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Displaying items by tag: Stena Line

#Timetable - A revised timetable of Stena Line's Rosslare – Fishguard ferry service will see customers have a choice of three-day time sailings and one extended overnight crossing from 22nd May.

Following the evaluation of extensive customer research and feedback, Stena Line reviewed the existing schedule and has decided to introduce three, more customer friendly 3 hour 15-minute day time crossings, making Rosslare – Fishguard the shortest and fastest crossing between Ireland and South Wales.

From Monday 22nd May, Stena Line will operate the following revised sailing schedule between Rosslare and Fishguard:

Departure Arrival Crossing Time
Rosslare 08:00 11:15 3hr15
Fishguard 13:10 16:25 3hr15
Rosslare 18:10 21:25 3hr15
Fishguard 23:45 04:00 4hr15*

Ian Davies, Stena Line’s Trade Director, Irish Sea South commented: “The new timetable will reduce the crossing times on some of our sailings by 15 mins and provide a greater choice of convenient sailing times and better arrival times. The recent investment in the Stena Europe ship has further enhanced our service offering for 2017, providing new opportunities which currently do not exist in the market for our travel and freight customers.”

Ian added: “We have conducted a lot of research and spoken with many of our freight and travel customers, listening to what they had to say about our current sailing timetable and ways in which we might improve the service in the future. We believe we have now addressed the points raised and our staff are constantly engaging with customers to ensure a smooth transition. In fact, we have already received positive feedback and believe that the vast majority of our customers will welcome these changes.”

*Overnight sailing time will increase by 15 minutes giving customers a little more time to rest particularly drivers before they disembark.

Published in Ferry

#MercyShips- Mercy Ships a NGO humanitarian agency and Stena Line, the world’s largest privately owned ferry company, have decided to enter a long-term partnership. The goal is to raise general awareness about the charity, promote volunteering and charitable giving both within the ferry line itself as well as amongst its passengers and partners.

Mercy Ships owns and operates the largest civilian hospital-ship in the world to deliver free, world-class health care services to the poorest of the poor together with capacity building and sustainable development to nations in the developing world. Since 1978 Mercy Ships has helped more than 2.5 million people.

The ship’s crew is made up of more than 400 volunteers from up to 40 nations. Surgeons, nurses, technical, marine and many other professionals, an average of a 1 000 volunteers yearly, pay their own expenses to aid those in need of safe surgical expertise and healthcare.

“We have found a partner with the right qualifications and commitment who, like us, sees the advantages and flexibility in having the sea and ships as workplace. Care is part of our soul which means that our sustainability work includes more than just environmental initiatives. Our partnership with Mercy Ships now becomes an important part of that work and it gives us an exciting opportunity to involve our staff, customers and partners in making a difference.” says Niclas Mårtensson, CEO at Stena Line.

“Mercy Ships is a unique organisation and we very pleased to see the great support from Stena Line. They have taken our mission to their heart and it is great to see their willingness to partner with us to support the work we do,” stated Pascal Andréasson, Head of Marketing for Mercy Ships Sweden.

At the end of January, Stena Line’s CEO Niclas Mårtensson visited the Africa Mercy, (currently docked in Cotonou, Benin), to see for himself the work done on-board. The Mercy Ship is a former Scandinavian rail ferry which was converted to a hospital ship with five operating theatres and spends ten months at a time in African port cities. The impressions at the visit were many as Niclas Mårtensson says:

“I see the great need to support Africa, where Mercy Ships with their volunteers, their commitment and knowledge, make an enormous difference. During the stay on-board the vessel in West-Africa, where I met patients and saw the operation of the organisation, I realised that this is a life-changing contribution. To see and experience this is a very important experience for me.”

Stena Line’s vessels and social channels will be able to reach some 10 million people every year with information about Mercy Ships.

During the spring of 2017 Stena Line will cooperate with Mercy Ships Sweden to bring awareness of the charity’s commendable cause on their vessels in all of Europe.

The ferry operator is also presently working to set up a programme for sponsoring staff/crew who would like to join as volunteers on Mercy Ships vessels.

