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Displaying items by tag: Public Consultation

#FerryNews - Thousands of Manx residents have already responded to a consultation on the future of the Island's sea services.

Manx Radio reports that the Department of Infrastructure is seeking the views of the public as it prepares to update its User Agreement with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.

Less than a week into the consultation, the Department revealed it has received over 2,500 responses to its survey.

Questions are posed including where ferries should sail in the future, what sort of craft should be invested in, and whether ticket prices are fair.

The full details of the consultation and how to respond can be found on the Government's website - submissions can be made until 7 October.

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - Residents on the Isle of Man are being asked for their opinions on the future of Manx ferry services.

The Department of Infrastructure according to Manx Radio, will hold a two-week consultation as it prepares to develop a new Sea Services Agreement.

Tynwald, the island's parliament has called for a new user agreement to be put in place between the DoI and the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company following the Government's purchase of the ferry operator earlier this year.

Feedback is being sought from individual passengers, freight customers and the tourism sector.

A survey will launch on the Government's website on Monday (today 24 Sept), and will remain open for two weeks.

Published in Ferry

#Ports&Shipping - A public consultation process launched by Drogheda Port Company wants to hear from the local community before drafting a Master Plan that will secure the future of the Co. Louth port for decades to come.

The master planning process will consider numerous factors, including the Project 2040 national policy context, to ensure that the port is equipped to meet the needs of Drogheda and the wider north-east region well into the future.

“Drogheda Port is a key economic driver for the north-east region, facilitating job creation, international trade and investment” begins Joe Hiney Chairman of Drogheda Port Company.

“But we must ensure that a strategic and sustainable plan is put in place so that Drogheda Port maximises its potential and continues to meet the needs of port users, the local community and the wider Northeast region into the future.”

Drogheda Port Company are undertaking a master planning process. This process will ensure that strategic, economic, community and environmental factors are all considered and carefully factored into the long-term plan for the Port. Once completed, the Master Plan will chart a course for Drogheda Port from 2020-2050, helping to ensure that port meets the needs of the region.

The port company have engaged a top consultancy in Brady Shipman Martin to work with them on the Master Plan. The company are a specialist planning, landscape and environmental consultancy. They have worked on many high-profile projects including the Wild Atlantic Way, Cork City Harbour and Dublin’s Grand Canal Docks.

“We are eager to hear from the Drogheda and wider north-east community and we are encouraging the public to submit their feedback on 8 key themes in our Issues Paper including employment growth, transport links, facilities development, tourism and corporate responsibility” says DPC Chief Executive Paul Fleming.

In addition to the public consultation, DPC will also engage directly with elected representatives, local government, customers and other stakeholders to get their input on these important issues.

Paul Fleming continued “This period of public consultation is critically important to the master planning process. The opinions and ideas of local people and stakeholders will help devise a plan that is well-rounded and will serve Drogheda and the north-east region well, now and for decades to come.”

Joe Hiney concludes “Our ultimate aim is to ensure that Drogheda Port continues to evolve and develop services that will facilitate job creation and economic growth. With the help of the public and stakeholders, we will develop a master plan that will deliver on those aims.”

A copy of the Issues Paper is available from Drogheda Public Library in Stockwell Street or the Port Company HQ at Harbourville. The closing date for submission is 30th April.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Ports&Shipping- A submission by the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) of its contribution to the public consultation in preparation of the new Connecting Europe Facility (CEF II) for the financial period 2021-2028 was presented last week. 

To prepare its submission, ESPO commissioned a study to investigate the future investment needs of European ports, as well as the past ability of ports to benefit from the different EU financial instruments.

In order to live up to their significant role, not only as primary nodes of the transport network, but also in terms of energy transition, attracting industry and logistics and enabling passengers’ connectivity, and being defined as critical infrastructure, ports need to continue to invest into modern, sustainable and well-connected infrastructure.

The study, executed by Dr. Peter de Langen, Dr. Mateu Turró, Martina Fontanet and Jordi Caballé, estimates that European ports face investment needs of around 48 € billion for the period 2018-2027. These needs are mainly caused by external drivers, such as growth in trade flows, new trends in the maritime industry, decarbonisation and other environmental requirements, digitalisation, automation, urban development and security challenges.

This wide range of investment drivers leads to a very diverse range of investment needs. In spite of this diversity, investments in basic infrastructure, maritime access infrastructure and hinterland connections account for more than half of the projects that port managing bodies foresee for the coming 10 years.

Despite the overall recognition of the significant role of ports and of their diverse responsibilities, projects initiated by port authorities only succeeded to attract 4% of the CEF funding so far and only one-third of the submitted projects received funding.

The study results show  that public funding mechanisms remain a very relevant element for port managing bodies, even though innovative financial instruments are to be welcomed.

Based on the results of the study, ESPO pleads for a strong Connecting Europe Facility reflecting the following elements:

  • Grants as an essential component of financing port projects with a high added value but low financial returns;
  • A well-defined and transparent methodology to define EU added value, that goes beyond “cross-border” projects;
  • Responsible grant management, through a more rigorous cost-benefit analysis;
  • A long-term vision on funding priorities allowing the ports to prepare high quality projects;
  • Co-financing to be defined on the basis of the funding gap;
  • The right level of endorsement: smaller port projects which do not involve national or regional funding should not require prior endorsement of the Member State.

