Displaying items by tag: Simon Coveney
#BANTRY2012 – A spectacular display of seamanship for Cork this Summer will be officially launched by Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney TD on January 27th when details of the Bantry 2012 Challenge are revealed. As well as a top sporting story organisers say it's also a tale of how tight knit coastal communities across the world have forged strong interantional links thanks to an initial idea in West Cork.
300 competitors from 16 nations are expected in July when replicas of the Bantry Bay longboat, the oldest surviving vessel in the French navy are raced under sail and oar.
The international crews will take part in a week long event in ten events both on and off the water. The prestigious event for the West cork venue is known as the 'Atlantic Challenge Bantry Bay Gig World Championships'.
Competing on Lake Huron, one of the five Great Lakes the Bantry Bay Crew displayed huge amounts of physical and mental strength as they accomplished first place in their first three races.
The Atlantic Challenge is held every other year and sponsors a friendly contest of seamanship in Bantry Bay gigs. Founded by an American native Lance Lee, the Atlantic Challenge aims to build trust among nations and form a community of youth and adults from many countries, while also encouraging the practice of traditional maritime skills.
The boats measure almost 40-foot in length and hold 13 crew. Each boat uses a mainsail, foresail and mizzen.
The competition starts in Bantry on July 21st.
#CORK HARBOUR - The Government has finally set a deadline for the clean-up of the toxic waste site on Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour, under threat of massive fines from the European Commission.
RTÉ News reports that a two-and-a-half year deadline has been set to complete the sanitation of the illegal dump on the island at the site of the former Irish Steel/Ispat plant.
Some 500,000 tonnes of waste, including toxic heavy metals and cancer-causing materials, have been blamed for the area's notoriety in having one of the highest cancer rates in Ireland.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, in October last the Government signed off on a €40m package to begin clean-up of the toxic waste site on the island.
In an editorial yesterday, the Irish Examiner welcomed the Government's decision, but emphasised it was long overdue.
"[It] cannot dispel the great frustration that it has taken so very long to do what should have been done years ago," the paper said.
"To this day nobody has explained how an illegal dump of this scale was allowed to develop on a site that is not exactly secluded, remote or out of the public eye - it is, after all, just next door to the country’s main naval base."
The Irish Examiner also reports on worries that the toxic waste may never be fully removed from the island, but rather sealed off and made impermeable.
Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney was quoted as saying: "This whole clean-up plan will be peer reviewed so it’s best practice but it could be better to contain the material onsite rather than remove it.
"We will be doing all that is reasonable to ensure the site is safe."
#FISHING - The Minister for the Marine has spoken out over plans by the European Commission to make cuts in certain fish stocks that could see €65 million in lost earnings for Ireland's fishing fleet.
According to The Irish Times, Minister Simon Coveney said there was "very credible data prepared by the Marine Institute to back up" the case against proposals by EU maritime affairs commissioner Maria Damanaki to cut certain stocks by as much as 25%.
He told the paper he would "challenge anyone to say we are not sticking with scientific advice", and also suggested that the fishing industry is being more responsible in its own proposals.
"The European Commission is recommending a 60 per cent increase in the total allowable catch for Celtic Sea herring, whereas the industry is seeking 30 per cent as a more responsible approach,” said Minister Coveney.
“So this shows it is not true to say that fishermen are irresponsible, as some would suggest."
EU fish talks continue today in Brussels. The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.
The Irish Times reports that, following the reduction of his department's budget, Minister Leo Varakdar stated that substantial cuts have already occurred in the maritime safety sector.
Moreover, he announced an increase in the maritime budget from €70.5 million to €80.3 million, due to provisions for the new Irish Coast Guard helicopter contract.
Earlier this week, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, underlined the importance of the marine sector to Ireland's coastal communities.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Minister Coveney announced a round of expenditure estimates on Monday which include increased funding for investment in processing, aquaculture and fishery harbours.
#BUDGET – Announcing his expenditure estimates for 2012 today the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD said The marine and fisheries sector is particularly important to coastal communities and savings have been made through redeployments at a number of state agencies. The Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) where Revised arrangements for meetings & communications with port offices saved €300,000 per annum. At the Marine Institute Internal redeployment will make savings of €304,000 per annum. Reduced rental and storage costs at Bord Isacaigh Mhara will lead to savings of €138,000 per annum
In addition to funding for investment schemes in the processing sector, aquaculture development and fishery harbours, the Minister said that he is providing for an increase in the grant-in-aid for BIM in recognition of the on-going valuable role which it plays in the development of the fishing sector but also in view of the added responsibility which it will have in relation to the deep sea aquaculture.
The Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Capital Programme provides funding for works at the six State-owned Fishery Harbour Centres, (Howth, Dunmore East, Castletownbere, Dingle, Ros a Mhíl and Killybegs) as well as other Local Authority owned harbours and landing places around the coast.
Funding allocated under this programme will be used for the improvement of the Fishery Harbour Centres to ensure the future viability of the fishing industry, bring the Fishery Harbour Centres up to a best in class standard, reduce congestion and improve safety for all harbour users.
