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Displaying items by tag: Brexit

On the Irish Sea the biggest ferry operator in this market area has confirmed that there will be checks, inspections and some new infrastructure for trade, and it wants to know what the UK government will pay for.

The plans, according to BBC News, will affect both trade with the Republic of Ireland and within the UK between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as a result of Brexit.

Stena Line said that its working assumption was that new checks would be carried out in British ports.

Stena boss Ian Hampton told the BBC that though a managed exit was "positive" and the extent of new procedures could be lessened with a strong deal, "there's a border, and the border requires checks".

The border will be down the Irish sea, he said. And while his company won't be doing them, it will have to provide room for officials to do the checks, he said.

As well as operating a fleet of ferries connecting Great Britain to the island of Ireland, Stena also owns three ports on the route, and wants to know the physical changes required on what has, until now, been seamless trade.

The industry's assumption is that the checks will be done in Great Britain on exit rather than in Ireland or Northern Ireland.

For much more on trading relationships including those on the North Channel routes click here

Published in Ferry

The UK’s fishing industry fears the British Government will “sell them down the river” in upcoming Brexit trade negotiations, as Sky News reports.

‘Taking back control’ of Britain’s waters for the domestic fishing fleet was one of the linchpin issues for many regional Leave voters.

But with the industry accounting for only 0.12% of GDP, there are concerns that quotas may remain as part of a wider trade deal and the industry won’t reclaim what’s believed to be rightfully theirs.

Jim Portas, CEO of the South Western Fish Producer Organisation, said: “The fishing industry is the acid test of Boris Johnson’s government in Number 10 and I sincerely hope that he will live up to all the promises he’s made for more than three years now.”

Sky News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

Operators of the Carlingford Lough Ferry have vowed to keep on sailing despite the potential impact of Brexit, writes The Talk of the Town. 

With the possibility of the border between the United Kingdom and Europe being in the middle of the Irish Sea that poses a potential threat for the business given it crosses several times daily from Greenore to Greencastle and vice versa.

Run by Frazer Ferries, the Carlingford Lough Ferry has proven to be hugely popular with both locals and tourists since its maiden voyage in July 2017.

While the threat of Brexit looms large over the business, a post on their Facebook page last night outlined how the company vows to “keep on sailing.”

For further reading click here.

Published in Ferry

At one of the country's key transport hubs, the managers of Rosslare Europort have insisted that they are ready for Brexit - whenever and however it happens.

Work is almost complete according to RTE News, on a new border inspection post, located just outside the ferryport itself, which will be used if new checks need to be imposed on incoming freight traffic from the UK, which should eliminate any congestion which might otherwise have been caused post-Brexit.

The inspection area is being developed by the OPW on a 17-acre site which will include facilities for Department of Agriculture, Health, customs and revenue checks.

In the event of checks being deemed necessary after the United Kingdom leaves the EU, truck-drivers carrying freight from there into Ireland will be designated "red" or "green" before they arrive into Rosslare, depending on what they are carrying.

Green-designated trucks will leave the port area as normal, as they currently do, while red-designees will travel to the new inspection area where the checks will be performed, before carrying on their journey. 

About 120,000 trucks pass through Rosslare Europort every year, with about 90,000 of those coming from the UK.                                                                                       

Click here for more on the story. 

Published in Ferry

Speaking at the Agrifish Council in Luxembourg yesterday (Monday 14 October), Marine Minister Michael Creed welcomed the solidarity shown by EU member states and institutions regarding Brexit.

Highlighting the need for a swift response to help fishermen and farmers in the event of a hard Brexit, Minister Creed said: “I call on the Commission to be ready to deploy an exceptional aid regulation immediately in the event of a hard Brexit.”

During the Agrifish Council, which continues today (Tuesday 15 October), Minister Creed had constructive discussions with Commissioners Phil Hogan and Karmenu Vella regarding support measures in the event of a hard Brexit and the protection of Irish farming and fishery interests in EU trade negotiations.

With regard to fisheries, Minister Creed took the opportunity to discuss with fellow fisheries ministers the ongoing Brexit preparatory work by the eight EU member states most likely to be impacted.

