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The European Commission is seeking proposals to develop a fishing vessel equipped with alternative propulsion technologies and improved energy performance.

The “demonstrator” vessel should foster energy transition in the fisheries sector, and has a budget of 2.2 million euro, drawn from EU pilot project funds.

The Commission lists the expected impacts as:

To develop and demonstrate viable solutions for fishing vessels which improve the energy performance, including reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and costs;

To increase knowledge on the challenges, benefits and impacts (including economic, environmental and in terms of health and safety of fishers) of different technologies aimed to improve the energy and emissions performance of fishing vessels;

To strengthen understanding of the potential to adapt existing technologies to the fishing sector;

To raise awareness of and broaden the possibilities offered to fishers to become more energy efficient and initiate the energy transition of fishing vessels.

It says long term expected impacts include:

  • Improving the resilience and economic viability of the EU fishing fleet;
  • Improving understanding of technical, social, legal, regulatory and policy barriers to energy transition in fisheries;
  • Reduced fuel consumption and GHG emissions from fishing vessels and improved energy efficiency in their range of activities;
  • Accelerating the adoption of new technologies in the fisheries to foster energy transition;
  • Improving the business environment and raising awareness among investors.

The closing date for proposals is June 11th, and more details are here.

Published in Fishing

Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue on Tuesday (10 January) today met fishing industry representatives at the Marine Institute in Galway and discussed the negotiations ongoing this week, between the EU and Norway, on a fisheries agreement.

The minister said: “Our interests relate to blue whiting and the level of the transfer of blue whiting quota to Norway to pay for other fishing opportunities that the EU is seeking and the level of access to EU waters which, in practice, involves fishing in Ireland’s 200 miles zone. These negotiations will recommence on Wednesday. The discussions with Irish industry representatives today were very useful and enabled a full consideration of the issues and the negotiating options.”

He added that he is pleased a number of Irish fishing industry representatives will attend this round of negotiations in Brussels and will assist his team as talks progress.

“I am continuing to engage directly with Commissioner Sinkevicious, EU Commissioner for Fisheries and the Environment to ensure that he understands Ireland’s concerns and its priorities in these negotiations,” he said.

Minister McConalogue also used this opportunity to provide an update on the voluntary fishing fleet scrappage scheme as recommended by the Seafood Task Force.

The scheme was focussed at whitefish polyvalent and beam trawl vessels, with the objective of voluntarily removing 8,000 GT and 21,000 KW to rebalance the fleet and improve the viability of the remaining fleet by making available more quota to them.

The minister briefed the industry that due to the level of interest from vessel owners, and the calculations from Bord Iascaigh Mhara on the levels of direct payments required to meet the objective of the scheme, that an increase in budget was required.

Additional funds have been successfully sought from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and an updated EU State Aid approval has been secured, he added.

“In order to ensure that all fishers who wished to take part in the scheme could do so and that the targets set by the Task Force could be delivered, I have increased the budget for direct payments under the scheme from €60 million to a maximum of €75 million with tax reliefs increasing proportionately,” the minister said.

“Offers for voluntary decommissioning will now be made to 57 vessel owners and the decommissioning of those vessels will make available an extra €34 million in quota for the remainder of the whitefish fleet improving their profitability and securing the future of the fleet.

“I am satisfied that I have now enabled all those who have chosen to apply for this scheme receive the full value of the scheme payment as guided by the Seafood Task Force recommendation.”

Published in Fishing

The European Parliament and Council have reached a provisional political agreement on amending the current legislation in order to improve stability requirements for roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) passenger ships.

The amended directive will play an important part in ensuring the safety of these vessels in the EU, in accordance with the new international standards in the field (SOLAS Convention).

‘Ro-ro’ passenger ships provide numerous maritime links within member states, between member states and with third countries. They are therefore of major importance to passenger and freight transport in Europe. The revised directive is also a direct consequence of one of the worst maritime accidents in European waters, the sinking of the ‘Estonia’ in 1994.

The new legislation ensures, as far as possible, consistency with international standards for the stability of damaged passenger ships, which were recently updated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under the 2020 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS Convention).