Published in News Update

#RecordFreight - It has been a record year for Stena Line freight traffic volumes on the operator's Belfast Harbour routes in 2016. For the first time in its history, the ferry company has carried over 500,000 freight units through the port.

Stena Line operates three freight services from Belfast Harbour which provide up to 14 daily crossing options between its Cairnryan, Heysham and Liverpool (Birkenhead) services.

Paul Grant, Stena Line’s Trade Director (Irish Sea North), commented: “Despite operating in a highly competitive market, 2016 was a record year for Stena Line’s Northern Ireland operations. To carry over 500,000 freight units is a fantastic achievement for the entire team and one which also cements Belfast Harbour’s position as Northern Ireland’s leading freight hub. In 2016 we also had record car and passenger volumes with almost 1.5 million passengers travelling, which represents a growth of 7% on the previous year.

“Stena Line has invested heavily in its Belfast Harbour hub. It’s reassuring to see that our vision and commitment to an expanding operation from Belfast Harbour has been rewarded. Economic uncertainty is a concern for 2017, however, we remain focussed on providing our customers with the most frequent and reliable services into and out of Northern Ireland. In the first quarter of 2017, we will be investing a further £7m locally with Harland & Wolff as we refit nine of our Irish Sea ship fleet,” said Paul.

Paul Grant concluded: “Whilst last year was a record year we cannot afford to be complacent, it’s vital that our investments in ships and ports is matched by infrastructure improvements to roads in Northern Ireland and Scotland particularly. It’s also important that Belfast and Northern Ireland continues to invest in our growing tourism product.”

Joe O’Neill, Commercial Director, Belfast Harbour, said: “Belfast Harbour is Northern Ireland’s principal maritime gateway with more than 70% of NI’s seaborne trade handled through the Port. This is supported by the record year Stena Line is reporting for 2016. We have been partners with them for more than 20 years and have seen their business here grow significantly during that time.

This year alone they have increased the number of cars carried by 10% as well as grown passenger numbers by more than 95,000 and handled more than half a million freight vehicles with overall volumes growing almost 60% in the last 6 years. This is down to their hard work and adapting to the market and we look forward to continuing to support them and the growth of their business in the coming years.”

Published in Ferry

#ExtraCapacity - Additional freight capacity by Stena Line on the Belfast-Liverpool service began today, in support of the retail sector in preparation for the key pre-Christmas trading period.

Stena Line is adding an extra two sailings per week, from Friday, 21st October until 16th December. It will operate an additional Friday departure from Belfast (15.30hrs) and from Monday 24th October until 19th December it will operate an additional Monday departure (08.00hrs) from Birkenhead, Liverpool.

The extra sailings will provide increased freight capacity for up to 2 000 more freight units across the Irish Sea at a crucial time for businesses seeking to maximise their Christmas trade.

Richard Horswill, Stena Line’s Head of Freight (UK and Ireland) said: “The extra sailings we have announced today represent an additional 25% capacity on our Belfast-Liverpool freight only service with departures times designed to optimise customer delivery schedules. Since we acquired the route in 2011, this service has gone from strength to strength, especially with our freight customers, so we are confident the additional capacity will be welcome news for the freight industry at this busy time of the year.”

“Putting extra capacity on now comes at a critical time for many businesses who rely on pre-Christmas sales to make a success of their trading year. As the largest operator on the Irish Sea, we have the flexibility to respond to the needs of the market and deploy additional freight capacity where and when it’s most needed.”

 

Published in Ferry

#NewStenaCEO - A new CEO has been appointed by Stena Line, the Swedish owned company which is one of Europe’s largest ferry operators with 35 ferries and 22 routes in northern Europe.

Deputy CEO Niclas Mårtensson assumed the position with his appointed today as CEO by Stena Line. The current CEO, Carl-Johan Hagman, will resume his position as Chairman of the Stena Line board and will also remain in the role as Head of Shipping at Stena AB.

