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ICRA has published the agenda and registration details for its 2021 Conference and AGM taking place over Zoom on Saturday 6 March.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, RTÉ and Met Éireann’s Evelyn Cusack will head an exciting and interesting line-up of guest speakers and presentations.

ICRA Commodore Richard Colwell will kick off proceedings at 10.30 am with the welcome and Commodore’s update.

This will be followed at 10.40 am by Evelyn Cusack’s half-hour presentation on forecasting the weather. And at 11.10 am, esteemed yacht designer Mark Mills will give a brief talk on his line of work.

After a short 10-minute break, the conference resumes at 11.40 with an events update from Harry Hermon of Irish Sailing, and briefings on the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race by Adam Winkelmann, Sovereigns Cup by Anthony O’Neil, Dun Laoghaire Regatta by Con Murphy, ICRA Nationals by Ric Morris and ISORA from Peter Ryan.

Updates from the organisers of key Irish regattas, including VDLR above, will be given at March's ICRA online ConferenceUpdates from the organisers of key Irish regattas, including VDLR above, will be given at March's ICRA online Conference Photo: Afloat

At 12.05 pm, Dave Cullen will host an events and racing Q&A session, followed at 12.20 pm by the formal opening of the AGM by Richard Colwell.

ICRA Treasurer John Leech will give a financial update, which will be followed by an update on activities and objectives.

Under 25 programme update

Brian Raftery will brief on the U25 programme, Denis Byrne will talk the Central Results database, Ric Morris will present on updates and enhancements to rules, and Richard Colwell will give an update on plans for the 2022 Nationals.

From 12.50 pm will be the notification of existing members stepping down from the ICRA executive committee, and the election of new members, followed by the formal closing at 1 pm.

Click HERE for registration details, and find more related documents on the ICRA website.

Published in ICRA
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A conference seminar: 'Seafarer Wellness: Are the signals being read? is to be held on Thursday, 26 March (0900-17.00) at the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI), Ringaskiddy, Cork Harbour.

Organisers of the conference is the Ireland Branch Of The Nautical Institute (website) and the Irish Institute of Master Mariners (IIMM) in association with the Department of Maritime Studies at NMCI.

For a list of the seminar speakers list click this link

The conference will be an opportunity to meet colleagues, exchange views and inform Maritime Policy.

To register attendence and book tickets at €20 (incl refreshments and light lunch) click here and for a map of venue location.

For further information contact Deirdre at [email protected] 

Published in Ports & Shipping

The global climate crisis and how it relates to biodiversity and ocean protection is a big topic for discussion at a two-day conference in Trinity College Dublin which starts tomorrow (Monday 2 September).

The ‘Bigger and Better’ Marine Protected Area Conference is co-hosted by Coastwatch Ireland and the Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT), who highlight that Ireland has protected only a fraction of its waters as pledged by 2020.

It will bring together Government officials with international speakers and experts to explore the reasons for Ireland’s “poor performance” when it comes to protecting our seas.

“Ireland is a laggard in providing the protections required to restore our ocean’s health,” said IWT campaign officer Pádraic Fogarty.

“MPAs [Marine Protected Areas] are now widely applied across the world as a tool in protecting biodiversity and ocean ecosystems.

“As an island nation we really should be at the forefront of this effort – not at the back of the class.”

Tickets for the conference are available from Eventbrite.

Published in Marine Wildlife

The Loughs Agency is teaming up with the Foyle Association of Salmon and Trout Anglers (FASTA) to host an evening salmon conference in Omagh, Co Tyrone next month.

Our Foyle Salmon – The Upstream Battle at the Mellon Country Inn from 7pm on Wednesday 25 September will hear from speakers on a range of issues including the status of salmon in the River Foyle, current research, threats and steps that can be taken to sustain and protect the species.

This is a fully ticketed event; tickets are free and available through Eventbrite with a maximum of two tickets per transaction.

When registering for tickets you can also submit a question to the panel for the Q&A session at the conference.

Published in Angling

#MarineScience - Following on from the successful conferences in Keele (2014) and Stirling (2016), the Marine Institute in Galway will host the third meeting of the European Association Of Fish Pathologists (EAFP) on 11-12 September 2018.

‘Connecting academia with industry for improved aquatic animal health’ is the theme of next year’s meeting, which will focus on the latest scientific advances and how this can be applied to the crustacean, molluscan and finfish aquaculture industries to improve the health of such marine wildlife.

The meeting will open with a keynote lecture followed by specific sessions on topics relevant to the UK and Ireland. Early stage researchers (post-graduate students, PhDs) will also get the opportunity to present their work in a dedicated session.

Registration for this event will open in early 2018. More announcements will follow on the EAFP website. For queries contact Dr Neil Ruane at [email protected].

Published in Marine Science

#Shellfish - Galway will host the 11th International Conference on Molluscan Shellfish Safety (ICMSS 2017) this summer from Sunday 14 to Thursday 18 May.

ICMSS 2017 will be hosted by the Marine Institute in association with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, Irish Shellfish Association, National University of Ireland and Bord Iascaigh Mhara in the Bailey Allen Hall at NUI Galway.

This 11th conference in the biannual forum series, subtitled ‘Protecting consumers, assuring supply, growing confidence’, offers an important multidisciplinary interface between regulatory, scientific and industrial representatives of the international molluscan food safety community. Unusual, emerging and novel shellfish risk factors will be discussed, offering new information and solutions.

