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Displaying items by tag: EU

#Ports&Shipping - Irish exporters reports RTE, have called for an urgent intensification of no-deal contingency planning by the government and the EU in the face of heightened uncertainty around Brexit.

The Irish Exporters Association (IEA) has warned that the risk of a disorderly exit by Britain from the EU has increased following the delayed vote on the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement and today’s no-confidence vote on Theresa May’s leadership.

According to Simon McKeever, chief executive of the IEA, the potential economic impacts of the UK crashing out of the EU next year will be "immediate, extensive and far-reaching for Irish businesses."

For more on the story click here. 

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Trade - European importers of pleasure craft from the US have already been impacted by new EU tariffs that add an average of €20,000 per boat.

According to Boating Business, dealers across Europe have been placing orders for new boats on hold since the tariffs came into effect in June as part of the response to the Trump administration’s steel and aluminium levies.

Yacht transport companies are also affected by the situation as the majority of their small boat business is from the US to European markets, says logistics specialists Peters & May.

The new rules apply to all pleasure craft in transit since 22 June, regardless of size, with only inflatable boats excepted.

And the increase from 17% to 25% on import costs is having what are perhaps unintended consequences for European brokers.

“The duty is intended to protect our industries, but we sell waterski and wakeboard boats which are not made over here,” says Jason Bates of Nautique Midlands in the UK.

Boating Business has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Trade
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#ports&shipping - Following the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) attendance of last week's LISW17, the Irish government shipping agency will also be attending the Connecting Europe Conference taking place this week in the Estonian capital of Tallinn.

The IMDO will also be exhibiting at the two-day event held at the Nordea Concert Hall between 21-22 September.

The event is being organised by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE), in cooperation with the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and Ministry of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure of the Republic of Estonia.

At the Connecting Europe Facility Conference in Tallinn, a number of key Irish ports and enterprising marine companies in areas of ICT and digitalisation will exhibit together with Ireland’s Marine Development Team and the Irish Maritime Development Office to communicate Ireland’s marine opportunity.

Our delegation is keen to build connections for potential collaborations in future projects, especially in the in the area of research, and to discuss Ireland's strengths in areas such as Digital Ocean, Smart Ports and the development of Ireland's ICT cluster.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Fishing - Marine Minister Simon Coveney today (Wednesday 20 May) welcomed an EU Commission proposal for a comprehensive prohibition on commercial fishing for seabass in the Irish and Celtic Seas which underpins the conservation actions already taken by Ireland with regard to this vulnerable stock.

“Ireland has had stringent measures in place for the protection of seabass, a very important angling species, for a long number of years. However, those measures only applied to Irish vessels," said the minister.

"I have been very active over the past six months, lobbying the EU Commission and relevant member states on this issue. I am delighted that the EU finally recognises the lead taken by Ireland by extending our ban on commercial fishing to all EU vessels operating in the waters around Ireland.”

Minister Coveney added: “The scientific advice for seabass is very worrying and we must all do our utmost to protect this stock.  Ireland has been to the forefront in being the only EU member state to afford maximum protection to this stock and today’s proposal will enhance that protection by making the Irish model obligatory for all EU vessels in the Irish & Celtic Seas.”

Once the measures are approved by the Council of Ministers, all commercial fishing for seabass will be prohibited in the waters around Ireland. Details of the prohibition areas are included HERE.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

#lighthouses – A "brand new experience to take your breath away", that's the promise from Great Lighthouses of Ireland, a new EU INTERREG IVA funded tourism initiative being launched by the Commissioners of Irish Lights.

Featuring twelve lighthouses in stunning coastal locations, Great Lighthouses of Ireland will offer memorable, enriching experiences that inspire the senses, refresh the spirit and fire curiosity, creating a deep appreciation of the role of the sea, lighthouses, past and present, and the maritime and seafaring story of the island of Ireland.
With a range of services from accommodation to visitor centres and guided tours, visitors from home and abroad will have the chance to explore the distinct experiences offered by the lighthouses, each reflecting its own history and heritage, nature and environment, people and place, with aspects to appeal to people of all ages and interests.