Minister Creed said: “There has been a significant amount of preparatory work done at official and industry level across the member states and in co-operation with the Commission for all scenarios. The unity of purpose from our EU partners on fisheries, like all other issues, has been heartening.”

Separately, Ireland is also raising at this council the recent decision by Iceland and others to increase their unilateral quotas for mackerel, which threatens the long-term sustainability of Ireland’s single most important fishery.

The minister said: “The recent unilateral actions by Iceland, and later Russia and Greenland, are extremely regrettable and I will continue to work closely with the Commission on possible measures that can be taken in this regard.”

Published in Fishing

Operators in the ferry industry, reports BreakingNews.ie, have been accused of exploiting Ireland's vulnerability to Brexit to get the consumer rules they want.

In July, Irish Ferries, Stena Line and Brittany Ferries wrote to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar asking the government to intervene in a legal row over passengers compensation.

They claim they do not owe customers on cancelled ferries to France compensation because they can offer the option of using the "land-bridge' via Britain.

Labour's Transport spokesman Senator Kevin Humphreys said ferry operators should have the same responsibility to their customers as airlines.

Click here to read comments made by the Senator. 

Published in Ferry

It has been announced that Foyleport had a record £10 million in turnover despite the uncertainty posed by Brexit.

The Derry harbour, reports The Irish News, recorded an operating profit of £1.9m during 2018/19, marking its seventh year of consecutive growth.

The record turnover followed the port's handling of record levels of animal feed and fertiliser.

It means that all three of the north's ports have reported growth in the past year.

In June, Warrenpoint Port said its turnover rose by 5.5 per cent to £6.1m during 2018.

Further reading on the story can be found here. 

Published in Ports & Shipping

The Port of Cork CEO Brendan Keating has warned that investment in shipping infrastructure is key to offsetting the effects of Brexit in the southern region of the country.

As EchoLive reports, Mr Keating told the Construction Industry Federation Southern Construct conference that the Port, which had a €35.4 million turnover in 2018, will be hit by Brexit with decreased agricultural activity projected and a reduction of dry bulk goods being shipped and must adapt to new trends in international shipping.

“The region is highly dependent on international growth in the achievement of economic growth and highly dependent on international shipping,” Mr Keating said.

“We must continue to invest in port infrastructure,” he added.

For more click here from the newspaper.

Published in Port of Cork

In north Wales, town councillors in Holyhead, have urged the government to think again about letting Britain crash out of Europe with no deal.

Fearing the impact of a clean break from the European Union, NorthWalesLive writes, that members of Holyhead Town Council have passed a motion urging the Prime Minister to act in the interests of such ports and secure a deal with Brussels.

The Port of Holyhead is the second largest (ferry)port in the UK (after Dover), handling two million passengers, half a million vehicles and 450,000 freight units a year with the Swedish company employing hundreds of workers in North Wales.

During a recent visit to the port Michael Gove, the minister in charge of Government preparation for no-deal, said that ports are “geared up” for Brexit and should avoid any significant delays and congestion.

But Stena Line, which is the town’s largest employer, has described leaving with no-deal and no trade agreement as “the worst of all possible scenarios.”

Clck here for more on the story.

Published in Ferry

A doubling in the size of the customs building the Irish Examiner reports is planned by the Port of Cork at its Ringaskiddy terminal due to the increasing likelihood of a hard Brexit.

 “We have to plan for the worst now at this stage,” said Port of Cork chief executive Brendan Keating.

Already, a large number of HGVs from the North use ferry connections from Cork to get to Brittany in France and Santander in Spain. If a hard Brexit occurs, it is likely that increased HGV traffic will use the routes out of Cork.

The Port of Cork is investing €85m in developing expanded cargo-handling facilities at its deepwater terminal Ringaskiddy. It has successfully applied to Bord Pleanála to increase the size of a previously permitted customs’ inspection building at Ringaskiddy from 324sq m to 648sq m, primarily in light of the uncertainty over Brexit.

“We have to have the capability to put the necessary checks in place,” Mr Keating said, adding that, if a hard Brexit occurs, there is likely to be more demand for freight and cargo to transit via Dublin and Rosslare ports as well.

The newspaper has more here

Published in Port of Cork
Tagged under
Page 3 of 9

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.

FAQs

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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