Displaying items by tag: Brexit
#Fishing - Ireland’s fishing sector experienced a “challenging” 2016 on a number of fronts, as outlined in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s latest annual review and outlook for the coming year.
Ongoing trade issues in Russia and West Africa have “significantly impacted demand” for pelagic fish caught by the Irish fleet which also faces increased competition from the Faroe Islands and Iceland, particularly for mackerel.
Decreased in the boarfish and mackerel quota have been cited as the main reason’s for the decline in Ireland’s pelagic exports, while the increased cost of processing the likes of herring and mackerel — not to mention loss of returns for those selling to the UK as sterling falls — is having a knock-on effect on competitiveness.
There’s a better story in the whitefish sector, where exports increase by over 10% in value terms last year, driven by an increase in volume.
Shellfish, too, is a growth market with a 12% rise in average unit prices, and trade to Italy, Spain and Japan rising behind Ireland’s main export destination France. China is another important market, with strong growth shown despite a bar on live crab imports for most of 2016.
Export performance in 2017 “will continue to depend on product supply”, the report states, noting that quota receptions for pelagic fish will make market development work in that sector “difficult” in the remaining months of 2017.
The industry also faces the uncertainty of political and economic factors such as Brexit, with over a third of landings across all sectors taken from within UK waters.
“While some benefits may accrue in terms of increasing market share in EU Member States, overall these will be more than offset by three main threats: loss of access, substantial loss of quota share and displacement into our zone, as well as a high level of uncertainty in the short term.”
The report adds that Ireland “needs to ensure that Irish and EU fisheries concerns are high on the EU agenda and that fisheries are not isolated in the overall negotiations on a new EU/UK relationship.”
That’s the stark warning from fisheries organisations noted in Independent.ie’s rundown of ‘the five things you need to know as the UK backs out of the EU fishing deal’.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Irish trawlers could soon face a ban from fishing within 12 nautical miles of the UK as ministers in Westminster prepare to trigger Britain’s withdrawal from the 53-year-old London Fisheries Convention.
The agreement, which grants fishing rights to European countries — including Ireland — that have traditionally fished in British waters for centuries, was incorporated into the Common Fisheries Policy more than 30 years ago.
However, Brexit means the UK’s exit from the CFP and an intention to reassert control over its fishing waters.
The affect for Ireland could be the wiping out of the Irish fishing industry, fears Patrick Murphy of the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation (IS&WFPO), who explains that as much as 50% of the Irish catch comes from English waters.
And Northern Irish fishermen would be “big losers” after such a move, says Francis O'Donnell of the Irish Fish Producers Organisation (IFPO) — with no specifics on how common fishing grounds such as Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough would be handled.
Meanwhile, UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove claims that leaving the convention would give Britain the power to build a new domestic fishing policy “which leads to a more competitive, profitable and sustainable industry”.
But the WWF warns that making its own decisions is not enough for Britain to support its fishing industry.
“Achieving sustainable fishing is about a lot more than which country fishes where,” said the environmental NGO’s Ben Stafford, who added: “We will still need to co-operate with our neighbours, as fish do not recognise lines on a map.”
Independent.ie has much more on the story HERE.
The convention was signed in 1964 with France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Ireland to allow fishing in waters that have been traditionally shared for centuries.
Rights granted by the convention were incorporated into the European Union’s Common Fisheries Policy in 1983.
But as negotiations for Britain’s withdrawal from the EU begin, the UK has also triggered its exit from the longstanding convention — a move described by Irish Marine Minister Michael Creed as “unwelcome and unhelpful”.
The Irish fleet sources the majority of its mackerel catch and most of its prawns from UK waters, the minister added.
Irish fishing industry organisations, meanwhile, have branded the decision as Britain’s “first serious shot on Brexit”.
Both the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation (IS&WFPO) and Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation (KFO) say the move is proof the that UK is seeking a ‘hard’ Brexit when it comes to fishing rights, as The Irish Times reports.
The news comes just days after Minister Creed said there was ‘strength in unity’ when it comes to pending Brexit fisheries negotiations.
#Fishing - Marine Minister Michael Creed yesterday (Thursday 29 June) hosted a Brexit fisheries discussion in Galway as part of four days of marine-themed events, including the BIM National Seafood Conference and SeaFest, Ireland’s national maritime festival, which kicks off today.
Minister Creed delivered the discussion’s opening address, which was followed by presentations by key European fisheries industry leaders Niels Wichmann, chair of the North Sea Advisory Council and Emiel Brouckaert, chair of the North Western Waters Advisory Councils.
There was also a panel discussion focusing on the potential issues arising from Brexit for the seafood sector. This panel comprised Wichmann and Brouckaert along with representatives of the Irish fishing industry: Sean O’Donoghue of the KFO, Patrick Murphy of the IS&WFPO, Hugo Boyle of the ISEFPO and Lorcán Ó Cinnéide of the IFPEA.
“The BIM National Seafood Conference and SeaFest are about celebrating our marine resources and all the opportunities that they provide to us,” said Minister Creed. “As part of that awareness, we must now also consider what potential impacts Brexit will have on our sea fisheries industry. Today’s discussion was another highly valuable opportunity to engage with our fisheries stakeholders.”
The minister went on to say that the day’s discussions “highlighted the very real concerns of the fishing industry regarding the potential effects of Brexit. I am very grateful to our presenters and panel members who have provided complex information in a very clear way.”
In his opening address, Minister Creed spoke of the two key objectives: the maintenance of existing quota shares, and existing rights of access.
“Any attempts to restrict our existing rights and entitlements will be strenuously resisted and that is why I will be insisting that fisheries must form part of the wider trade negotiations,” he said.