The IMO is introducing a new model for assessing the survivability of damaged ro-ro passenger ships, as well as new related requirements. However, these new international standards appear to be insufficient in the light of the requirements already in force in the Union for new small vessels, which is why the new law maintains a level of safety requirements equivalent to existing Union law for those ships.

The revised directive also aims to strengthen fleet entry requirements within the Union for existing large vessels that have not yet been certified in the Union. The text of the provisional political agreement maintains the general purpose of the initial Commission proposal, with the exception of the extension of the transposition deadline from 12 to 18 months.

Next Steps

Today’s provisional political agreement is now subject to approval by the two co-legislators. On the Council side, the Czech presidency intends to submit the agreement to the member states’ representatives (Coreper) as soon as possible with a view to its formal approval by the Council.

To dowload the Commission proposal, click here for further links.   

Also available here is the Directive 2003/25/EU.

Published in Ferry

Senior figures from EU member states have threatened a strong response to the UK's legislation.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz yesterday hinted at trade measures against the UK, while the EU's chief negotiator, Maroš Šefčovič, said the European Commission could resume legal action against London.

Mr Šefčovič will brief members of the European Parliament later today.

Last night, one senior EU figure after another denounced the UK bill that would tear up the protocol.

Mr Scholz said the EU had its entire toolbox at its disposal, in other words, the EU could take retaliatory trade measures.

Senior Italian, Dutch and Austrian ministers all accused the UK of threatening to break international law.

The European Commission waited until the bill was laid before the House of Commons before responding.

Mr Šefčovič said the EU would not renegotiate the protocol.

More from RTE's report with business leaders sounding a note of caution.

Published in Ports & Shipping

The European Union (Minimum Safety and Health Requirements for Improved Medical Treatment on Board Vessels) Regulations 2021 transpose into Irish law European Council Directive 92/29/EEC (as amended) concerning the minimum health and safety requirements for improved medical treatment on board vessels.

These regulations give effect to the directive in full, included amendments to the annexes set out in European Commission Directive (EU) 2019/1834 detailing requirements of medical supplies and equipment to be carried on board for each category of vessel.

In line with the requirements set out in the annexes to the revised directive, the medicine and required dosage under each category is outlined in Marine Notice No 60 of 2021 (available to download below) in order to assist vessel owners in complying with the directive.

Owners and masters of Irish vessels are required to comply with the requirements of the amended directive as of this past Saturday 20 November.

Published in Ports & Shipping
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European Commission is expected in December to publish its proposal for reviewing the Trans European Network for Energy (TEN-E) Guidelines Regulation of 2013.

According to the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) they welcomed the revision but in order for the review to align with the Green Deal objectives European ports stress the importance of recognising the central role of ports in Europe’s new energy systems.

“As European ports, we welcome the upcoming review of the TEN-E network and are excited to help Europe on the path towards a net-zero energy network by 2050. Nonetheless, we stress the need for the European Commission to recognise ports as key actors and partners in the energy transition. There are a huge amount of activities in ports that enable clean energy, from production and storage to import and hinterland distribution. We therefore urge the Commission to make sure they recognise the important role of ports”, noted Isabelle Ryckbost, Secretary-General of ESPO.

Europe’s Ports are key players in the energy sectors. They are particularly important in the development of the hydrogen economy: From production and storage facilities to fuelling, recharging and distribution, ports will need to invest heavily to support the ramp-up of hydrogen in Europe. This extends to imports and related facilities, alongside facilities to convert offshore renewable energy into green hydrogen, a prerequisite for the hydrogen economy to reach European Green Deal aims.

Ports also play a key role in the production and distribution of other fuels. This is not, however, recognised in the current TEN-E legislation, where few ports active in energy systems are included in the project corridors. ESPO underlines that this oversight cannot be repeated when hydrogen is included in the legislation. Ports’ role must be reconsidered in the context of the other energy carriers.

