Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Displaying items by tag: Stena Line

#BrittanyBaltic – Stena Line are to introduce a larger ro-pax vessel on the Karlskrona-Gdynia route next week with Stena Baltica II, the Brittany Ferries former freight-ferry Cotentin (2007/19,909gt), writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 2,188 lane metre ro-pax Stena Baltica II which as Cotentin ran French-UK-Iberian routes replaces Stena Alegra on the Karlskrona-Gdynia route. The vehicle stern-only loading 'Alegra' of 1,950 lane metres had only began operating in July.  She originally entered service as Dawn Merchant in 1999 for Merchant Ferries Dublin-Liverpool service.

Cotentin was built by Aker Finnyards, Helsinki and her return to the Baltic Sea sees the 210 -passenger ro-pax launch the Sweden-Poland route to meet the growing demand for increased freight deck capacity. The 163m long vessel with accommodation for 120 freight-drivers has the ability to load both bow and aft, so-called double tier loading and drive-through on both decks.

Tony Michaelsen, Route Manager Karlskrona-Gdynia said: "We are pleased to have a long-term solution in place that enables us to meet the growing needs of our customers, providing increased flexibility and a greater loading capacity. We have huge demand for capacity on the route and require a third vessel to be able to take care of all the cargo.

Freight volumes between Sweden and Poland have continued to grow. Up to October 2013, freight volumes have increased by 18%, car volumes by 7% and passenger volumes by 9% compared with the same period in 2012.

Michaelsen added, "We expect this trend to continue in the coming years as economic development in Poland and Eastern Europe remains very strong".

Stena Baltica takes over the 'Allegra's schedule by operating three departures a week from Karlskrona and Gdynia. She starts sailings on 24 November with a departure from the Polish port and will operate alongside Stena Vision and Stena Spirit which run regular schedules.

The previous Stena Baltica operated on the same service when the Rosslare-Fishguard ferry Koningin Beatrix was transferred in 2002 to Scandinavia. Her direct replacement Stena Europe currently maintains the St. Georges Channel route. The original 'Baltica' served alongside Stena Nordica which now runs between Dublin Port and Holyhead.

 

Published in Ferry

#FerryAward – Stena Line was voted top ferry company for a record 21st year at the annual Northern Ireland Travel and Tourism Awards.

The 'Best Ferry Company' award was presented at a glittering awards ceremony last month in Newcastle, Co. Down.

Mervyn McNeely, one of the industry's most popular and charismatic characters, who retired last month from Stena Line after 40 years in the ferry industry, was inducted into the Travel Industry's Roll of Honour.

Northern Ireland Travel News has been organising the awards for the past 22 years and this year's ceremony was hosted by TV personality Les Dennis with more than 450 VIPs from the local travel and tourism industry attending.

Paul Grant, Route Manager for Stena Line – Irish Sea North, said: "This has been a busy year for Stena Line as since acquiring the Belfast-Liverpool route in 2010, we have been working on bringing the ships and service into line with the rest of the Stena Line proposition so it is a real honour to pick up this prestigious award in recognition of this work.

"We successfully completed the two ship refurbishments earlier this year and with improved facilities and additional services we can now offer our customers the same experience travelling the Irish Sea, whether they are going by Superfast from Belfast to Cairnryan or Supercruise from Belfast – Liverpool," he said.

"The travel industry is used to seeing innovation and high levels of customer service so when they say once again that we are the Best Ferry Company it underscores that the high standards we set ourselves lead the industry," Paul continued.

"I'm also delighted we have a double reason to celebrate as travel industry stalwart, Stena Line's Mervyn McNeely was inducted into the Roll of Honour.
"This is a fantastic and very well-deserved achievement for Mervyn who has retired after an incredible 40 years of service to the industry and I want to pass on my personal thanks to Mervyn for his work within Stena Line," he added.

Published in Ferry

#FreightFerry – A third vessel, Stena Hibernia (1996/13,007grt) will be adding extra freight capacity to Stena Line's Belfast-Liverpool (Birkenhead) service.

