers alike attending the ceremony at the Ferus Smit yard at Westerbroek.

The German shipbuilding firm's Dutch yard was contracted by ASL to build the series of the 119m long multi-purpose bulk orientated general cargoships. The class have a hull form that was chosen to adapt the 'bulbless' principle; creating a slender bow without bulb.

Her design also takes into account various loading drafts and wave conditions to be encountered in service. The performance of this bow will be better suited than a bulb optimised for one single draft operations and when on flat water only.

Arklow Beacon is to join the Irish company's Dutch subsidiary in October under the management of Arklow Shipping Netherlands B.V. based in the Rotterdam. Likewise of her sisters, in which Arklow Beach was the last to be completed in June, flies the flag of the Netherlands.

Classed under Bureau Veritas, the newbuilds have a two-hold grain capacity of 9902,6m³ and for bale of 349.706ft³.

She will mainly be employed in the shipment of wheat, corn and other bulk commodities in European waters. A speed of 13 knots will be delivered from a Mak engine.


Published in Ports & Shipping

#ArklowGreens- Arklow Shipping's fourth of six 4,800dwt newbuilds, Arklow Beacon featuring a 'green' credential designed hull is to be launched later this month in the Netherlands, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 119m multi-purpose bulk orientated general cargoship like her sisters are built by Ferus Smit's Dutch yard at Westerbroek. Leadship Arklow Bank was launched earlier this year, she was followed by sisters also taking  'B' names, Arklow Bay and the latest to date in the series Arklow Beach which appeared in June.

The class have a hull form that was chosen to adapt the 'bulbless' principle creating a slender bow that dispenses the bulb. Taking into account the various loading drafts and wave conditions to be encountered in service, the total performance of this bow will be better than a bulb optimised for one single draft and flat water only.

Arklow Beacon will join the Irish company's Dutch subsidiary, Arklow Shipping Netherlands B.V. based in the Rotterdam.

The newbuilds classed with Bureau Veritas have a two-hold grain capacity of 9902,6m³ and for bale of 349.706ft³ . They will mainly be employed in the shipment of wheat, corn and other bulk commodities in European waters. Powerplant is a Mak engine delivering a maximum 13 knots.



Published in Ports & Shipping
Page 4 of 6

Ireland's Commercial Fishing 

The Irish Commercial Fishing Industry employs around 11,000 people in fishing, processing and ancillary services such as sales and marketing. The industry is worth about €1.22 billion annually to the Irish economy. Irish fisheries products are exported all over the world as far as Africa, Japan and China.


Over 16,000 people are employed directly or indirectly around the coast, working on over 2,000 registered fishing vessels, in over 160 seafood processing businesses and in 278 aquaculture production units, according to the State's sea fisheries development body Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).

All activities that are concerned with growing, catching, processing or transporting fish are part of the commercial fishing industry, the development of which is overseen by BIM. Recreational fishing, as in angling at sea or inland, is the responsibility of Inland Fisheries Ireland.

The Irish fishing industry is valued at 1.22 billion euro in gross domestic product (GDP), according to 2019 figures issued by BIM. Only 179 of Ireland's 2,000 vessels are over 18 metres in length. Where does Irish commercially caught fish come from? Irish fish and shellfish is caught or cultivated within the 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ), but Irish fishing grounds are part of the common EU "blue" pond. Commercial fishing is regulated under the terms of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), initiated in 1983 and with ten-yearly reviews.

The total value of seafood landed into Irish ports was 424 million euro in 2019, according to BIM. High value landings identified in 2019 were haddock, hake, monkfish and megrim. Irish vessels also land into foreign ports, while non-Irish vessels land into Irish ports, principally Castletownbere, Co Cork, and Killybegs, Co Donegal.

There are a number of different methods for catching fish, with technological advances meaning skippers have detailed real time information at their disposal. Fisheries are classified as inshore, midwater, pelagic or deep water. Inshore targets species close to shore and in depths of up to 200 metres, and may include trawling and gillnetting and long-lining. Trawling is regarded as "active", while "passive" or less environmentally harmful fishing methods include use of gill nets, long lines, traps and pots. Pelagic fisheries focus on species which swim close to the surface and up to depths of 200 metres, including migratory mackerel, and tuna, and methods for catching include pair trawling, purse seining, trolling and longlining. Midwater fisheries target species at depths of around 200 metres, using trawling, longlining and jigging. Deepwater fisheries mainly use trawling for species which are found at depths of over 600 metres.

There are several segments for different catching methods in the registered Irish fleet – the largest segment being polyvalent or multi-purpose vessels using several types of gear which may be active and passive. The polyvalent segment ranges from small inshore vessels engaged in netting and potting to medium and larger vessels targeting whitefish, pelagic (herring, mackerel, horse mackerel and blue whiting) species and bivalve molluscs. The refrigerated seawater (RSW) pelagic segment is engaged mainly in fishing for herring, mackerel, horse mackerel and blue whiting only. The beam trawling segment focuses on flatfish such as sole and plaice. The aquaculture segment is exclusively for managing, developing and servicing fish farming areas and can collect spat from wild mussel stocks.