TEN-E Guidelines Regulation 347/2013/EC has the aim of linking energy infrastructures in the EU. It was adopted in 2013 alongside the Trans European Transport (TEN-T) and Telecommunication Networks (eTEN). Similar to the TEN-T network, the TEN-E legislation is based around 9 corridors relating to electricity, oil and gas and 3 thematic areas (where cross-border carbon dioxide networks are included). The Commission began its revision of the TEN-E policy in early 2020 with one key motivation being to bring the legislation in line with the goals of the European Green Deal.

ESPO’s priorities on the forthcoming TEN-E review can be downloaded here.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Tagged under

#Ports&Shipping - Irish exporters reports RTE, have called for an urgent intensification of no-deal contingency planning by the government and the EU in the face of heightened uncertainty around Brexit.

The Irish Exporters Association (IEA) has warned that the risk of a disorderly exit by Britain from the EU has increased following the delayed vote on the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement and today’s no-confidence vote on Theresa May’s leadership.

According to Simon McKeever, chief executive of the IEA, the potential economic impacts of the UK crashing out of the EU next year will be "immediate, extensive and far-reaching for Irish businesses."

For more on the story click here. 

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Trade - European importers of pleasure craft from the US have already been impacted by new EU tariffs that add an average of €20,000 per boat.

According to Boating Business, dealers across Europe have been placing orders for new boats on hold since the tariffs came into effect in June as part of the response to the Trump administration’s steel and aluminium levies.

Yacht transport companies are also affected by the situation as the majority of their small boat business is from the US to European markets, says logistics specialists Peters & May.

The new rules apply to all pleasure craft in transit since 22 June, regardless of size, with only inflatable boats excepted.

And the increase from 17% to 25% on import costs is having what are perhaps unintended consequences for European brokers.

“The duty is intended to protect our industries, but we sell waterski and wakeboard boats which are not made over here,” says Jason Bates of Nautique Midlands in the UK.

Boating Business has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Trade
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#ports&shipping - Following the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) attendance of last week's LISW17, the Irish government shipping agency will also be attending the Connecting Europe Conference taking place this week in the Estonian capital of Tallinn.

The IMDO will also be exhibiting at the two-day event held at the Nordea Concert Hall between 21-22 September.

The event is being organised by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE), in cooperation with the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and Ministry of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure of the Republic of Estonia.

At the Connecting Europe Facility Conference in Tallinn, a number of key Irish ports and enterprising marine companies in areas of ICT and digitalisation will exhibit together with Ireland’s Marine Development Team and the Irish Maritime Development Office to communicate Ireland’s marine opportunity.

Our delegation is keen to build connections for potential collaborations in future projects, especially in the in the area of research, and to discuss Ireland's strengths in areas such as Digital Ocean, Smart Ports and the development of Ireland's ICT cluster.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Fishing - Marine Minister Simon Coveney today (Wednesday 20 May) welcomed an EU Commission proposal for a comprehensive prohibition on commercial fishing for seabass in the Irish and Celtic Seas which underpins the conservation actions already taken by Ireland with regard to this vulnerable stock.

“Ireland has had stringent measures in place for the protection of seabass, a very important angling species, for a long number of years. However, those measures only applied to Irish vessels," said the minister.

"I have been very active over the past six months, lobbying the EU Commission and relevant member states on this issue. I am delighted that the EU finally recognises the lead taken by Ireland by extending our ban on commercial fishing to all EU vessels operating in the waters around Ireland.”

Minister Coveney added: “The scientific advice for seabass is very worrying and we must all do our utmost to protect this stock.  Ireland has been to the forefront in being the only EU member state to afford maximum protection to this stock and today’s proposal will enhance that protection by making the Irish model obligatory for all EU vessels in the Irish & Celtic Seas.”

Once the measures are approved by the Council of Ministers, all commercial fishing for seabass will be prohibited in the waters around Ireland. Details of the prohibition areas are included HERE.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under
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Annalise Murphy, Olympic Silver Medalist

The National Yacht Club's Annalise Murphy (born 1 February 1990) is a Dublin Bay sailor who won a silver medal in the 2016 Summer Olympics. She is a native of Rathfarnham, a suburb of Dublin.