The 114-trailer capacity freight ferry Stena Hibernia will be introduced onto the route from 5 November and will initially operate eight sailings per week. These additional sailings will depart Birkenhead Tues – Fri (at 0300hrs) and will depart Belfast Tues – Fri (at 1500hrs).

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Stena Line acquired the Belfast-Liverpool and Belfast-Heysham services from DFDS Seaways in July 2011and has since invested in increasing capacity and improving the service.

Paul Grant, Stena Line's Route Manager Irish Sea North said: "The freight market is showing signs of recovery and it's important that Stena Line adds capacity to accommodate the expected growth."

Stena Hibernia had previously served on the Belfast-Heysham route for Stena and also during DFDS operations. She was launched at a Japanese shipyard as Maersk Importer.

 

Published in Ferry

#StenaHOLYHEAD – Stena Line which operates the Port of Holyhead, are to axe 21 jobs as part of a majorshake-up.

The ferry firm announced a review across the company's Europe-wide operations in April with up to 50 jobs under threat at Holyhead and Fishguard.

The company confirmed 21 workers faced redundancy and a consultation with staff and unions has started. It is understood 12 are in port handling operations and nine in finance.

Services on the Holyhead-Dublin and Holyhead-Dun Laoghaire routes are not expected to be affected.

For much more on this story, the Daily Post reports.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, sailings on the seasonal-only operated Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead route ceased earlier this month.

 

Published in Ferry

#FerryFounder - Sten Allan Olsson, the founder of Stena Line has died last week aged 96, reports the Belfast Newsletter.

The Swede had established the ferry company which operates routes between Ireland and Britain and throughout Scandinavia.

Sten Allan Olsson was "one of Sweden's greatest entrepreneurs of all time", according to Stena Metall Group, and built up a group of companies that produced a total revenue of over 68,848,000,000 SEK (£6,833,577,088) in 2012.

The foundations were laid in 1939 and now the Olsson family empire, Stena Sphere, boasts three companies which span freighting, passenger ferries, recycling and international steel and oil trading.

The Olsson family still own the ferry firm in which his son Dan is the chairman of the ferry giant which as previously reported on Afloat.ie celebrated its 50th anniversary last year running routes stretching from the Irish Sea to the Baltic.

 

Published in Ferry

#Rail&Sail – A Welsh steam-engine still operating after 150 years on the Ffestiniog Railway in Snowdonia, crossed the Irish Sea yesterday and is to be put on display in Dublin's Heuston Station as part of the Gathering Ireland 2013, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The steam-engine 'Princess' built in 1868 comes only 30 years after Stephenson's Rocket.

The important cargo was shipped on board the Stena Adventurer on the Holyhead-Dublin Port route.

Princess is owned by the Ffestiniog Railway, the first narrow gauge railway in the world to use steam engines. The steam-locomotive was used to haul empty slate wagons between Porthmadog Harbour and the slate-quarrying town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, a distance of 13.5 miles.

The steam locomotive is only one of two in regular use out of a total of six built by George England of London and they represent the oldest surviving narrow gauge locomotives in the world.

The railway which was built with Irish investment all those year ago led to the apt invitation by Irish Rail in requesting the Ffestiniog Railway to display the restored Princess, which will be unveiled tomorrow in Heuston Station.

For the next six weeks commuters and visitors alike can view Princess in the railway station concourse so that so all can see  the steam-locomotive in all her glory.

Published in Ferry

#FarewellHSS- A fast-ferry that served the Belfast-Stranraer route, which no longer exists, departed Belfast for the final time at the weekend. The ferry HSS Stena Voyager is bound for Sweden where she is to be scrapped, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 19,000 tonnes Stena Voyager is under tow to the Öresundsvarvet shipyard in Landskrona, where she will be recycled by a subsidiary of the ferry company, Stena Recycling.