The top 20 species landed by value in 2019 were mackerel (78 million euro); Dublin Bay prawn (59 million euro); horse mackerel (17 million euro); monkfish (17 million euro); brown crab (16 million euro); hake (11 million euro); blue whiting (10 million euro); megrim (10 million euro); haddock (9 million euro); tuna (7 million euro); scallop (6 million euro); whelk (5 million euro); whiting (4 million euro); sprat (3 million euro); herring (3 million euro); lobster (2 million euro); turbot (2 million euro); cod (2 million euro); boarfish (2 million euro).

Ireland has approximately 220 million acres of marine territory, rich in marine biodiversity. A marine biodiversity scheme under Ireland's operational programme, which is co-funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the Government, aims to reduce the impact of fisheries and aquaculture on the marine environment, including avoidance and reduction of unwanted catch.

EU fisheries ministers hold an annual pre-Christmas council in Brussels to decide on total allowable catches and quotas for the following year. This is based on advice from scientific bodies such as the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. In Ireland's case, the State's Marine Institute publishes an annual "stock book" which provides the most up to date stock status and scientific advice on over 60 fish stocks exploited by the Irish fleet. Total allowable catches are supplemented by various technical measures to control effort, such as the size of net mesh for various species.

The west Cork harbour of Castletownbere is Ireland's biggest whitefish port. Killybegs, Co Donegal is the most important port for pelagic (herring, mackerel, blue whiting) landings. Fish are also landed into Dingle, Co Kerry, Rossaveal, Co Galway, Howth, Co Dublin and Dunmore East, Co Waterford, Union Hall, Co Cork, Greencastle, Co Donegal, and Clogherhead, Co Louth. The busiest Northern Irish ports are Portavogie, Ardglass and Kilkeel, Co Down.

Yes, EU quotas are allocated to other fleets within the Irish EEZ, and Ireland has long been a transhipment point for fish caught by the Spanish whitefish fleet in particular. Dingle, Co Kerry has seen an increase in foreign landings, as has Castletownbere. The west Cork port recorded foreign landings of 36 million euro or 48 per cent in 2019, and has long been nicknamed the "peseta" port, due to the presence of Spanish-owned transhipment plant, Eiranova, on Dinish island.

Most fish and shellfish caught or cultivated in Irish waters is for the export market, and this was hit hard from the early stages of this year's Covid-19 pandemic. The EU, Asia and Britain are the main export markets, while the middle Eastern market is also developing and the African market has seen a fall in value and volume, according to figures for 2019 issued by BIM.

Fish was once a penitential food, eaten for religious reasons every Friday. BIM has worked hard over several decades to develop its appeal. Ireland is not like Spain – our land is too good to transform us into a nation of fish eaters, but the obvious health benefits are seeing a growth in demand. Seafood retail sales rose by one per cent in 2019 to 300 million euro. Salmon and cod remain the most popular species, while BIM reports an increase in sales of haddock, trout and the pangasius or freshwater catfish which is cultivated primarily in Vietnam and Cambodia and imported by supermarkets here.

The EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), initiated in 1983, pooled marine resources – with Ireland having some of the richest grounds and one of the largest sea areas at the time, but only receiving four per cent of allocated catch by a quota system. A system known as the "Hague Preferences" did recognise the need to safeguard the particular needs of regions where local populations are especially dependent on fisheries and related activities. The State's Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, based in Clonakilty, Co Cork, works with the Naval Service on administering the EU CFP. The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine and Department of Transport regulate licensing and training requirements, while the Marine Survey Office is responsible for the implementation of all national and international legislation in relation to safety of shipping and the prevention of pollution.

Yes, a range of certificates of competency are required for skippers and crew. Training is the remit of BIM, which runs two national fisheries colleges at Greencastle, Co Donegal and Castletownbere, Co Cork. There have been calls for the colleges to be incorporated into the third-level structure of education, with qualifications recognised as such.

Safety is always an issue, in spite of technological improvements, as fishing is a hazardous occupation and climate change is having its impact on the severity of storms at sea. Fishing skippers and crews are required to hold a number of certificates of competency, including safety and navigation, and wearing of personal flotation devices is a legal requirement. Accidents come under the remit of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board, and the Health and Safety Authority. The MCIB does not find fault or blame, but will make recommendations to the Minister for Transport to avoid a recurrence of incidents.

Fish are part of a marine ecosystem and an integral part of the marine food web. Changing climate is having a negative impact on the health of the oceans, and there have been more frequent reports of warmer water species being caught further and further north in Irish waters.

Brexit, Covid 19, EU policies and safety – Britain is a key market for Irish seafood, and 38 per cent of the Irish catch is taken from the waters around its coast. Ireland's top two species – mackerel and prawns - are 60 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively, dependent on British waters. Also, there are serious fears within the Irish industry about the impact of EU vessels, should they be expelled from British waters, opting to focus even more efforts on Ireland's rich marine resource. Covid-19 has forced closure of international seafood markets, with high value fish sold to restaurants taking a large hit. A temporary tie-up support scheme for whitefish vessels introduced for the summer of 2020 was condemned by industry organisations as "designed to fail".

Sources: Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Marine Institute, Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Department of Transport © Afloat 2020

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