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Displaying items by tag: Holyhead

A Welsh MP has claimed the granting of a freeport status to the (ferry)port of Holyhead could “transform” the fortunes of the town and Anglesey as a whole.

The Government, writes NorthWalesLive, has already promised to create up to 10 freeports across the UK after Brexit.

Being included in such a free port zone would mean that they would be considered to be outside of the UK for customs purposes — meaning companies could import and export goods without paying the usual tariffs.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is widely reported to be planning to open bidding for towns, cities and regions to become freeports in his autumn budget.

Such reports suggest the ports would be “fully operational” within 18 months of the UK leaving the customs union and single market at the end of this year.

Virginia Crosbie, in a pre-election pledge, promised to campaign for Holyhead to be given such status which she said would “put Holyhead on the international map” as well as “unleash hundreds of new, good quality jobs” and boost tourism.

For more on the north Wales ferryport (incl. the cruise sector) click here. 

Published in Ferry

Additional financial support is needed to keep the Port of Holyhead’s ferry operators going during the Coronavirus pandemic, it has been claimed.

While some freight services continue between Wales and Ireland, the slashing of passenger services has led to calls for UK Government cash to bridge the gap between a drop in income and running costs of maintaining such an important strategic international transport and freight route between Dublin and Holyhead.

As a result, the leader of Anglesey Council has written to transport secretary Grant Shapps and Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart to highlight her concerns on how it could affect the 400 workers based at the port.

Cllr Llinos Medi described the impact of coronavirus on the day-to-day operations of both Holyhead Port’s ferry operators – Stena Line and Irish Ferries – as “severe” with both having already curtailed services but remaining committed to maintaining transport of critical freight.

For much more click NorthWalesLive here

Published in Ferry

Wales’ largest indoor watersport event takes place at the Anglesey Showground in Holyhead on 29-30 May next year.

The All Wales Boat & Leisure Show will feature the finest of personal watercraft and active watersport in a region that hosts some of the world’s best coastal waters and coastline, lakes, white water rivers and gorges.

The show connects together industry leaders in boat and leisure products and services across Wales, with not only watersport and boating enthusiasts but all those that have a passion for the great outdoors.

Discover a huge range of exhibitors, show events and activities where you can have a go, too — it’s a must-visit for boat owners, watersport lovers or families looking for a great day out.

Tickets are £10 for adults, £5 for children (under 4s free) and £20 for families, and also give access to the Anglesey Food Festival, Bangor Science Festival and Festival of Discovery.

Published in Watersport

#ferries - The Port of Holyhead has shown “no sense of emergency” about Brexit, while Dublin Port bemoaned the huge expense preparing for a no-deal exit that might not happen, the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly heard.

As The Irish Times writes at the biannual gathering of Irish and UK parliamentarians heard details of a report from one of its committees on a visit to the two Irish Sea ports by a delegation from the assembly to assess preparations for Brexit.

The committee painted a contrasting picture on preparations being taken in Dublin and Holyhead.

Darren Millar, a Conservative member of the Welsh national assembly, said that Dublin Port officials expressed concern about the number of customs officials that still needed to be hired to deal with a potential no-deal Brexit.

“Our biggest concern was that there was huge effort and huge expense going into these things and they may not be required,” he said on Tuesday, the second day of the assembly at Druids Glen in Co Wicklow.

Further reading on this story can be read through this link. 

Published in Ferry
Tagged under

#ferries - BBC News writes that action is needed to repair damaged Victorian sea defences protecting a Welsh port, experts have warned.

Anglesey council has been told the 1.7 mile (2.4km) breakwater at Holyhead - the longest in Britain - is suffering from erosion to its rubble mound base.

Ferry company Stena Line which owns the structure estimated in 2013 that it was costing £150,000 a year in maintenance.

Consultations and a public meeting are being held to support the case for Welsh Government funding for repairs.

The Grade II-listed structure was opened in 1873 after 28 years of construction involving more than 1,300 workers.

Anglesey council said the rubble mound on which the wall stands has gradually been eroded by the constant wave action and could be breached within 15 years.

For more on this story click here. 

Published in Ferry

#VDLR - Trearddur Bay Sailing Club brings its centenary year celebrations to Dublin Bay this summer as a number of its Myth class and Seabird Half Raters will be making the trip across the Irish Sea for the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta.

Myths are one of the original classes raced since the Holyhead club’s inception in 1919, with three of the 14-footers joining a fleet of five 12-foot Insects — three of the latter, the first boats built for the club, having been restored for the centenary.

