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Displaying items by tag: Brexit

#Brexit - The latest notice from the European Commission to stakeholders on Brexit preparedness concerns the field of aviation and maritime security.

Subject to any transitional arrangement that may be contained in a possible withdrawal agreement, as of the withdrawal date, the EU rules in the field of aviation security and maritime security will no longer apply to the United Kingdom.

In the maritime context, this will have consequences with regard to mandatory security information for passenger ferry services in the EU, from which the UK is exempt as a member state, and security inspections of vessels which the UK will no longer be able to carry out.

To date the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has published five Brexit preparedness notices relevant to maritime transport.

Full details of preparedness advice for maritime security are included in Marine Notice No 37 of 2018, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#BrexitBlockchain - A leading UK port operator, Associated British Ports (ABP) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work with digital logistics enabler Marine Transport International (MTI). This is to create one of Europe’s first detailed pilot programmes to examine the implementation of blockchain technology to improve port connectivity.

ABP operates 21 ports across the UK, Afloat adds among them Hull using Irish-built container cranes. Collectively these ports handling 25% of the country’s seaborne cargo. As such, it connects with a huge number of businesses involved in the logistics industry. Being able to transfer all types of cargo quickly and smoothly through its ports is critical.

“We handle almost 100 million tonnes of cargo across all sectors every year so we are a significant gateway for our customers’ supply chains,” said Jens Skibsted Nielsen, Commercial Director at ABP. “This MOU with MTI is a demonstration of our commitment to technical innovation and finding new ways to improve the UK’s supply chains.”

Ron Crean, Group Head of Marketing for ABP and leader of this project, commented, “Our aim is to support our customers in achieving frictionless trade. Based on the results from our previous proof of concept project, we are now looking at ways to deploy enterprise-level solutions that can deliver trust, security and speed.”

As part of the agreement, ABP will commit to participating in MTI’s blockchain solution in pilot shipments. Currently, each party in a supply chain, from shipper to haulier and from port operator to carrier, uses different systems, which do not all talk to each other efficiently. MTI’s technology could offer a way to securely link these disparate ways of working and could bridge the silos to reduce time spent on manually re-entering data, ensuring a single version of the truth.

“Blockchain is the buzzword of the logistics industry at the moment,” said Jody Cleworth, founder and CEO of MTI. “Yet some of the projects making a big splash are blockchain in name only. Blockchain-enabled technology has the potential to provide a transparent, secure and accurate way of capturing and sharing data with key parties, but for MTI the critical part is interoperability – it has to be able to openly connect with existing systems. The logistics industry is awash with proprietary technology that forces users to work in a certain way – with blockchain, we can connect all those systems to ensure data is accurately and quickly shared, helping speed-up and simplify the flow of trade in and out of the UK.”

Published in Ports & Shipping
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#IrishPorts  - The Irish Examiner writes that exports to EU countries rose 15% over the past year with more than half of Irish goods going to the Continent in July, official figures have shown, as calls grow for Irish ports to be funded post-Brexit.

CSO figures for July showed the continental EU accounted for €5.65bn, or 51%, of exports in July, of which €1.44bn went to Belgium and €725m went to Germany.

Exports to EU countries increased by €749m, or 15%, compared with July 2017, according to the CSO.

Imports from the EU were valued at €4.8bn, or 63%, of total imports in July 2018 — an increase of €1.43m, or 43%, over the same comparative period.

For further facts and figures click the story here. 

Published in Irish Ports

#Brexit - An Irish ports industry body has called on the European Commission to shore up measures against the adverse impact of Brexit on marine passenger and freight transport between Ireland and the continent.

The commission is proposing to realign the TEN-T network’s North Sea Mediterranean Core Network Corridor, which currently links Ireland to France via the UK land bridge.

The EC proposal would amend the corridor to link Dublin Port and the Port of Cork directly with core ports in Belgium and the Netherlands.

While the Irish Ports Association (IPA) says it welcomes this approach, it also believes that “additional measures” are needed “because of the adverse impact of Brexit on Ireland’s peripherality”.

“It is vital for all three of Ireland’s core ports and at least one French port to be included in these new maritime links,” said IPA chair Des Whelan.

“Importantly also, existing routes between Ireland and France are between comprehensive ports in both countries, and it is important that the Commission finds a way to include these strategically important comprehensive ports in the North Sea Mediterranean Core Network Corridor, even if they don’t fit neatly into the TEN-T framework.”

Whelan added: “The challenges facing Ireland and northern France as a result of Brexit are unprecedented, and sea port connections for direct routes between Ireland and France are more important now than ever before.

“It would be also be beneficial for Ireland to be linked directly to the Atlantic Core Corridor. Ireland is one of three member states that have no road or rail links into the internal market and, instead, have to rely on sea transport.”

