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#waterfrontproperty - Plans in Cork Harbour, reports EchoLive.ie, to redevelop the dockyard in Passage West have been scuppered by Brexit.

The planned redevelopment of the dockyard site into a modern, urban waterfront settlement had been hailed as a ‘game-changer’ for the town when funding was secured to purchase the dockyard from the Doyle Shipping Group last November.

Cork County Council was granted €1.9m by the Government to purchase the eight-acre site but in a ‘bombshell’ announcement yesterday, County Hall chiefs said the site has been taken off the market and the funding would likely be lost.

Senior Executive Officer in County Hall, Jim Molloy, said the dockyard was no longer for sale because the uncertainty that Brexit has created for Ireland’s future shipping needs.

The announcement was described as a bitter blow for Passage West but Mr Molloy said a ‘wait and see’ approach is being adopted by shipping companies and ports until the implications of Brexit are known.

For more on the story click here

 

Published in Waterfront Property

Marine Minister Michael Creed met yesterday (Monday 18 February) in Brussels with Fisheries Commissioner Karmenu Vella to discuss the threats to the Irish fishing industry from a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

Minister Creed said: “I had a very constructive meeting today with Commissioner Vella where we again discussed the exposure of the Irish fishing sector to the threats posed by a no-deal Brexit.

“I made clear my view that a no-deal Brexit poses serious challenges for the Irish fishing industry and a co-ordinated EU response will be required.

“Obviously, we all hope that the Withdrawal Agreement which EU negotiated with the UK Government will be agreed and that we all avoid the uncertainty of a no-deal outcome.”

The Commission has brought forward legislative proposals dealing with the possible use of temporary cessation measures, quota swapping with the UK and potential reciprocal access, which Minster Creed has welcomed.

“The Commissioner has already brought forward a number of proposals, which I welcome, to deal with possible impacts arising from a disorderly Brexit, but more measures will be required,” the minister said.

“Commissioner Vella has a solid understanding of the scale of the potential problems facing the EU fishing industry and the Irish industry in particular.”

Minster Creed and the Commissioner discussed a number of issues that might arise from a disorderly Brexit, including loss of access for Irish and other EU vessels to the UK fishing zone, protection of fish stocks in the waters around Ireland from a subsequent increase in fishing activity, and potential mitigation measures at EU level.

“It is imperative that the Commission continue its leading role in ensuring that there will be a co-ordinated EU response to ensure the ongoing viability of our fleets and the long-term sustainability of the stocks upon which they rely,” Minister Creed added.

Published in Fishing

A public meeting on the future on Dun Laoghaire Harbour will take place at the Dun Laoghaire Club on Eblana Avenue from 8pm on Thursday 28 February.

‘The People’s Harbour’ was also the topic of a recent meeting between Dun Laoghiare-Rathdown councillors from Sinn Féin, Labour, People Before Profit and local independent Michael Merrigan.

The latter tabled a question at the 21 January meeting of the Dun Laoghaire Area Committee regarding contingency planning in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

“Residents have been contacting me with their concerns that in the event of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council being requested by the Government to make Dun Laoghaire Harbour available for ferry services, that we could have a return to big lorries coming through the town,” Cllr Merrigan commented earlier this month.

Published in Dublin Bay

#ports - As Brexit looms and all the uncertainty, the Port of Felixstowe in England, has announced an agreement (see story: UK Government contract) with Danish ferry operator DFDS to increase its roll-on/roll-off (ro/ro) capacity by over 40%.

According to a statement, reports Port Technology, the capacity boost will be achieved through investment in a new linkspan, tractor units and additional trailer parking facilities.

The Port of Felixstowe has been described as “key gateway” for ro/ro trade with Europe, and demand on DFDS’ service from the UK trade hub to Rotterdam has been growing year-on-year.

Clemence Cheng, Chief Executive Officer at the Port of Felixstowe, commented: “The new contract includes a significant investment by Hutchison Ports replacing one of our existing ro/ro bridges with a modern floating linkspan capable of handling the latest generation of ro/ro vessels and creating over 300 additional trailer spaces for unaccompanied ro/ro traffic.”

To read more on this development click here

In additition to what are the UK's ports doing to prepare for Brexit? click this link to Port Technology's technical paper (download).

Published in Ports & Shipping

#irishports - Leading experts along with Irish businesses say the Government needs to tap special funds from the EU to help offset the effects of Brexit.

As the Irish Examiner reports, for hauliers, Aidan Flynn, who heads up Freight Transport Association Ireland, whose members operate 10,000 commercial vehicles, said the risk of a no-deal amid the UK political chaos, should mean the Irish Government ramps up its contingency plans.

“We do not think it is near enough funding despite the aid from Enterprise Ireland and InterTrade Ireland,” said Mr Flynn.

He wants Tánaiste Simon Coveney to focus on “the nitty-gritty” of where Irish trucks will park at ports and not “measure its progress on how many inspectors it recruits”.

Back from a meeting of customs officials in Lille, Mr Flynn said that inspectors would quickly become the instigators of delays and hauliers face the need to provide financial guarantees, in the even of a no-deal Brexit.

Seamus Coffey, the UCC economist and chair of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council, said there was “no doubt” that many UK retailers which operate large store chains in Ireland would run out of stock in a few days, under a no-deal outcome.

More on the story can be read here.

Published in Irish Ports

#ports - A leading UK ports operator, Associated British Ports (ABP) recently announced an additional investment to boost facilities at its Port of Hull, bringing the group’s total investment to £250 million since the EU referendum in 2016.

This programme of investment demonstrates the group’s commitment to keeping Britain trading with Europe and the rest of the world after Brexit.

