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Displaying items by tag: Brexit

Ireland’s status as an island nation makes the future of our fishing industry of critical importance post-Brexit, the newly appointed Marine Minister has urged in Brussels.

Minister Charlie McConalogue was speaking after his meeting yesterday (Tuesday 22 September) with EU Fisheries Commissioner Virginius Sinkevičius to discuss the state of play regarding fisheries in overall Brexit negotiations.

The minister said he made it very clear that Ireland’s fishing industry is in a particularly precarious position, as Ireland shares its main fish stocks and its waters on three sides with the United Kingdom.

He also emphasised that any outcome in future negotiations that results in a loss of quota share for the European Union would cause permanent damage to Ireland’s fishing industry.

“The negotiating team must follow the EU mandate and defend existing quota shares and access arrangements, by linking the overall economic partnership and the conclusion of a fishing agreement to the fullest extent,” Minister McConalogue said.

He expressed confidence that Brussels would continue to defend Irish and EU fishing interests, and relayed the message from the Irish fishing industry that unity and co-operation are vital among European institutions and member states.

Minister McConalogue added: “I was very glad to meet Commissioner Sinkevičius [yesterday] and outline the negative social and economic impacts for fishing and coastal communities in Ireland, if a fair and balanced Fisheries Agreement is not reached with the UK.

“I welcome the opportunity to continue this close engagement with Commissioner Sinkevičius going forward.”

Published in Fishing
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What has Brexit got to do with your winter sails service this year? Barry Hayes of UK Sailmakers Ireland, explains the situation and why it’s such an urgent matter.

Dear customers, I want to let you know it’s really urgent if you need your sails washed and laundered to get them into us ASAP. The issue is Brexit, and specifically tariffs that will apply in the New Year without a trade deal in place.

If you need your sails washed, they need to go to Tiptop in England who are the only people who wash sails properly to UK Sailmakers’ standards. To get them washed and cleaned and back to Ireland before the Brexit tariffs will be applied after 1 January, time is now running out.

I know the season has been short and your sails haven’t been used much. But the service team at UK Sailmakers Ireland have the space and knowledge to get them serviced correctly and at the right price. Our team at the loft check every detail of your sail, making sure it’s ready for the new season.

Being mindful of the delayed season start with COVID-19 and associated restrictions, now as we get to the end of the season it’s more urgent than ever to get your sails in for service. Doing so now gives you the best option to be in early for the next season and make the most of 2021.

We are the most experienced people in the business at servicing your sails and have been doing so for more than 50 years, getting your every detail right so you can enjoy your coming season sailing. We have the space to stretch out your sail, fully hang it up to repair and replace a full UV cover, giving your sail the greatest longevity possible.

Contact UK Sails service manager [email protected] 

Published in UK Sailmakers Ireland

Michael Gove, UK minister responsible for no-deal planning, has written to logistics groups with the government's "reasonable worst-case scenario" planning, which warns of possible two-day delays for cargo travelling to France in January.

The Cabinet Office document states that, in its reasonable worst-case scenario, between 30-50% of trucks crossing the English Channel will not be ready for the new regulations coming into force on 1 January 2021.

A "lack of capacity to hold unready trucks at French ports" could also reduce the flow of traffic across the strait to 60-80% of normal levels.

"This could lead to maximum queues of 7,000 port bound trucks in Kent and associated maximum delays of up to two days," the documents said.

Such delays could be in place for at least three months, hauliers have been warned, as alternative routes are sought and supply chains get to grips with the new systems and requirements.

RTE News has more on this trade-congestion scenario. 

Published in Ferry

In the UK the Government, according to Belfast Telegraph, is set to pay for work on post-Brexit port checks in Northern Ireland, DAERA Minister Edwin Poots has said.

The DUP MLA told the BBC that the UK Government would now pay for the work after he reportedly proposed pausing it due to the current political uncertainty around Brexit.

In the summer, the Government said enhanced regulatory checks would be required on animals and food products crossing the Irish Sea from Great Britain to Northern Ireland under the terms of the Brexit deal.

The Executive assumed a legal responsibility to undertake the work for the Government to enable it to fulfil its international obligations under the Withdrawal Agreement.

However, Mr Poots expressed a reluctance to commit an estimated £40m to the project without further clarity. Click for more here

Published in Ports & Shipping
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Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue has reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to a fisheries agreement with the UK that protects Ireland’s fishing industry post-Brexit.

Industry representatives attended the meeting today, Wednesday 16 September, where they emphasised that unity with other EU member states and institutions is key.

They also expounded on the serious implications for the Irish fishing industry and coastal communities without a fisheries agreement with the UK — or any deal which grants the UK’s demands for a greater share of fish stocks and restricted access to UK fishing grounds.