Whelan said the IPA also calls for the European Commission to “explore new ways of supporting Ireland’s smaller ports in their efforts to help them to adapt to Brexit”.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Fishing - Authorities in France and the UK have stepped into the ‘scallop wars’ that broke out between rival fishing fleets in the English Channel near Le Havre last week.

As the Guardian reports, some 35 French boats chased away five British vessels off the Normandy coast in a standoff over restrictions on the region’s scallop fishery.

Between March and October, French boats are barred from fishing for scallops in the 40 miles of international waters off Normandy called the Baie de Seine.

Smaller British boats dredging for scallops in the same waters are under no such prohibition, which has raised the ire of their French counterparts who claim their stocks are being poached.

The French navy has already pledged to intervene in the event of any further clashes — prompting Downing Street to push for further talks between the two sides.

The Guardian has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

#Brexit - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport (DTTAS) sets out the European Commission’s recommended actions for Brexit preparedness for all stakeholders that may be affected by the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union next year.

Examples of necessary legislative changes at an EU level are indicated in the communication attached to Marine Notice No 34 of 2018. Some of these relate to the maritime sector.

The DTTAS also draws attention to other technical notices published by the European Commission, which set out the legal and practical implications of a no-deal Brexit. The department has published four of these notices relevant to maritime transport:

  • Notice to Stakeholders in the Field of Industrial Products
  • Notice to Stakeholders on Seafarers Certificates
  • Notice to Stakeholders in the Field of Maritime Transport
  • Notice to Stakeholders – EU Ship Recycling Regulation

The relevant notices were attached to Marine Notice No 7 of 2018 and Marine Notice No 23 of 2018.

Full details of all previous stakeholder notices are available from the European Commission website.

Published in News Update
Tagged under

#IrishPorts - The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said Ireland will have to hire around 1,000 new customs and veterinary inspectors to prepare the nation's ports and airports for Brexit.

As the Journal.ie reports, Varadkar said that “with growing uncertainty” about whether the UK government will pass a withdrawal agreement through Westminster, Ireland will need to “change the gear and up our preparations when it comes to Brexit”.

He was speaking after a Cabinet meeting at Derrynane in Co Kerry.

Varadkar said that this plan includes making preparations to our ports and airports, including Dublin Airport, Dublin Port and Shannon, for a change to the rules of trade between Ireland and Britain in January 2021.

“That involves preparing for and hiring veterinary inspectors to carry out sanitary checks on agricultural products and plant-based products coming in from Britain and also customs inspectors,” Varadkar said.

“We estimate that the number of people we will have to hire over the course of the next year is about 1,000 people. That’s customs and veterinary inspectors to prepare our ports and airports for Brexit.”

To read more including a list of Government measures that the cabinet has signed off, click here.

Published in Irish Ports

#Oysters - Unauthorised oysters farms have exploded in number on Lough Foyle amid a continued dispute over its ownership, as the Belfast Telegraph reports.

The estuary between the counties of Donegal and Derry remains a point of contention as Brexit looms, with both the UK and Irish governments claiming dominion over its waters.

As a result, there has been a proliferation of unregulated oyster farming that could be worth £20 million or €22.89 million each year, according to the Loughs Agency.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on this story HERE.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

#IrishPorts - There are growing calls writes the Irish Examiner for additional funding to be given to ports to improve connectivity to continental Europe following Brexit.

Speaking at a joint Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) and Rosslare Europort conference in Wexford, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan said that Brexit will happen and that its final model was the only question that remained.

He called for a doubling of capacity at Rosslare, and for all ports to examine capacity, adding the forthcoming EU regional policies from 2021 to 2027 represented an opportunity for funding for which the Republic must be ready.

President of the IRHA, Verona Murphy said that because the Europort in Rosslare represents the shortest sea route for goods and passengers to continental Europe, it was ideally positioned to expand and grow in a post-Brexit scenario.

For further reading click here.

Published in Irish Ports

#IrishPorts - A leading EU official overseeing a key element of the CEF ‘Motorways of the Sea’ project has confirmed that Ireland will have increased funding opportunities under the programme after plans for it were rewritten to take into account of Brexit implications here.

Speaking at a seminar writes the Limerick Post on ‘Understanding the Opportunities from the EU’, hosted by Shannon Foynes Port Company in Limerick on Friday, European Coordinator for Motorways of the Sea Brian Simpson also told Irish ports and maritime officials “you’re pushing an open door with me”.

The “Motorways of the Sea” concept, which has significant funding available, aims to introduce new inter-modal maritime-based logistics chains in Europe, which should improve our transport organisation within the years to come.

And in another vote of support for Ireland, a second leading EU official, European Coordinator for the powerful TEN-T North Sea-Mediterranean Corridor and former Commissioner for Regional Policy Professor Peter Balazs, told the seminar that Ireland is a special case and solutions need to be found.

For further reading on the conference, click here.

Published in Irish Ports
Page 6 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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