Murphy competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the Women's Laser Radial class. She won her first four days of sailing at the London Olympics and, on the fifth day, came in 8th and 19th position.

They were results that catapulted her on to the international stage but those within the tiny sport of Irish sailing already knew her of world-class capability in a breeze and were not surprised.

On the sixth day of the competition, she came 2nd and 10th and slipped down to second, just one point behind the Belgian world number one.

Annalise was a strong contender for the gold medal but in the medal race, she was overtaken on the final leg by her competitors and finished in 4th, her personal best at a world-class regatta and Ireland's best Olympic class result in 30 years.

Radial European Gold

Murphy won her first major medal at an international event the following year on home waters when she won gold at the 2013 European Sailing Championships on Dublin Bay.

Typically, her track record continues to show that she performs best in strong breezes that suit her large stature (height: 1.86 m Weight: 72 kg).

She had many international successes on her road to Rio 2016 but also some serious setbacks including a silver fleet finish in flukey winds at the world championships in the April of Olympic year itself.

Olympic Silver Medal

On 16 August 2016, Murphy won the silver medal in the Laser Radial at the 2016 Summer Olympics defying many who said her weight and size would go against her in Rio's light winds.

As Irish Times Sailing Correspondent David O'Brien pointed out: " [The medal] was made all the more significant because her string of consistent results was achieved in a variety of conditions, the hallmark of a great sailor. The medal race itself was a sailing master class by the Dubliner in some decidedly fickle conditions under Sugarloaf mountain".

It was true that her eight-year voyage ended with a silver lining but even then Murphy was plotting to go one better in Tokyo four years later.

Sportswoman of the Year

In December 2016, she was honoured as the Irish Times/Sport Ireland 2016 Sportswoman of the Year.

In March, 2017, Annalise Murphy was chosen as the grand marshal of the Dublin St Patrick's day parade in recognition of her achievement at the Rio Olympics.

She became the Female World Champion at the Moth Worlds in July 2017 in Italy but it came at a high price for the Olympic Silver medallist. A violent capsize in the last race caused her to sustain a knee injury which subsequent scans revealed to be serious. 

Volvo Ocean Race

The injury was a blow for her return to the Olympic Laser Radial discipline and she withdrew from the 2017 World Championships. But, later that August, to the surprise of many, Murphy put her Tokyo 2020 ambitions on hold for a Volvo Ocean Race crew spot and joined Dee Caffari’s new Turn the Tide On Plastic team that would ultimately finish sixth from seventh overall in a global circumnavigation odyssey.

Quits Radial for 49erFX

There were further raised eyebrows nine months later when, during a break in Volvo Ocean Race proceedings, in May 2018 Murphy announced she was quitting the Laser Radial dinghy and was launching a 49er FX campaign for Tokyo 2020. Critics said she had left too little time to get up to speed for Tokyo in a new double-handed class.

After a 'hugely challenging' fourteen months for Murphy and her crew Katie Tingle, it was decided after the 2019 summer season that their 'Olympic medal goal' was no longer realistic, and the campaign came to an end. Murphy saying in interviews “I guess the World Cup in Japan was a bit of a wakeup call for me, I was unable to see a medal in less than twelve months and that was always the goal".

The pair raced in just six major regattas in a six-month timeframe. 

Return to Radial

In September 2019, Murphy returned to the Laser Radial dinghy and lead a four-way trial for the Tokyo 2020 Irish Olympic spot after the first of three trials when she finished 12th at the Melbourne World Championships in February 2020.

Selection for Tokyo 2021

On June 11, Irish Sailing announced Annalise Murphy had been nominated in the Laser Radial to compete at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Murphy secured the Laser Radial nomination after the conclusion of a cut short trials in which rivals Aoife Hopkins, Aisling Keller and Eve McMahon also competed.

Disappointment at Tokyo 2021

After her third Olympic Regatta, there was disappointment for Murphy who finished 18th overall in Tokyo. On coming ashore after the last race, she indicated her intention to return to studies and retire from Olympic sailing.  

On 6th Aguust 2020, Murphy wrote on Facebook:  "I am finally back home and it’s been a week since I finished racing, I have been lucky enough to experience the highs and the lows of the Olympics. I am really disappointed, I can’t pretend that I am not. I wasn’t good enough last week, the more mistakes I made the more I lost confidence in my decision making. Two years ago I made a plan to try and win a gold medal in the Radial, I believed that with my work ethic and attitude to learning, that everything would work out for me. It didn’t work out this time but I do believe that it’s worth dreaming of winning Olympic medals as I’m proof that it is possible, I also know how scary it is to try knowing you might not be good enough!
I am disappointed for Rory who has been my coach for 15 years, we’ve had some great times together and I wish I could have finished that on a high. I have so much respect for Olympic sailing coaches. They also have to dedicate their lives to getting to the games. I know I’ll always appreciate the impact Rory has had on my life as a person.
I am so grateful for the support I have got from my family and friends, I have definitely been selfish with my time all these years and I hope I can now make that up to you all! Thanks to Kate, Mark and Rónán for always having my back! Thank you to my sponsors for believing in me and supporting me. Thank you Tokyo for making these games happen! It means so much to the athletes to get this chance to do the Olympics.
I am not too sure what is next for me, I definitely don’t hate sailing which is a positive. I love this sport, even when it doesn’t love me 😂. Thank you everyone for all the kind words I am finally getting a chance to read!"

Annalise Murphy, Olympic Sailor FAQs

Annalise Murphy is Ireland’s best performing sailor at Olympic level, with a silver medal in the Laser Radial from Rio 2016.

Annalise Murphy is from Rathfarnham, a suburb in south Co Dublin with a population of some 17,000.

Annalise Murphy was born on 1 February 1990, which makes her 30 years old as of 2020.

Annalise Murphy’s main competition class is the Laser Radial. Annalise has also competed in the 49erFX two-handed class, and has raced foiling Moths at international level. In 2017, she raced around the world in the Volvo Ocean Race.

In May 2018, Annalise Murphy announced she was quitting the Laser Radial and launching a campaign for Tokyo 2020 in the 49erFX with friend Katie Tingle. The pairing faced a setback later that year when Tingle broke her arm during training, and they did not see their first competition until April 2019. After a disappointing series of races during the year, Murphy brought their campaign to an end in September 2019 and resumed her campaign for the Laser Radial.

Annalise Murphy is a longtime and honorary member of the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire.

Aside from her Olympic success, Annalise Murphy won gold at the 2013 European Sailing Championships on Dublin Bay.

So far Annalise Murphy has represented Ireland at two Olympic Games.

Annalise Murphy has one Olympic medal, a silver in the Women’s Laser Radial from Rio 2016.

Yes; on 11 June 2020, Irish Sailing announced Annalise Murphy had been nominated in the Women’s Laser Radial to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in 2021.

Yes; in December 2016, Annalise Murphy was honoured as the Irish Times/Sport Ireland 2016 Sportswoman of the Year. In the same year, she was also awarded Irish Sailor of the Year.

Yes, Annalise Murphy crewed on eight legs of the 2017-18 edition of The Ocean Race.

Annalise Murphy was a crew member on Turn the Tide on Plastic, skippered by British offshore sailor Dee Caffari.

Annalise Murphy’s mother is Cathy McAleavy, who competed as a sailor in the 470 class at the Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988.

Annalise Murphy’s father is Con Murphy, a pilot by profession who is also an Olympic sailing race official.

Annalise Murphy trains under Irish Sailing Performance head coach Rory Fitzpatrick, with whom she also prepared for her silver medal performance in Rio 2016.

Annalise Murphy trains with the rest of the team based at the Irish Sailing Performance HQ in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Annalise Murphy height is billed as 6 ft 1 in, or 183cm.

©Afloat 2020

At A Glance – Annalise Murphy Significant Results

2016: Summer Olympics, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Silver

2013: European Championships, Dublin, Ireland – Gold

2012: Summer Olympics, London, UK – 4th

2011: World Championships, Perth, Australia – 6th

2010: Skandia Sail for Gold regatta – 10th

2010: Became the first woman to win the Irish National Championships.

2009: World Championships – 8th

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