This programme enhances harbour infrastructure, provides much needed employment in coastal communities during the construction phase and establishes a platform to create and support sustained employment in the fishing, aquaculture and marine leisure sectors.
The meeting took place in Luxembourg, where Minister Coveney is attending an EU Council of Agriculture & Fisheries' Ministers.
The Ministers discussed the ongoing mackerel negotiations in London, which are critical for their respective fishing industries, which together have the majority of the EU mackerel catch. Ministers agreed that the current unrestricted, irresponsible fishing of mackerel by Iceland and the Faroe Islands was totally unacceptable and would result, if continued at its current level, in the destruction of the stock.
The Ministers agreed to work together to secure an agreement on a fair share of Mackerel for Iceland and the Faroes. Minister Coveney said "I appreciate that serious efforts are underway to reach agreement on the share out of Mackerel, which is Ireland's most important fishery. I am very concerned that an agreement is not secured at a high cost as the share given to Iceland and the Faroes involves a reduction in Ireland's share. The share agreed, therefore, must be fair and proportionate. I welcome the outcome of today's meeting with my Ministerial counterparts to closely cooperate in the negotiations, in order to protect the interests of our fishing industry, which is dependent on a sustainably managed Mackerel stock."
Minister Coveney also said that the Ministers had agreed "to strongly demand trade sanctions, promised by Commissioner Damanaki, in the event that either Iceland or the Faroes are not prepared to stop their irresponsible fishing."
In addition to their discussions on the mackerel issue, the Ministers also discussed progress and their respective priorities on the reform of the CFP and the upcoming negotiations on TACs and quotas.
Environmentalists have welcomed the decision by the Minister for the Marine to refuse a permit for commercial sea bass fishing in the Celtic Sea, The Irish Times reports.
The Friends of the Irish Environment hailed Minister Simon Coveney's retention of the total ban on commercial exploitation of sea bass stocks.
Anglers are only permitted to keep two of such fish measuring more than 40cm in any 24-hour period.
There has been much opposition to the proposal by the Federation of Irish Fishermen to lift the ban on commerical bass fishing.
The species has been on the protected list for more than 20 years but this protection was only made permanent in 2006.
Fishermen and farmers make up more than half of all work-related fatalities in Ireland, according to the Minister for the Marine.
As The Irish Times reports, Simon Coveney TD decried it as an "absolute tragedy" in the Dáil.
He noted the progress being made in encouraging people to wear safety gear when on the water, but said there was "little or no progress in getting fishermen to wear lifejackets”.
"For some reason fishermen seem to think they will never fall in the water," the minister commented.
Cork South West TD Noel Harrington also raised the point of the Department of the Marine's refusal to use personal beacons that directly signal emergency services, rather than emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRB).
He referred to the capsizing of the Rambler 100 yacht in the Fastnet Race in August, saying that the latter did not go off to alert the coastguard as the boat had not sunk.
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny visited the Marine Institute's research vessel RV Celtic Explorer in Dublin Port today, where he announced the creation of 92 jobs in the marine sector, writes Jehan Ashmore.
"Ireland is now recognised as an emerging power in Marine Research and Innovation," said the Taoiseach. Of the new positions, 64 will be generated in the seafood processing sector. This follows a €3.5m Seafood Processing Business Investment Scheme administered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM). In the area of marine research, 28 jobs have been created through funding of €2m from an International SmartOcean Graduate Programme.
SmartOcean is a collaboration between IRCSET (Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology), the Marine Institute, five Irish universities and key multinationals and SME Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies to provide funding for 28 research posts.
The Taoiseach said: "This has been achieved through the mapping of the 90% of Irish national territory that lies under the Atlantic, the creation of a quarter of a billion Euros worth of marine research infrastructure, and the fostering of strong linkages between industry and research centres, all of which will support employment opportunities in key areas of potential growth in the marine sector."
During the tour of the RV Celtic Explorer, the Taoiseach who was accompanied by Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food, Simon Coveney, welcomed the expansion of Ireland's capabilities in the international shipping services sector, which is expected to attract additional jobs to the country.
Ireland's emerging international shipping services sector has continued to grow, underpinned by a number of investments in new and second hand ships over the last twelve months by such companies as Arklow Shipping and the Mainport Group, as well as foreign direct investments by D'Amico and Ardmore shipping.
As reported on Afloat.ie, RV Celtic Explorer had arrived yesterday into Dublin Port, having completed a fisheries demersal survey which started in Galway on 23 September. Initially she had docked at Ocean Pier but she subsequently shifted berths to Sir John Rogersons Quay for today's reception of An Taoiseach. According to her survey schedule she is due to depart tomorrow on a herring acoustic survey which is to take place in the Celtic Sea and off the south-west coast.
- Dublin Port
- Marine Institute
- marine science
- Arklow Shipping Ltd
- Bord Iascaigh Mhara
- Ports and Shipping News
- Ardmore Shipping
- Mainport Group
- Irish marine jobs
- An Taoiseach Enda Kenny
- RV Celtic Explorer
- RV Celtic Voyager
- Sir John Rogersons Quay
- Irish research vessels
- Simon Coveney
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.