ABP is actively working to support businesses anxious about the event of a No-Deal Brexit and the potential severe disruption this may cause at the Port of Dover.

Container and ferry facilities at ABP on the Humber are capable of helping businesses bypass such disruption, providing regular and reliable links to Europe. Over 70 sailings every week connect the Humber to a number of destinations including Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Poland.

Investment highlights include: £50 million to boost capacity at its container terminals at ABP’s ports of Hull and Immingham; £65 million to help ensure the future of the steel industry on the river Humber; £55 million to enhance the automotive and cruise offering in the Port of Southampton. In addition to a range of other investments throughout its network of 21 ports across England, Scotland and Wales.

According to ABP which has an important component role in the UK’s trading infrastructure, the group handles almost £150 billion of UK trade across its port network, contributing around £7.5 billion to the UK economy. In addition to supporting almost 120,000 jobs across its supply chains. 

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Fishing - The UK’s fishing industry has been advised to prepare for the introduction of EU catch certificates in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

As Prime Minister Teresa May’s key Commons vote on her proposed Withdrawal Agreement looms tomorrow (Tuesday 15 January), fishing fleets around Great Britain and Northern Ireland have been reminded that in the event of a no-deal, most fish or fish products would require a catch certificate for trade with the EU from 29 March.

Catch certificates prove that fish has been caught in line with established conservation and management measures. All non-EU countries are required to present catch certificates when trading with the EU.

The UK Government says a new IT system to process and issue export catch certificates, and other supporting documentation, is being developed to help streamline the process.

Exporters would receive full instructions on how to register and use the new system before the UK leaves the EU. Import catch certificates would continue to be processed through the current paper-based system.

In addition to documents required under IUU regulations, businesses will also need to follow additional steps to comply with health and customs regulations in the event of a no-deal.

To plan ahead for creating a catch certificate, businesses and individuals that export fish products to the EU will need to know the species, vessel that caught it, date it was landed, and weight of the consignment.

GOV.UK has more details on the contingency plan HERE.

Published in Fishing

Could Brexit present an opportunity for Dun Laoghaire’s harbour?

In a letter to The Irish Times last Tuesday 8 January, local Fine Gael councillor John Kennedy spells out his reasons why the port could be positioned as an additional resource to help deal with the pressures of an expected increase in sea trade.

Cllr Kennedy suggests that funding could be sought for the South Dublin port via the European Commission’s trans-European transport network (TEN-T) strategy for the realigning of trade connections with mainland Europe.

“It makes sense for a combination of European and exchequer funding to be allocated to reactivate the potential of Dún Laoghaire port for international trade ahead of the critical post-Brexit juncture,” Cllr Kennedy writes.

Cllr Kennedy’s letter comes not long after talk of reviving ambitions for a National Watersport Centre in Dun Laoghaire, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Irish Harbours

Hello and welcome to my weekly Podcast …. Tom MacSweeney here ….

The reality of Ireland as an island nation is becoming more publicly apparent with each passing day as the possibility of a ‘no deal’ Brexit looms closer.

Our closest island neighbour will no longer be an easy communication route for people, transport, our exports and imports, but maybe a physical barrier to Europe.

While the Border with Northern Ireland has been the focus of concentration the Government’s ‘contingency plan’ – its plans to buy land around the ports to facilitate transport; the warning by Tanaiste Simon Coveney, who knows a lot about maritime affairs, warning of the ‘severe impact’ on the Irish economy; all coming this week lend emphasis to our island situation and highlight the importance of Government recognition of the marine sphere as a vital economic component… 95 per cent of all Irish exports and imports travel by sea…. That reality is now hitting home.

The ports, shipping and the fishing industry – with just 30 nautical miles from the East Coast to the British fishing zone – have been discussed, but what about the leisure marine sector and marine tourism?

What are the implications for cruising voyages to the British coast, to Northern Ireland and from Britain to Ireland? What about yachts competing in UK events…. What about offshore racing across the Irish Sea? What about events such as the big regattas in Dun Laoghaire, Cork Week, the Round Ireland Race and other events, for the situation of British non-EU boats taking part in Irish events? And of Irish/EU boats competing in British waters?

What will be the situation for inspections, Customs, transiting, etc? What about trailing boats across to Britain…. All maritime sports will surely be faced with some effect as Britain pulls out of the EU…. Has enough preparation been made for these scenarios….???

The new Chairman of the Irish Marine Federation, Paal Janson, said this week that barriers to investment around the Irish coastline have stymied growth in the marine sphere for too long.

Will Brexit create more barriers?

So far I haven’t been able to get satisfactory answers from State sources to the question of how high does the leisure marine sector rate in the Brexit preparations?

Listen to the podcast below

Published in Tom MacSweeney

#Fishing - The UK Government has been accused of “coasting” on plans for Britain’s and in particular Northern Ireland’s fisheries post-Brexit, as the News Letter reports.

MPs on the Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee have written to fisheries secretary Michael Gove for solutions to “the crushing shortage of labour, illegal oyster farming in Lough Foyle and Ireland’s continued suspension of fishing rights under the Voisinage Arrangement.”

The Voisinage Arrangement has existed since the mid 1960s and allowed for mutual access to vessels from the Republic and Northern Ireland up to six miles off the coast of each country.

But the arrangements was suspended in the Republic in 2016 after the Supreme Court ruled that it had not been properly incorporated into Irish law.

The committee have also demanded immediate “timescales” to resolve territorial claims on Lough Foyle, which have not been a practical issue since both countries have been EU member states.

The News Letter has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
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