Niclas Mårtensson has more than 10 years’ experience of working in different senior positions within Stena Line including Route Manager in Germany and Poland, COO and most recently as Deputy CEO.

“This appointment is a natural step in our development process. We are pleased that we have recruited a CEO internally who will be able to fully focus on realising the strategy,” said Carl-Johan Hagman.

“I’m really looking forward to the exciting challenge of, with our customers in mind, realising our journey towards a sustainable and digital company. The transportation needs of our freight and travel customers continue to increase and evolve and Stena Line, with its comprehensive European network, is well positioned to meet that demand in a sustainable way”, said Niclas Mårtensson.

Published in Ferry

#Landfill - Stena Line according to Cruise News UK has announced it has achieved its zero landfill target at their Port of Holyhead in Wales.

The company been working closely with Kevin Humphrey’s Waste Recycling Ltd to reach this landmark achievement which means that all waste generated by the Port and its visiting ships has been 100% recycled with nothing being sent to landfill.

Wyn Parry, Stena Line Port Manager at Holyhead commented: “We are delighted that we have achieved our zero landfill target and have made huge progress in our commitment to caring for the environment.

“The Holyhead Port handles approximately 55 tonnes of waste per month so it is very important to us that we deal with it in a responsible way,” Wyn added.

For more on the story, click here.

Published in Ferry

#FinalLink – The final chapter of Stena Line’s history with Dun Laoghaire Harbour was marked this morning when a barge used to dismantle the former HSS berth departed under tow, writes Jehan Ashmore.

MTS Indus towed the barge SB-5018 that was used in the harbour as a floating platform. The red-hulled barge was moored next to the ferry terminal linkspan at Berth No. 5 on St. Micheals Pier.

The specialist custom built linkspan for berthing operations of HSS Stena Explorer lasted for almost two decades of the Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead route that closed two years ago this month. The loss-making route led Stena to consolidate existing operations out of neighbouring Dublin Port on a route also to the north Wales port. 

Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company are looking for a new operator to restore the seasonal service next year, but using the adjacent Berth No. 4 alongside St. Micheals Pier. This linkspan was last used in 2011 by a smaller fast-ferry, Stena Lynx III. 

Originally the plan was to tow the Stena HSS linkspan away from the port, by placing on board the barge, however the breakers torch was used instead on site at the ferry terminal.

This is where the Swedish registered barge also acted as a support to the specialist linkspan (see yesterday’s report photo) from where the tug departed and is under way ironically bound for Holyhead. The port in Anglesey is operated by the Swedish owned ferry operator whose headquarters are based in Gothenburg.

Dismantling work by the contractors in Dun Laoghaire had begun earlier this summer to remove all Stena owned berth infrastructure at the site of the purpose built ferry terminal. This paved the way for the introduction of the revolutionary HSS Stena Explorer fast-ferry catamaran craft in 1996.

Asides the linkspan, gone are now the passenger gangways and associated equipment at No 5 berth. The concrete supporting columns of the gangway however remain as well as the jetty and associated dolphin structure.

Not all the dismantling work was carried out on the barge. Other parts were broken up onshore from where vehicles from the HSS Stena Explorer used to disembark or arrive at the marshalling area. It was from here that awaiting trucks were loaded to be disposed by scrap merchants.

#FerryStrong - Ferry firm Stena Line writes the Belfast Telegraph, has during the month of July rounded off a "strong first six months" for the year.

Car volumes rose by 3% between January and June.

Orla Noonan, Stena Line's head of travel (Irish Sea), added: "Traditionally, July is a very busy month for us across the Irish Sea as we enter our peak season, but to post a 6.5% year-on-year increase in our car volumes pays tribute to the quality of the service we operate."

The ferry company carries around 2.2 million passengers and 614,000 cars across the Irish Sea each year.

Stena has several services from Northern Ireland, Belfast to Cairnryan, Liverpool and Heysham.

In addition Afloat adds to Republic of Ireland services: Dublin to Holyhead and Rosslare-Fishguard, noting the Wexford port also has a Stena service to Cherbourg, France.

The continental route is not included in the figures above. 