The minister also spoke of his discussion with the EU chief negotiator Michel Barnierwho, who “clearly understands the issues and significance of Brexit for Ireland’s fisheries sector.”
Minister Creed emphasised that “it is vital that we all work together … For ministers to be effective, so that heads of state and government and Mr Barnier’s team understand and prioritise fisheries, it will be essential that we have a united fishing industry, both nationally and at European level.”
Minister Creed concluded with the seanfhocal “Ní neart go chur le chéile” – there is strength in unity.
Fears have been raised that Holyhead port on Anglesey, north Wales could suffer if customs checks are brought back between the Republic and the UK.
Mr Barnier today addressed both houses of the Irish parliament on the issue of Brexit with huge concerns in the Republic, particularly on the issue of the border with Northern Ireland.
Labour's Ynys Mon General Election candidate Albert Owen welcomed the comments and said if re-elected he would create a 'Brexit Forum' on Anglesey to highlight potential issues.
Mr Barnier said: "European integration helped to remove borders that once existed on maps and in minds.
"Brexit changes the external borders of the EU. I will work with you to avoid a hard border.
To read more click here.
Following recent formal meetings with his Spanish, Estonian and Maltese counterparts, Minister Creed scheduled meetings with his colleagues from Germany, Netherlands and Denmark to discuss common concerns about the likely impact of Brexit on the agri-food and fisheries sectors.
Speaking yesterday (Wednesday 15 March) ahead of a bilateral with German Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt, Minister Creed said he intends to “emphasise the very real and serious concerns that we in Ireland have about the potential impact of Brexit on our agri-food and fisheries sectors, and to explore other member states’ assessment of the implications from their perspective.”
Noting that Brexit poses the threat of “a very negative impact on trade”, the minister highlighted in particular the many common concerns in the fisheries area.
“We are confronted with potentially very grave challenges on fisheries, primarily in relation to continued access to UK waters, where much of our fishing effort is undertaken,” he said. “I hope to discuss them in some detail, with a view to building a common platform as we seek to protect the interests of our fishing industries and communities.”
#BypassUK - The Port of Cork has ramped up talks with continental ferry companies writes Independent.ie about providing more direct freight routes between Ireland and mainland Europe due to Brexit, its chairman has said.
John Mullins said fresh food exporters in particular cannot afford the time to ship their produce to Europe via Britain if border restrictions are going to be imposed.
"If you're a mussel producer in west Cork and you need to get to the Paris market on Monday, and you're harvesting on a Friday, you cannot afford the time with fresh mussels, waiting in Holyhead, and then waiting again in Dover as you go over the landbridge," Mr Mullins said, at a recent Brexit event at UCD.
"It's not going to work. Most recently we've been speaking to continental ferry providers about actually having more direct ferry routes into continental Europe out of Cork, and out of Rosslare," he said. "You will see a reorientation of logistics."
Mr Mullins later told the Irish Independent that one of the options the port has long been looking at is trying to get direct access to Spain.
Such proposed direct services Afloat has reported on in recent years, follow this link. For more on the story from the Independent click here.
And 40pc said that using a longer, yet more direct, route would adversely affect the quality of the product.
But 30pc of exporters quizzed for the survey by the Irish Exporters Association (IEA) have taken no action to assess the fallout from the Brexit vote, even though 70pc said a weakening sterling had impacted their business.
Marie Armstrong, IEA vice-president, said the number of exporters relying on the UK as a land bridge to the continent was "hugely significant".
"And those members are very concerned about continuing to use the UK in terms of customs, and being stopped at borders," Ms Armstrong told TDs yesterday.
For more on the survey's findings click here.
#Fishing - Marine Minister Michael Creed’s meeting with his Spanish counterpart in Brussels yesterday (Monday 6 March) was “a very useful opportunity to identify common concerns” regarding the impact of Brexit on Europe’s fisheries.
Commenting on his discussion with Spain’s Isabel García Tejerina at the latest Council of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers, Minister Creed said: “We agreed that we will work towards building a common platform involving the main member states operating within the UK 200-mile fishery limits.
“The EU fishing industry is taking a similar approach, and our combined efforts will strengthen our delivery of the EU fishing priorities in the Brexit negotiations.”
Minister Creed had bilateral meetings on both the fisheries and agri-food aspects of Brexit with his counterparts from Scotland and Estonia, among others, as well as with Commissioner Phil Hogan.
#Forum - The 2017 Maritime Commerce Forum will take place as a lunch-time event held in Dublin on Thursday 9th March. The time for the forum is from 12.30pm – 2.30pm and will be held at The Marker Hotel, Grand Canal Square. The venue is located in the capital's 'Docklands' quarter.
The event will follow on from a series of meetings held last year to discuss opportunities for Ireland in the area of ship leasing, maritime finance and maritime taxation. Given important developments, such as Brexit, which have occurred since the last meeting, the Forum looks forward to bringing this group together to discuss key opportunities for Ireland in light of a changing global environment. To launch the Forum this year and as a guest speaker is Mr. Alan Dukes, Chairman, Asia Matters.
Alan Dukes is the Chairman and co-founder of Asia Matters. He was a member of the Dáil (lower House of the Irish Parliament) for twenty-one years and during his political career served as the Irish Minister for Agriculture, Finance, Justice and Transport and Energy and Communications.
Alan was Leader of the Fine Gael Party for three years and was Chairman of the Irish Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee. He is a former Governor of the International Monetary Fund and a former Governor of the World Bank.
In his work at Asia Matters, he is strongly committed to the importance of two way benefits in Asia Ireland bilateral trade relations.
To reserve a place at the event from the Irish Maritime Development Office, RSVP to [email protected] by this Thursday 2nd March.