 “The study shows an investment pattern of European ports that mirrors very well the essential and very diverse role of ports for the economy. We strongly hope that the study and our recommendations can help the Commission and EU policy makers to develop a strong CEF II proposal with sufficient focus on the EU added value of port projects. It is crucial in that respect to recognise ports as international infrastructures. Less than 10% of the freight handled in European ports was national traffic. Ports are not only Europe’s gateways for trade with third countries, but also create value for the society which exceeds the national borders. They are the main link between the sea and the wider hinterland and economy.” says ESPO’sSecretary General Isabelle Ryckbost.

“Investments in Europe’s seaports is essential if critical policy objectives are to be met in a wide range of EU policy areas. If Europe’s seaports cannot make the investments that are needed, then key policy objectives in transport, energy and environment will be compromised. In many cases, the main benefits of port projects accrue to the wider community and economy rather than to the port authority itself. This is particularly true when ports invest in basic infrastructure to provide capacity for future growth”, says ESPO’s Chairman Eamonn O’Reilly.

The participation of the European Seaports was excellent: 73 ports, that represent more than 60% of the total EU port volumes, provided information on about 400 investment projects. As a result, we now have a detailed understanding of the investment needs of European ports.” says PLA consultant Peter de Langen. 

The ESPO recommendations and the study on ‘The Infrastructure Investment needs and Financing Challenge of European Ports’ can be found here.

The study will be officially presented at the forthcoming ESPO conference “Investing in the port of tomorrow” taking place on 31 May and 1 June in Rotterdam. The CEF II proposal is due to come out on 29 May. The Conference will be a unique and first opportunity to discuss the new proposal with its main architects. More information: www.espo-conference.com

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Fishing - Marine Minister Michael Creed has announced that following proposals made by the National Inshore Fisheries Forum, two public consultations will be held on conservation measures for razor clams in the North Irish Sea and brown crab in Irish waters.

Regarding razor clams, it is proposed to increase the minimum conservation reference size for razor clams in the North Irish Sea.

The change, if implemented would require that only razor clams with a minimum size of 125mm could be landed. Currently any razor clams over 100mm may be landed. This proposal was put forward by the North Irish Sea Razor Fishermen’s Association through the North East Regional Inshore Fisheries Forum.

Regarding brown crab, the proposal is to increase the minimum conservation reference size from 130mm to 140mm for brown crab that may be landed. This proposal was put forward by the members of the fishing industry through the South East Regional Inshore Fisheries Forum.

Interested parties and stakeholders are invited to view and complete the consultations available on the FishingNET website HERE. Submissions may be made via post, e-mail or online through the web portal.

Published in Fishing

#Angling - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is now inviting submissions from the public on the development of a national sea trout policy.

Sea trout in Ireland, in the context of legislation and management, has traditionally been closely identified with salmon and this consultation process will consider the requirement of establishing a separate identity for sea trout.

The policy will make recommendations which will inform a range of issues including sustainable management of stock and any possible legislative changes that may emerge in the future.

Other areas to be addressed will include protection and conservation (including biodiversity, habitat protection and interactions with aquaculture), stock assessment, and education and promotion.

Sea trout, the migratory form of brown trout, leave freshwater as a juvenile fish typically after two years. They enter marine waters where they feed heavily before returning to freshwater, usually to breed with some components of the population spawning several times over their lifetime.

As a result, the sea trout is a valuable angling fish which occurs in most coastal rivers and inshore waters.

Sea trout has significant economic and cultural importance in Ireland with potential for further development. This is coupled with major concerns about sea trout stock declines in some systems nationally, most particularly along the western seaboard, and requires that future management of sea trout is underpinned by a comprehensive policy.

IFI says it recognises the diverse opinions of stakeholders regarding the future management of sea trout and their fisheries and encourages stakeholder engagement through this public consultation process.

Interested parties are invited to make submissions which will be reviewed and considered by the Sea Trout Policy Group, which comprises of a range of representatives with a broad experience of sea trout within IFI.

“The sea trout is a complex migratory fish frequenting freshwater, estuaries and marine waters,” says IFI chief executive Ciaran Byrne. “The biodiversity, economic and cultural value of this type of fish requires a policy direction to manage this precious resource sustainably and to conserve it into the future.

“This public consultation, and ultimately the policy recommendations which will emerge, will capture stakeholder views and incorporate the broad scope of management issues that will underpin future policy.”

The public consultation period will run for five weeks until Wednesday 12 July. All submissions must be made in writing and will be published on the IFI website. Submissions should be marked ‘Public Consultation – Sea Trout Policy’ and can be submitted to [email protected] or by post to:

Sea Trout Policy
Inland Fisheries Ireland
3044 Lake Drive
Citywest Business Campus
Dublin 24
D24 Y265

Information on the consultation is available from the IFI website or from any IFI office.