Published in Ferry

#MinistersTour - Northern Ireland's Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard and Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir toured Stena Line’s port operations in Belfast Harbour.

The Ministers on Monday had the opportunity to see the impact of significant investment by Stena Line operations in the North including their £5 million ship refit investment programme. The work having been carried out locally at the Harland & Wolff shipyard.

Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard, whose department has responsibility for ports policy said: “Our ports are the gateway to the global economy so it is essential that they are effective and efficient. This enables them to compete internally and connect with the rest of the world.

"Stena Line’s significant investment demonstrates a clear commitment to their operations here in the north and the key role they play in the maritime sector.

“It makes sense to have a strong link between public sector infrastructure priorities and private investment plans. I want to deliver improved transport links between ports and their hinterlands to core transport routes in the north.”

Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said: “Today’s visit is a welcome opportunity to see first-hand the significant contribution Stena Line is making to the maritime sector. This latest investment signals their continued commitment to operations here and highlights the vital role Stena Line plays in maintaining our strategic trade links with the rest of the world. Furthermore, it demonstrates the important impact investing in our infrastructure can have, not only as a boost to the wider economy, but to local communities who benefit through job creation and skills development.”

Paul Grant, Stena Line’s Route Manager said: “Stena Line is pleased to welcome both Ministers to its port operations in Belfast. Over the last number of years Belfast has become an increasingly important hub for Stena Line freight and tourism volumes into Northern Ireland so it’s important that we communicate this ongoing development to key figures in the NI Assembly such as Ministers Hazzard and Ó Muilleoir.

Published in Ferry

#CO2reduced - Strategic efforts to reduce its environmental footprint at Stena Line is well on course according to a recent company report. Last year the ferry operator cut emissions of sulphur by 53%.

Stena AB’s Sustainability Report for 2015, which was recently published, shows reduced fuel consumption and lower emissions for the shipping companies within the shipping group.  Stena Line has exceeded its targets for reduction of emissions of both sulphur and CO2.

One of the largest changes to affect the shipping industry was introduced in 2015 with tough new regulations on sulphur emissions being laid down for ferry operators in Northern Europe. This regulation means that the permitted emission levels of sulphur from vessels has been reduced from a maximum 1 per cent to 0.1 per cent within the SECA area from January 1st 2015.

For Stena’s shipping companies, with 93 vessels operating all over the world, the new rules have resulted in a reduction of over 4,000 tonnes of sulphur from 2014 to 2015, which represents an impressive 15 per cent reduction. For Stena Line’s 34 vessels operating in Europe, 24 of which operate within the SECA area, the total emission of sulphur has been reduced by 53 per cent.

Carl-Johan Hagman, CEO at Stena Line, said: “Focusing on sustainability is not only a priority for Stena Line, but for the entire industry which needs long term sustainable fuel options to maintain its competiveness. We are currently conducting several initiatives looking at alternative fuels within Stena. Our Methanol Project on Stena Germanica is one example. We are also looking at battery powered vessels, which is now starting to become an interesting option for shipping.

“Since 2015 Stena’s shipping companies have been delivering a dedicated program called the Energy Saving Programme (ESP), to reduce fuel consumption. The target is a reduction of 2.5 per cent annually and the result for 2015 was a reduction of 2.8 per cent. For Stena Line the efforts led to a reduction of fuel consumption of 4 per cent per nautical mile and a reduction of CO2 emissions of 2.5 per cent per nautical mile,” concluded Carl-Johan.

Erik Lewenhaupt, Head of Sustainability, Stena Line, said: “We have a broad scope and are currently driving several different initiatives in a bid to reduce our fuel consumption within ESP. It covers everything from changing bulbs and propellers to enabling our ferries to sail with reduced water resistance. Other initiatives include using digital solutions such as our Fuel Management System, where we collect a huge amount of data from the systems onboard our 34 ferries which is them analysed and used to optimise our day to day operations. We have set an ambitious target of trying to reduce CO2 emissions by 35% per nautical mile by 2030.”

Published in Ferry
Page 5 of 18

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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