ICMSS 2017 will include keynote presentations from acclaimed international experts in the area. A series of workshops will be held in conjunction with the event on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 May which will be of particular interest to shellfish safety professionals and students, including microbiologists, toxin chemists, toxicologists, marine scientists, regulators, policy makers, food safety specialists, environmental health officials, engineers, environmental managers, academics and undergraduate and postgraduate students.

More information can be found on the ICMSS 2017 website. The programme is available to as a PDF to read or download HERE.

Published in Marine Science

#BlueGrowth - Galway's Marine Institute will host the third Irish national event of the support team for the Atlantic Action Plan on Thursday 24 November.

Under the theme of ‘Linking the Atlantic Strategy and Current Funding Opportunities’, this event is aimed at anyone with an interest in developing projects related to the marine and maritime sectors in line with the Atlantic Action Plan. The official event website has more details.

Also on 24 November, Galway’s Glenlo Abbey Hotel is the venue for the seventh Marine Economics and Policy Research Symposium, hosted by the Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU) of NUI Galway’s Whitaker Institute.

This free event will provide participants with an update on a wide range of policy topics related to the marine sector in Ireland, with a particular focus this year on the valuation of marine ecosystem services benefits to society.

Speakers will include Prof Nick Hanley of the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland (MASTS); Dr Ronan Lyons of Trinity College Dublin; and Dr Kathrine Skoland of International Research Institute of Stavanger, Norway.

More information on the day will be circulated in the coming weeks, and early registration is available HERE.

Published in Marine Science

#OurOceanWealth - Registration is now open for the 2016 Our Ocean Wealth Conference at NUI Galway on Friday 1 July.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, this year's conference will again take place alongside SeaFest, Ireland's national maritime festival, hosted this year in Galway Harbour from 2-3 July.

The full conference agenda is yet to be announced but items of focus will include:

  • Progress on the implementation of Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth - Ireland's Integrated Marine Plan
  • Into the Blue: Economy and Growth
  • Map, Observe, Predict: Innovating Across the Atlantic
  • Our New Relationship With the Sea

For more information or to register for the conference visit www.ouroceanwealth.ie.

Published in News Update

#AtlanticStrategy - Croke Park will host the third Atlantic Stakeholder Platform Conference on promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in the Atlantic Area on 27 September.

The annual Atlantic Stakeholder Conference is the central hub for stakeholders of the Atlantic Strategy to make valuable contacts and explore areas for co-operation, share information and good practices, promote and identify interesting project ideas as well as funding opportunities and partnerships for their projects.

The annual conference also offers a transnational publicity opportunity to deliver key messages under the Atlantic Action Plan (AAP) and increase awareness of its achievements.

This third Atlantic Stakeholder Platform conference will focus on topics related to Priority 1 of the AAP – Promote entrepreneurship and innovation – emphasising project development so as to promote activities linked with the Atlantic Best Practices and the Atlantic Project Awards, which will be presentedat the conference and for which the closing date for applications is 15 July.

In addition, the conference wishes to give prominence to the international dimension of the Atlantic Strategy embodied in the Galway Statement and its potential support to the blue economy. The agreement recognises that Atlantic research will in many areas be more effective if co-ordinated on a transatlantic basis.

The call for workshops is now open and free registration for participants is available online HERE.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#ESPO2016 - The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) is inviting its members, policy makers and stakeholders to join in the 13th edition of its annual conference, which will be hosted by the Dublin Port Company at The Printworks in Dublin Castle on 2-3 June 2016.

The 2016 ESPO Conference, moderated by broadcaster Claire Byrne, will look into ways to improve the efficiency of maritime transport and ports from different angles.

The first session will focus on the different barriers to the internal market for maritime transport. As maritime policy is at the top of the 2017 European Commission agenda, the ESPO conference aims at preparing the ground for this important year for the maritime and port sector and at feeding further discussions.

Is there a digital agenda for ports? Is there a role for policy? How can ports utilise 'big data' to their benefit? Are we ready to open up the flow of data? How to protect ports against risks of cybercrime? All these questions will be tackled in the second session.

The third session will address the issue of 'game changers' and possible 'game stoppers' when it comes to easing trade. The conference will investigate how TTIP, the trade agreement under negotiation with the US, could possibly benefit ports, on both sides of the Atlantic.

The conference will further zoom into the Chinese 'One Belt, One Road' policy and assess how it might affect European port-hinterland dynamics, as well as the possible impact of a 'Brexit' for UK and neighbouring ports, and how temporary border controls are impacting the European transport and logistics chain.

As usual the conference will close with a policy debate where high-level EU policy makers will present their views on the issues discussed during the conference and enter into a final debate with port authorities.

DG MOVE’s director general Henrik Hololei; Mark Frequin, representing the Dutch Presidency of the Council of Europe; and Pat Cox, former president of the European Parliament and TEN-T coordinator for the Scan-Med Corridor are getting prepared for this session. MEP Knut Fleckenstein will address the conference at the end of day one.

On 3 June, American top economist and influential thinker Jeremy Rifkin will give a keynote address on the theme of 'a Third Industrial Revolution and a Zero Marginal Cost Society'.

The first day's conference sessions will be followed by the Admiral’s Ball, a gala black tie evening celebrating the Lord Mayor of Dublin’s honorary Admiralty of Dublin Port.

The event also launches the Dublin Port Riverfest with a sophisticated evening of fine dining and premium entertainment promised for a guest list of Dublin’s premier business hub and international conference delegates.

Full details of the conference schedule can be found at the ESPO website HERE.

Published in Dublin Port
Tagged under
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Irish Fishing industry 

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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