While no original Myths remain from those days, the open boat class has seen a resurgence in recent years, and a modern Myth fleet at Trearddur Bay has grown to over 40 vessels.

Designed along the lines of the International 14 but inspired by what the club calls “a hotch-potch of ideas”, Myths are distinguished as much by their tight specification as their turkey red sails and either white-painted or varnished hulls that comprise five different types of wood.

With the Myth class now in its 99th year, its lasting legacy is no doubt also connected to the boat’s particular suitability to the environment of Trearddur Bay — not to mention the absence of an age barrier when it comes to racing, as young and old can compete on equal terms.

They are matched by the Seabird Half Rater — which was adopted in 1922 and is one of the oldest one-designs still sailing in British waters — at a club which currently has a strong dinghy scene with Mirrors, Fevas and Optimists among a full member list of more than 1,100 that sails every August.

Due to the uniquely short season, Trearddur Bay’s members regularly sail and race at other clubs, so some of the contingent will likely be no strangers to the waters of Dublin Bay as they join the likes of Olympic medalist Mike McIntyre at the biennial regatta — and Ireland’s largest sailing event — from 11-14 July.

The entry form for the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2019 is available HERE. Early bird entry fees are available up to Sunday 31 March.

Published in Volvo Regatta

#ports - Plans for vehicle go-slows orchestrated by a north Wales man in protest at the UK Government's handling of Brexit are now expected to take place across the country.

As NorthWalesLive reports, The Brexit Protest and Direct Action Group, which is led by Deeside man Ian Charlesworth, has organised a go-slow protest on the A494 on Friday , March 22.

A second protest at Holyhead Port is also back on the agenda for this Saturday, March 23.

The intention is to cause disruption to Irish wagons heading toward Holyhead Port along the A55 - a main trading route with the EU, which the UK is set to leave on March 29.

For more including the political landscape click here. 

Published in Ports & Shipping

#ferries - There have been calls for the UK Prime Minister to remove the threat of a no-deal Brexit have been repeated by the Counsel General and Brexit Minister Jeremy Miles, following a visit to Holyhead Port.

As ITV News reports, he met with the Port's manager, Captain Wyn Parry, who set out some of his concerns about operations in Holyhead if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal.

Welsh ports are the gateway between Ireland and the rest of Europe, with 80% of goods carried in Irish-registered HGVs between the Republic of Ireland and Europe passing through Welsh ports.

Holyhead is the second busiest roll-on roll-off ferry port in the UK - providing the link in the supply chain for businesses across Wales, the UK and Ireland.

To read a comment by the Brexit Minister, click here. 

Published in Ferry

#ferries - Parking sites in Anglesey, north Wales, could be turned into places for lorries to use in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The contingency plan, led by the Welsh Government, reports BBC News, has been drawn up in case Holyhead port is unable to handle traffic after the UK leaves the EU (see story: Dover truck test on trade exercise held earlier this week).

It comes as MPs are expected to reject Theresa May's Brexit deal.

The two sites on Anglesey are at the Roadking truck stop, near Holyhead, and land adjacent to the Mona airfield in the centre of the island.

The plan has been drawn up amid concerns that additional border checks in the event of a no-deal Brexit on 29 March could lead to traffic problems at Welsh ports connected to the Republic of Ireland.

In order to avoid disruption in that scenario, the UK government has said that it would minimise checks or simply waive through trucks from EU countries, such as Ireland.

However, the EU has said it would impose full controls on people and goods entering the EU from Wales and the UK.

For much more on the ferryport story (click here) including reaction from truck-drivers and politicians. 

 

 

Published in Ferry

#Lifeboats - Holyhead’s all-weather lifeboat launched yesterday morning (Saturday 29 September) to the rescue of an Irish fishing boat adrift in the Irish Sea with mechanical failure.

Pagers sounded for the Holyhead RNLI crew just after 8am following a distress call to HM Coastguard from the 10m potting vessel, which was some 21 miles northwest of Holyhead.

On reaching the stricken boat, the crew on the lifeboat Christopher Pearce set up a tow for the slow return to Holyhead. In all the lifeboat was five hours at sea.

Aafter ensuring all were well, the fishermen set off to return to Ireland on the next ferry, leaving their vessel to be repaired locally.

Holyhead coxswain Tony Price said: “The casualty craft and her crew were well-equipped. It’s always a shame for any craft or persons in difficulty, but it’s particularly sad when a vessel is earning her living from the sea, and we wish our Irish fishermen friends a speedy return to normality after their misfortune.

“I’d also like to send thanks to the local coastguard teams for helping with mooring the craft safely back in Holyhead.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under
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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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