The Great Lighthouses of Ireland project is supported by the European Union's INTERREG IVA cross-border Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. The ambitious and imaginative cross-border project will include the preservation and conservation of the island of Ireland's important maritime and lighthouse heritage. Great Lighthouses is built on a sustainable economic model and the re-invention of individual lighthouses as visitor attractions and specialist self-catering accommodation that can contribute to local communities in terms of jobs and specialist tourism.

Irish Lights operate over seventy lighthouses around the coast of Ireland. These lighthouses, including the Great Lighthouses of Ireland, still play a vital role in maritime safety.

Great Lighthouses of Ireland partners include the Irish Landmark Trust, the Royal Society for Protection of Birds, Forbairt Fhanada Teoranta (Fanad Community Group), Clare County Council, Ballycotton Lighthouse Tours, Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, Hook Heritage limited, Valentia Island Development Company, Kerry County Council and Clare Island Lighthouse. Great Lighthouses of Ireland is also supported by Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland.

Great Lighthouses of Ireland
St John's Point, Co Donegal
Fanad Head, Co Donegal
Rathlin West Light, Co Antrim
Blackhead, Co Antrim
St John's Point, Co Down
Wicklow Head, Co Wicklow
Hook, Co Wexford
Ballycotton, Co Cork
Galley Head, Co Cork
Valentia Island, Co Kerry
Loop Head, Co Clare
Clare Island, Co Mayo

#powerfromthesea – Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources Alex White T.D. welcomed the announcement that the SFI Centre for Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) had successfully raised an additional €4.2 million in funding from EU research funds for marine energy activities.

The announcement of the substantial EU funding was made to an audience of more than 130 industry and university representatives involved in a variety of marine energy research projects, attending the MaREI Industry Open Day at the National Maritime College of Ireland in Cork.

"I want to commend MaREI on their success in securing substantial EU support to fund their very important research and development work. It is truly laying the foundations for both the energy system and economic opportunity of the future."

Speaking at the MaREI Industry Open Day, Prof. Mark Ferguson, Director General Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland added, "MaREI is one of twelve SFI Research Centres of excellence and impact in Ireland. Research undertaken at MaREI is positioning Ireland to play a leading role in marine renewable energy research which is an area of significant national strategic importance. In its first year MaREI has delivered on the targets which we have set. I look forward to a successful year ahead for MaREI, in terms of new industry partnerships, leveraging funding and new discoveries that will deliver solutions that can benefit both Irish society and the economy."

Prof. Conchúr Ó Brádaigh, Director of the MaREI Centre said that "Large and small companies alike are engaging with MaREI across a huge variety of business opportunities from marine robotics and new materials to endure ocean conditions, to offshore wind, wave and marine energy and mooring devices as well as aquaculture and grid technology solutions. The additional funding from the EU will serve to further position MaREI at the forefront of marine renewable research and commercialisation of this research globally."

The industry-academia MaREI Centre comprises over 45 industry partners, including global market leaders in energy, marine technology, software and hardware providers. Academic partners include lead partner University College Cork along with Cork Institute of Technology, University of Limerick, NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth, University College Dublin and the Marine Institute.

"MaREI will directly create companies and jobs and serve as a catalyst for Ireland to establish a safe, sustainable and profitable energy supply for domestic use and for export," said Professor Anita Maguire, Vice-President for Research and Innovation at University College Cork.

Minister Alex White also toured the €15 million UCC Beaufort building, performing the customary "topping out" ceremony, which marks the final phase of building works. Beaufort will house the MaREI centre on its completion in July 2015.

The MaREI Centre initially received government support of €19 million through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and a further €10.5 million investment from industry partners. The Centre supports job creation in the in marine renewables sector, while also making Ireland an international focus for the marine energy industry. Almost 90 jobs in the field of marine energy and maritime projects were recently announced by Minister for Agriculture, Food, Marine and Defence Simon Coveney, T.D. for the Cork Harbour region, and MaREI is heavily involved in supporting these companies and the related jobs.

Published in Power From the Sea

A celebration of European maritime communities is to be held tomorrow Tuesday (May 21st) but who here has heard of it?

We are a small island in the North Atlantic but thanks to our sea territory we're also one of the biggest countries in Europe so you would imagine some maritime folk at least would be interested in celebrating this EU backed promotion of something so crucial to our island life.

