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Displaying items by tag: Brexit

#Brexit - Concern is spreading across Ireland’s fishing industry over the impact of Brexit on Irish fishing grounds and markets, as The Irish Times reports.

The potential impact of fishing vessels from elsewhere in the EU that might be expelled from British waters would put significant pressure on Ireland’s marine resource, the industry fears.

But there are also worries over the status of a post-Brexit Britain as a key market for Irish seafood, not to mention the concentration of quotas for certain species in specific regions – such as mackerel in the North West.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
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#DoverRecord Record freight for Belfast Harbour user Stena Line on routes to Scotland and England for the year 2016 has also been achieved by other ferry operators based in the Port of Dover, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Dover, Europe’s busiest ferry port (served by operators, P&O and DFDS), experienced another healthy year in traffic volumes. The port is served by a total of 11 ferries on two short-sea routes linking to France at Calais and Dunkerque, which combined handled 2.6 million freight vehicles in 2016. Freight volumes in just the last four years have increased by 32%.

Commenting on the Port of Dover figures, Tim Waggott, Chief Executive of the Port said, "As we continue to handle more UK trade, the Port welcomes the prime minister's statement on the Government’s headline negotiating position for Brexit. Greater certainty of the broad parameters is a positive step forward"

He added: "Any changes brought forward to the country's trading relationship need to be mindful of the UK's absolute need to maintain the rapid transit of goods and passengers through Dover and our sister ports on the European mainland.

"The Port and the CBI remain clear that a barrier-free relationship with the EU - our largest, closest and most important trading partner - must be a critical outcome of the negotiations to ensure we make a success of Brexit."

On the vitally important trading shipping lanes of the Strait of Dover, was this morning the asphalt/bitumen tanker Iver Ability. As previously reported on Afloat, the long-stay Dublin Bay anchorage caller since last summer had on Saturday finally departed.

The tanker experienced a ‘reaction’ during transport of bitumen in Dublin Port in August and is currently heading further into the North Sea. The 2006 built vessel is bound for the Dutch port of Delfzijl.

Published in Ferry

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland had a lot more than maritime matters on his mind this past week…. So he probably wasn’t giving a lot of thought to Lough Foyle as the Northern Assembly collapsed.

Neither, I suggest, was the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, when she announced how the UK will perform its Brexit from the EU.

I don’t think our Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, was either and probably not our Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan.

But, they should give Lough Foyle a lot of thought…

James Brokenshire claims that the whole of Lough Foyle is within the UK…. And as Secretary for Northern Ireland that’s an important claim…..

The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs says that Ireland does not accept that claim.

The Northern Ireland Office, under UK administrative control, cites a 1662 Charter of Charles the Second which included “the waters and bed, as well as the fisheries” of the Lough as part of County Londonderry….

Derry, of course, if you see it with Irish Nationalistic eyes…..

Lough Foyle is the estuary of the River Foyle separating Northern Ireland from the Republic, but the British claim to the entire Lough could take its rights up to the shores of the Republic and what will that do for such as the fisheries, for example, when the UK intends to take control of those back from the EU during its Brexit….

The Good Friday Agreement created the Loughs Agency as a cross-Border body for the Foyle.. so where does it stand in the context of Brexit?

Just though I’d mention it in the context, of course, of the past week…

Published in Island Nation
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#Brexit - Brexit has revived a dormant territorial dispute between Britain and the Republic of Ireland over the ownership of Lough Foyle, as the Belfast Telegraph reports.

Leinster House has rejected a claim by Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire that the UK includes the whole of the estuary between Counties Donegal and Derry, which has been under the auspices of the cross-border Loughs Agency since the Good Friday Agreement.

Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough, between Counties Louth and Down, are both matters of dispute between Dublin and London which have only intensified with the uncertainly over fishing rights as the UK prepares to leave the EU and the Common Fisheries Policy.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
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#ExportersBrexit - Bad news for Irish exporters into the UK as these imports will decline as foreign products become more expensive thanks to the weakening of sterling, ratings agency Fitch has warned.

The Irish Independent writes that a weaker sterling harms the competitiveness of Irish exporters because it cuts margins and makes it more expensive for them to do business in the UK. But it benefits UK domestic businesses.

The pound has weakened considerably since late last year. At the end of November, €1 bought 69 pence. At the close of polls on Thursday, that had weakened to 76 pence, but when the Brexit vote became apparent, it weakened further and is now hovering around the 83 pence mark.

Fitch said the fall in sterling will boost UK exports, but have a negative impact on imports.

"Imports look likely to decline as investment contracts and foreign products become more expensive, resulting in expenditure switching to domestically produced goods and services and higher inflation," the ratings agency has said.

The Irish Exporters Association and other business representative groups has already warned about the impact of currency fluctuations on Irish business.
Simon McKeever, the IEA chief executive, warned further weakening is likely.

And the organisation has called on firms to hedge against this and to talk to the banks.

For much more on this story click here.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#IrishUKTrade - Enterprise Ireland are to seek its clients to be less reliant on the UK markets. The Irish Times writes the reduction will cut the proportion of their exports that go to Britain by about seven percentage points over the next five years, following the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

The agency responsible for helping Irish companies export to international markets, saw exports to the UK increase last year by 12 per cent to €7.5 billion.

The UK remains the Republic’s largest export market, though exports there as a proportion of Enterprise Ireland’s total client exports has declined from 45 per cent in 2005 to 37 per cent in 2015.

Enterprise Ireland UK and northern Europe director Marina Donohoe said on Monday “it would certainly be the intention” to reduce the figure further over the next number of years to mitigate the fallout from the referendum result.

For more on this story, click here.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Brexit - Britain's exit from the EU could create an opportunity for north Atlantic coastal countries to form their own economic group, according to a leading Irish fishing industry figure.

Speaking to The Irish Times, Irish Fish Producers Organisation (IFPO) CEO Francis O’Donnell said there was sympathy within the industry for Brexit due to the impact of Common Fisheries Policy quotas on their livelihoods.

New markets in South America, Asia and the Middle East could also replace any loss of access to the crucial EU common market, O'Donnell suggested, if Ireland were to "become a global player" and band together with the UK, Iceland and Norway.

Such sentiment within Ireland's fishing communities runs against the current of the majority of Ireland's farming sector, with the IFA urging Irish in the UK to vote to remain in the EU.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under
Page 9 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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