Published in Angling

#Angling - Inland Fisheries Ireland is seeking submissions from angling enthusiasts and other interested parties in relation to a proposal to introduce a byelaw to:

  • Introduce a minimum takeable size limit for trout of 30cm (12”).
  • Introduce a bag limit of two trout per angler per day.

The proposed byelaw would apply to all waters of the River Erne upstream of Derryheen Bridge, west of Butler’s Bridge, Co Cavan, including the waters of the Cavan River, Annallee, Dromore, Laragh, Bunnoe and Knappagh tributaries.

Submissions should be marked ‘Public consultation – Annallee-Dromore (River Erne)’ and sent by email to [email protected] or by post to:

The Director,
Inland Fisheries Ireland,
Station Road,
Ballyshannon,
Co Donegal

All submissions must be received in writing and will be published on the Inland Fisheries Ireland website.

The closing date for receipt of submissions is 5pm on Thursday 2 March.

Published in Angling

#Aarhus - Environment Minister Denis Naughten has launched the public consultation for a second implementation under the UN's Aarhus Convention on community participation in environmental issues.

Ratified in June 2012 after a long call by environmental and coastal community campaigners, the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters lays down a set of basic rules to promote citizens’ involvement in environmental matters and improve enforcement of environmental law.

Its provisions are broken down into three pillars: Access to Information on the Environment; Public Participation in Environmental Decision-making; and Access to Justice.

In what his department says is an effort to keep with the spirit of the convention, Minister Naughten has called on the public, including environmental NGOs, to submit comments on the implementation of the Aarhus Convention in Ireland prior to finalising Ireland's second National Implementation Report to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

The purpose of this consultation is to provide the UNECE as well as the Aarhus Convention Secretariat and Compliance Committee with the widest possible range of views and opinions on issues related to the implementation and promotion of the convention in Ireland.

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment website has the draft report and details of the consultation, for which comments should be submitted no later than 5pm on Friday 28 October.

Published in Coastal Notes

#Angling - Minister for Natural Resources Joe McHugh has today (Monday 30 November) launched the public consultation on the National Strategy for Angling Development (NSAD).

Prepared by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), the NSAD is the first comprehensive national framework for the development of Ireland's angling resource.

It is intended that the strategy will deliver a wide-ranging set of investments, innovations and promotions over the coming years.

This will ensure that Ireland's fish stocks and angling infrastructure are protected and enhanced for both their economic value and their recreational benefit to the communities and visitors they serve across the country.

“This strategy is necessary and timely to protect our wonderful inland fisheries and sea angling resources in their own right but also to safeguard and grow further the 11,350 jobs supported and €836 million contributed annually to Ireland’s economy by recreational angling," said Minister McHugh.

“These jobs and economic activity occur primarily in rural and peripheral areas of the country. The strategy supports the Government’s rural development, tourism and social inclusion objectives, and I urge all stakeholders to participate in the consultation process.”

IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne thanked all those who took part in the initial consultation process. “The inputs from stakeholders have been invaluable to Inland Fisheries Ireland in the preparation of the National Strategy for Angling Development. We look forward to working with all of our stakeholders in progressing the strategy.”

In accordance with Article 13(1)(b) of the European Communities (Environmental Assessment of Certain Plans and Programmes) Regulations 2004 (S.I. 435), as amended by the European Communities (Environmental Assessment of Certain Plans and Programmes)(Amendment) Regulations 2011, Inland Fisheries Ireland has prepared:

  • A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Environmental Screening Report of the likely significant effects on the environment of implementing the Strategy, in accordance with Directive 2001/42/EC of the European Parliament and Council of 27 June 2001 on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment as transposed into Irish law by the European Communities (Environmental Assessment of Certain Plans and Programmes) Regulations 2004 as amended.
  • A Habitats Directive Screening Statement for Appropriate Assessment (AA), pursuant to Article 6 of Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora as transposed into Irish law by the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011.

The NSAD screening reports and supporting documents are available for viewing and downloading HERE; from IFI, 3044 Lake Drive, Citywest Business Campus, Dublin 24, D24 Y265; or at IFI offices countrywide (please see www.fisheriesireland.ie for addresses and maps).

Written submissions or observations should be sent to [email protected] or NSAD Consultation, 3044 Lake Drive, Citywest Business Campus, Dublin 24, D24 Y265 and must be received no later than Monday 4 January 2016.

For more information visit www.fisheriesireland.ie.

Published in Angling

#INLAND WATERWAYS - Waterways Ireland is currently undertaking two new public consultations on improving safety standards for children, the elderly and people with disabilities on our inland waterways.

Details for the consultation exercise on Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Policy & Procedures and the Draft Disability Action Plan 2011-2013 are available from the Waterways Ireland website.

Comments may be submitted via e-mail to [email protected] or by post to Waterways Ireland, Strategy & Policy Section, 2 Sligo Road, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh BT74 7JY.

The closing date for comments is Tuesday 21 February 2012.

Published in Inland Waterways
Page 2 of 3

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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