Ireland is the third biggest country in the European Union by virtue of our claimed seabed territory of 220 million acres.

Unfortunately a quick check of the google Ireland index confirms the international date does not figure high on any Irish government website.

Five different Government Departments deal with aspects of Ireland's maritime sphere.

We emailed the Department of the Marine about the celebrations but we got no response.

This is surprising given our current EU role and the recently adopted European Atlantic Action Plan designed to complement the Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland "Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth" launched by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, T.D., in July 2012.

The aim of European Maritime Day is to provide an occasion to highlight the crucial role that oceans and seas play in the everyday life not only of coastal communities, but of all EU citizens, and for Europe's sustainable growth and jobs at large, and to encourage better stewardship of coastal zones, seas and oceans by all citizens and actors concerned.

Of course our own very active coastal communities have put their future in good hands for some time now. Their own. But there is only so much isolated little harbour towns can do on their own.

A marine alliance of these communities and fishing and boating sectors could forge a national voice for a maritime nation. Who knows Ireland might even get to celebrate this important European date?

This year, the sixth edition of the European Maritime Day will be held on another European island, in Malta in the city of Valletta.

It is organised by the European Commission (DG for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries) in partnership with the Maltese Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Business, and the Maltese Ministry for Tourism. The seas and oceans, and the opportunities they offer, will be at the heart of discussions. There will be high-level political debates as well as more practical exchanges between maritime stakeholders. Thoughts, ideas and new concepts will be devised during the Conference. Lets hope the third biggest sea territory in Europe gets a mention.

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Published in Water Rat

#CFP - The deal reached between EU fisheries ministers this morning on reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) should bring an end to the practice of fish discards within the next six years, according to Ireland's Marine Minister.

As reported earlier today on Afloat.ie, Minister Simon Coveney emerged from 36 hours of talks in Brussels confident that a far-reaching reform on fisheries policy had been reached.

RTÉ News reports that the compromise deal will see a 93% ban on discards take immediate effect, phasing towards a full ban by 2019, with special allowances made in certain cases where sustainability of fish stocks allows.

Minister Coveney, as president of the EU Council of Fisheries Ministers during Ireland's EU presidency, will submit the agreed reforms to the European Parliament - which has previously been steadfast in its demands for a complete ban on fish discards to halt the depletion of fish stocks in European waters.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, this week's discussions on fisheries reform in Brussels have been described as a "once-in-a-decade opportunity" to end the wasteful practice of fish discards, which has seen as much as 50% of the catch in the North Sea is thrown back overboard dead.

Published in Fishing

#CruiseConference- At the Cruise Europe conference held in Le Havre yesterday, plans for the new sulphur emissions regulations due to come into force in 2015 were among the issues discussed at the event.

Captain Michael McCarthy, chair of Cruise Europe and commercial manager at the Port of Cork addressed the potential for fuel shortages when emission control areas (ECAs) come into force in 2015. Citing likely competition between marine and land-based users, he said: "There is a huge shortfall in oil refining in Europe. The European Union may have no choice but to offer derogation by 2015."

McCarthy addressed changes brought about by globalisation of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), commenting: "Cruise Europe is happy to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with CLIA Europe to continue to promote consistency of product quality in Europe." For more on this story CruiseandFerry.net reports

 

Published in Cruise Liners

#Coastguard - Dublin MEP Gay Mitchell has called for the formation of a Europe-wide coastguard to tackle the scourge of drug smuggling, as Herald.ie reports.

The Fine Gael MEP said that cocaine in particular "is still entering the EU from South America" through the larger commercial ports in Belgium and the Netherlands.

He also claimed that Ireland "is losing €526m per year in revenue" due to tobacco smuggling.

His comments come as Justice Minister Alan Shatter outlined Ireland's determination to address the potential for collaboration by enhancing maritime safety, security and surveillance in the EU during the State's EU presidency.

These moves come a year after the director of the Irish Coast Guard said greater co-operation between Europe's coastguard organisations is inevitable.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, IRCG chief Chris Reynolds told the audience at the Search and Rescue 2012 in Dublin that Europe's governments needed to develop a "sense of urgency" on the issue to deal with disasters such as the Costa Concordia tragedy.

Published in Coastguard
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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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