In response, Minister McConalogue said he would continue to “press for a fisheries agreement with the UK that protects the mandate and upholds both existing quota shares and existing reciprocal access to UK waters”. He acknowledged the importance of such an agreement being linked to any future trade deal.

The minister also listened to industry concerns regarding the Statutory Instrument on points for serious infringements of the Common Fisheries Policy.

He explained Ireland’s position and noted the commitment of all to effective controls to protect the valuable fishing resources in Ireland’s 200-mile zone, and the need for the country to meet its EU obligations in the area.

Speaking later, Minister McConalogue said: “I was very glad to have the opportunity today to meet with the fishing industry representatives.

“We had a very useful exchange on the challenges for the sector posed by the UK’s exit from the EU and the Statutory Instrument on points. I intend to continue this close engagement with the fishing industry going forward.”

Published in Fishing
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The European Commission president has warned the British government not to backtrack on its commitments in the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement pertaining to fishing rights, among other issues.

Ursula von der Leyen spoke out on Twitter as a furore has grown over leaked diplomatic cables seen by the Guardian which indicate that the UK intends to hold back on compromise on outstanding issues such as fisheries to provoke a last-minute “trade off”.

As the final round of negotiations gets under way in London today, Tuesday 8 September, Whitehall has also been accused of “introducing” a new “concept” with regards to access for European fishing fleets in British waters — which intersect with Irish waters in a number of key areas.

The UK government position is apparently now that “80% of the common stocks” are designated as “priority stocks” for British fishermen.

The Guardian has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
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Supertrawlers spent almost twice as much time fishing in the UK’s protected waters in the first half of this year than in the whole of 2019, according to an investigation by Greenpeace.

As the Guardian reports, supertrawlers spent 5,590 hours fishing in 19 of the UK’s marine protected areas between 1 January and 30 June this year.

Much of that time overlapped with coronavirus restrictions that saw most of the UK’s regular fishing fleet confined to port with the collapse of their biggest markets.

And the figure also represents a massive increase in the 475 hours in total fishing of protected areas recorded just three years ago, as the Greenpeace data reveals.

The news follows fears of “skirmishes at sea” from Rockall to the English Channel in the event of a no-deal Brexit when the Irish fleet moves to asserts its “moral right to greater access to its own waters”.

The Guardian has more on the story HERE.

The latest Marine Notice from the Irish Maritime Administration compiles links to a series of updated notices from the European Commission on the legal and practical implications arising at the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December this year.

The seven readiness notices comprise the following:

The Commission Communication of 9 July 2020 highlights the importance for stakeholders of ensuring their readiness for the automatic changes arising following the end of the transition period as of 1 January 2021.

These Commission-published notices are intended to facilitate preparation by EU-27 member states and by wider stakeholders in the areas concerned for the end of the UK’s transition period on 31 December 2020.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Published in Ferry

Negotiations with the UK over future fisheries arrangements were the focus of the first meeting between Ireland’s new Marine Minister, Barry Cowen, and the EU Fisheries Commissioner this past week.

Meeting virtually with Virginius Sinkevičius on Thursday (9 July) from his department’s Tullamore offices, Minister Cowen discussed the importance of the EU’s agreed Brexit negotiation mandate to “uphold existing reciprocal access conditions, quota shares and traditional activity of the Union fleet”.

Minister Cowen said: “This was a very useful first discussion with Commissioner Sinkevičius and it was important to be able to talk first-hand with the commissioner about Ireland’s concerns in relation to the potential negative impacts for our fishing communities in Ireland if we do not put in place a fair and balanced Fisheries Agreement with the UK.

“I reiterated this Government’s full support for the EU negotiating mandate and my confidence that the commissioner and [EU chief negotiator] Michel Barnier will continue to be strong defenders of Irish and EU fishing interests.

“It is clear to me that the negotiations on a fisheries agreement can only be successfully considered in the overall context of the wider EU/UK future relationship agreement and leveraging this will be vital in protecting our coastal communities”.

The minister and Commissioner Sinkevičius also discussed non-Brexit-related fisheries issues such as measures against illegal fishing, and Ireland’s commitment to promoting sustainability in setting quotas and fishing methods, as well as the future European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund.

Published in Fishing
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RNLI Ireland Information

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts.

The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and the Channel Islands.

The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,200 lives.

How many RNLI stations are there in Ireland?

46 stations

The RNLI currently operates from 46 stations in the Republic and Northern Ireland. Different classes of lifeboat are needed for various locations. So RNLI lifeboats are divided into two category types: all-weather and inshore.

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