All of the vessels various components will be recycled, as far as is possible, to maintain the company's environmental reputation. Some of the materials will even be reused in the form of car parts or furniture.

Stena Voyager was displaced on the Northern Channel route in November 2011 following the change of Scottish port, from Stranraer at the end of the lough to Cairnryan which is closer to the open sea.

In addition a pair of conventional yet fast ro-pax 'Superfast' ferries were introduced bringing superior facilities coupled with greater freight capacity.

These factors combined with a shorter passage time between Belfast and Cairnryan and rising fuel costs over several years saw the writing on the wall for the HSS craft, which when introduced in the mid 1990's were the pride of the Stena Line fleet.

The Swedish ferry giant commissioned a trio of HSS (High Speed sea-Service) fast-craft, whose futuristic appearance and technology was adopted from the world of aviation that included gas-turbine engines to power water-jets producing up to 40 knots.

Stena Voyager carried 1,500 passengers and 375 cars and she was launched onto the North Channel route in 1996, since then the fast-craft has carried more than 17m passengers and over 45,000 sailings.

"Whilst the HSS class was a unique and highly innovative development for Stena Line, unfortunately the spiralling costs of operating the Stena Voyager have become all too high. When the Voyager was first put into service fuel was approximately $20 per barrel and now the price is around $110 dollar, for a fuel hungry vessel this is simply untenable," said Michael McGrath, Stena Line's Chief Operating Officer.

The first of the revolutionary craft was HSS Stena Explorer which currently maintains the seasonal-only Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead having been also introduced in 1996. Final member of the class was HSS Stena Discovery which served Harwich-Hook van Holland from 1997, however she was the first to go and now serves operators out of Venezuela.

The concept of the HSS craft were also to compete with air-travel on the short hop between Northern Ireland and Scotland. In tandem the HSS ran alongside older conventional ferries, among them Stena Caledonia, which was sold last year to Indonesian operator ASDP and renamed Port Link.

 

Published in Ferry

#SailingsCancelled – According to the Stena Line website, today's (Friday 22 March) HSS Stena Explorer fast-craft sailing departing at 13.30HRS from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead has been cancelled.

All passengers en route to the port are advised to contact the Stena Line (24hrs) ferrycheck number (01) 204 7799 for the most up-to-date information about the sailings.

In addition to consulting information from this LINK.

 

Published in Ferry

#FerryColourful – This weekend saw a Stena Line ferry or two getting big Red Noses and turning Green –well almost!...to mark the UK's Red Nose Day and Ireland's St. Patrick's Day.

Red Nose Day which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year was held last Friday and despite the economic climate, the charity fundraiser appeal raised a staggering £75m.

On board Stena ferries a host of fundraising activities took place including a range of specially created red nose muffins, sales of which along with other activities will go to Comic Relief.

Around the World the iconic images including the Pyramids of Giza and Leaning Tower of Pisa are to turn green this weekend for St Patrick's Day festivities.

Closer to home, Stena Line didn't want to turn green with envy so they turned out one of their Belfast-Birkenhead ferries to a shade of green instead... albeit with some imagination!

 

Published in Ferry

#HSSisBack–The HSS Stena Explorer fastcraft is back on the Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead route and Stena Line have a 'super spring sale' giving customers the opportunity to save up to 20% off its lowest fares.

The offer is available for travel up until 30 June from Dublin-Holyhead, Rosslare-Fishguard and on the Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead seasonal-only service.

Diane Poole Head of Stena PR and Communications said: "With Easter just around the corner and school holidays, we're offering customers the chance to enjoy a short break without breaking the bank".

The sale which starts with a lowest fare of €89* single (see web for T&A) for car and driver is now available every day of the week allowing people to save up to 20% on travel when they book by 28 February.

The HSS will operate one departure from Dun Laoghaire and Holyhead daily during this season, for information on the Spring sale and more visit: www.stenaline.ie/sale

Published in Ferry
Page 10 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

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton dob
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

quantum sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating