Displaying items by tag: Common Fisheries Policy
#FISHING - Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney briefed the Irish Skipper Expo in Galway last weekend on a new initiative promoting the use of selective conservation fishing nets, which allow young fish to escape.
Under the initiative in the Celtic Sea, additional quotas of up to 25% will be made available by the minister to skippers of Irish fishing boats which use an escape panel in their nets, allowing young whiting and haddock to escape.
The escape panel, developed by the Irish industry, has been endorsed at EU level and is expected to be a mandatory requirement later in the year.
Minister Coveney said on Saturday: “The use of this panel will significantly reduce discards of juvenile whiting and haddock in the Celtic Sea, allowing juvenile fish to grow and mature and contribute to increased stock size and returns for fishermen in future years.
"I believe that this offers an example of a practical approach to dealing effectively with the discards problem and retention of a flexible quota allocation system that we should take forward in the context of the Common Fisheries Policy Review."
In other news, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) announced €1.5 million in grant aid for the Irish fishing industry at the expo.
A spokesperson for BIM confirmed to the Galway Independent that the funding will be available to industry through a variety of schemes including fleet safety, seafood environmental management, lobster V-notching and coastal action groups.
Over 100 companies displayed their products and services to fishermen at the Irish Skipper Expo International 2012, held at the Galway Bay Hotel on 24-25 February.
- commercial fishing
- Minister for the Marine
- Simon Coveney
- Irish Skipper Expo
- Skipper Expo International
- Galway Bay Hotel
- Celtic sea
- grant aid
- Bord Iascaigh Mhara
- juvenile fish
- Common Fisheries Policy
The European Union's maritime affairs commissioner has promised a "level playing field" during the review of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), The Irish Times reports.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Maria Damanaki was in Dublin on Thursday to discuss reform of the policy with Irish stakeholders.
She admitted that Ireland had suffered under the current policy, which has led to overfishing in Irish waters by other EU member states such as Spain.
The commissioner said that better maritime planning and protection of "small-scale fisheries" were fundamental to the new CFP.
But she denied that Ireland's situation would worsen under the new proposals, which include concessions on transferable quotas that critics - including Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney - fear would see multinationals buying up Irish fishing rights.
She said similar concessions had worked in Denmark, the US, Australia and New Zealand, adding that the system is designed to compensate those who want to leave fishing without straining the EU's finances.
Damanaki also discussed encouraging the development of offshore aquaculture to combat rising imports of seafood, and her commitment to ending the practice of fish discards - which may also involve a programme to provide lower-income individuals with cheaper fish.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.
EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki will visit Ireland this week to discuss reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.
Commissioner Damanaki will speak tomorrow at the Institute of International and European Affairs where she will address Irish stakeholders on the new policy, which aims at preserving fish stocks at sustainable levels by managing fisheries in a responsible, science-based way.
She will also later meet with Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Simon Coveney.
On Friday she will travel to Galway with EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, to visit the Marine Institute and participate in a roundtable on maritime policy with representatives of the Irish administration and the Irish maritime sector.
Commissioner Damanaki will also gauge the views of Irish stakeholders on the upcoming Atlantic Strategy under the Integrated Maritime Policy, which the European Commission is currently drawing up.
- EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
- Maria Damanaki
- Common Fisheries Policy
- Institute of International and European Affairs
- sustainable fishing
- Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
- Simon Coveney
- EU Commissioner for Research Innovation and Science
- Máire GeogheganQuinn
- Marine Insitute
- maritime policy
- Atlantic Strategy
- Integrated Maritime Policy
- European Commission
World Oceans Day on 8 June will see the launch European Fish Week 2011 at Trinity College's Long Room Hub.
The evening will comprise an exhibition and brief talk on this year's theme of 'Back to the Future' - reclaiming the past richness of Ireland's seas and fishing communities.
"By reminding ourselves of how living with the sea used to be, we can better understand the present extent of overfishing and how we can play a part in ending it through an effective reform of the Common Fisheries Policy," according to organisers OCEAN2012.
The event, which will also feature music and a reception, begins at 6pm on 8 June at the Long Room Hub in Trinity College, Dublin 2. Those wishing to attend should RSVP to [email protected] by 3 June.
Further events will be taking place throughout Europe from 4-12 June. For more information visit ocean2012.eu.
The Angling Trades Association (ATA) has announced its support for TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's 'Fish Fight' campaign to bring an end to the practice of discarding commercially-caught sea fish.
Last week saw the shocking news that half of all fish caught in the North Sea are thrown back overboard dead - a practice "encouraged" by the quota provisions of the Common Fisheries Policy.
"It is crucial for the future of recreational sea angling that the oceans support plentiful, robust and sustainable populations of catchable fish," said the ATA in a statement.
The group's chief executibe Dr Bruno Broughton commented: "We must all shoulder some responsibility for allowing the continuation of the wasteful and counter-productive policy of discarding fish."
I had to read the figures twice to make sure that I was seeing them correctly. The second reading made me even more angry than the first.
They were, at last, a definitive figure of how much the stupidity of Irish politicians and the ignorance and disregard of the maritime sphere by the Government have cost this nation – over a billion Euros in one year.
There is no way the Government can weasel its way out of this revelation, nor any excuse the un-named civil servants responsible can make to avoid the accusation that this is a massive economic waste.
The Marine Institute is the Government's own respected authority on maritime affairs, the voice of the State on marine research and it has valued the total available catch of fish off Ireland last year at €1.18 billion, for a total of 994,155 tonnes.
That is an enormous figure, indicating huge potential wealth for this cash-strapped nation in the middle of an economic disaster. But of this total value of seafood, Ireland was only entitled to catch €0.19 billion. Foreign fishing fleets had exclusive rights to take the rest of the fish from Irish waters.
No wonder I had to read the figures a second time to make sure I was seeing them correctly at a time when the value of our food exports has been shown to be one of the top earners for the nation. How much more could have been earned if Irish fishermen could catch all that fish and have it processed in Ireland, creating onshore jobs in ancillary businesses as well as at sea?
The total value for 2010 could be even higher than €1.18 billion because the Institute prepared its figures in advance of the annual fisheries negotiations in Brussels in December. Ireland as a nation and the country's fishing industry in particular are likely to have lost out even more heavily to other EU countries.
Effectively, Ireland handed over around €1billion of its natural economic resources to other EU countries. Mark McCarthy, Editor of The Marine Times, the national fishing industry paper, described the figures as "truly frightening."
"This is a nation with some of the richest fishing grounds in the world where the coastal communities are being financially starved and frustrated through their inability to catch their own fish, because they are not allowed to do so."
It is hardly any wonder that Irish fishermen, forced to tie up their boats at the quaysides of Irish fishing ports and watch as foreign vessels unload into those ports, are bitter and frustrated.
Ebbie Sheehan of Castletownbere, Chairman of the Irish Fishermen's Organisation, asks why fishermen are "so badly treated when we look at the economic situation today?"
The Marine Institute, our national maritime scientific and research organisation, says that its estimate of the value of fishing opportunities in Irish waters is "conservative" and that, in order to prepare the figures in early December, it based them on 2009 values
That would make the total value even higher and the Institute pointed out that of the total catch of 994,155 tonnes, Ireland's fishermen were entitled to take only 18 per cent of the catch. This was only 16 per cent of the total value.
"These figures exclude valuable inshore fisheries, such as lobster and whelk which are not currently managed by total allowable catches within the Common Fisheries Policy," the Institute pointed out.
As Mark McCarthy described it, when one considers the importance of using our natural resources for the benefit of Irish people and the failure of our political leaders to see and understand this, what has been revealed is "truly frightening".
- This article is reprinted by permission of the EVENING ECHO newspaper, Cork, where Tom MacSweeney writes maritime columns twice weekly. Evening Echo website: www.eecho.ie