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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 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 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.

Published in Fishing
A new scheme to teach traditional boatbuilding skills to university level could be of huge benefit to young people from disadvantaged areas of Limerick.
The Irish Times reports that degree programmes in traditional boat craft accredited by the UK's University of Middlesex are set to take their first students in 2012.
Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney also confirmed that partnerships have been developed with the US Northwest School of Wooden Boat-building and Sail Training International.
Some 40 trainees, mostly from Limerick's designated regeneration areas, have already taken part in the restoration of the ketch Ilen, designed by record-breaking sailor Conor O'Brien.
The AKA Ilen project, set up by boat-builder Gary McMahon, is intended to "nurture self-belief and confidence through the medium of wooden boatbuilding and maritime education".
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

A new scheme to teach traditional boatbuilding skills to university level could be of huge benefit to young people from disadvantaged areas of Limerick.

The Irish Times reports that degree programmes in traditional boat craft accredited by the UK's University of Middlesex are set to take their first students in 2012.

Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney also confirmed that partnerships have been developed with the US Northwest School of Wooden Boat-building and Sail Training International.

Some 40 trainees, mostly from Limerick's designated regeneration areas, have already taken part in the restoration of the ketch Ilen, designed by record-breaking sailor Conor O'Brien.

The AKA Ilen project, set up by boat-builder Gary McMahon, is intended to "nurture self-belief and confidence through the medium of wooden boatbuilding and maritime education".

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Mr Simon Coveney T.D was in Ringaskiddy at the National Maritime College of Ireland today to help promote Cork Harbour Open Day 2011. The event which takes place on Saturday 10th September is aimed at embracing and showcasing what Cork Harbour has to offer.

This is the third year of Cork Harbour Open Day and organisers are hopeful that the wide range of events, such as, concerts on Spike Island, photographic Exhibition in Camden Fort, guided tours of an Irish naval ship and an open day at the National Maritime College of Ireland, will attract many people.

coveney_open_day

L to R: Captain Hugh Tully Irish Navy, Val Cummins Director of MERC³, Simon Coveney TD Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Delaney Vice President Development – CIT, Sara Mackeown Commercial Marketing Port of Cork, Cathal O’Mahony Coastal Marine Research Centre, Ken Cotter Cork Harbour Web Designer and Josephine O’Driscoll, Failte Ireland

The idea for a Harbour Open Day emerged three years ago following discussions between various stakeholders involved in the development and implementation of the Integrated Strategy for Cork Harbour. A group comprising of representatives from UCC, City and County Councils, Irish Navy and the Port of Cork set about working together to engage with users of the Harbour and to organise the Open Day.

Cork Harbour is the second largest natural harbour in the world, next to Sydney Harbour, offering beautiful locations for enjoying the outdoors, dramatic coastlines, and excellent leisure facilities, and is home to some very talented artists, sportsmen and women, and people who are passionate about the history, heritage and cultural value of Cork Harbour.

If you would like to be involved in Cork Harbour Open Day or organise an event on the day, please contact Sara Mackeown at [email protected] or 021-4625375.

Published in Cork Harbour
OCEAN2012 Ireland issued the following statement on the European Commission's proposal for reform of the European Union's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

"The Commission's proposal includes solid targets for the recovery of European fish stocks, including requiring that measures be taken in accordance with the best available scientific advice. This could bring an end to overfishing in EU waters and by its fleet internationally," said Uta Bellion, director of the Pew Environment Group's European Marine Programme and OCEAN2012 co-ordinator.

"However, the Commission's proposal falls short in the way it addresses overcapacity, which its own 2009 Green Paper identified as a key driver of overfishing. Instead of mandating a capacity reduction, it aims to decrease the EU fishing fleet by what amounts to the quasi-privatisation of EU fish resources. This type of approach has a mixed track record in other countries and would fail to provide compensation to the public for the loss of communal fishery resources or to reward those who fish in the most environmentally and socially responsible way," Bellion continued.

ocean2012

"In the face of concerted short-term economic interest successive Irish fisheries ministers have failed to manage fish resources since the CFP was established more than 30 years ago. Minister Coveney and Irish MEPs must work to end this trend and take the lead in delivering responsible and sustainable fisheries for Ireland and Europe," said Mike Walker, OCEAN2012 co-ordinator. "In the past few weeks Minister Coveney has shown leadership in stressing the need for responsible management of the valuable mackerel fishery, Ireland's marine environment and fisheries dependent coastal communities need him to show the same determination in the reform of the CFP."

1.OCEAN2012 is an alliance of organisations dedicated to transforming European fisheries policy to stop overfishing, end destructive fishing practices and deliver fair and equitable use of healthy fish stocks. OCEAN2012 was initiated, and is coordinated, by the Pew Environment Group, the conservation arm of The Pew Charitable Trusts, a nongovernmental organisation working to end overfishing in the world´s oceans.

The steering group of OCEAN2012 consists of the Coalition for Fair Fisheries Arrangements, Ecologistas en Acción, the Fisheries Secretariat, nef (new economics foundation), the Pew Environment Group and Seas At Risk.

2. OCEAN2012 Ireland members are An Taisce, BirdWatch Ireland, Coastwatch, Dingle Oceanworld, Donegal Island Fishermen, Galway Atlantaquaria, Irish Bass, Irish Kayak Angling Club, the Irish Seal Sanctuary, Irish Wildlife Trust, National Sea Life Centre Bray, Scubadive West, Smart Taxes and Vincent Hyland Learning.

3. OCEAN2012 would like the CFP to:

  • Restore and maintain fish stocks above levels capable of producing maximum sustainable yield by 2015, in line with the Johannesburg agreement of 2002.
  • Give those who fish in the most environmentally and socially sustainable way preferential access to fish resources.
  • End environmentally harmful subsidies and allocate public funds only to activities that contribute to public goods and services.

4. OCEAN2012's vision for reform of the CFP can be found at www.OCEAN2012.eu 

Published in Marine Science
Tagged under
Ocean to City, Cork Harbour's annual maritime festival, takes place this year from 3-12 June.
The yearly celebration of Cork’s maritime history and its unique harbour begins on Friday 3 June when members of the public can voyage through the city by kayak, enjoy the thrill of a sea safari trip around Cork Harbour or follow TG4’s Padraig Ó Duinnín as he presents a historical walking tour and talk on rowing in Cork.
The highlight of the festival, An Rás Mór, takes place on Saturday 4 June and will see boats of all sizes row 15 nautical miles from Crosshaven via Cork Harbour, Monkstown and Blackrock before finishing at the boardwalk in Lapps Quay in Cork.
Around 400 Irish and International rowers will compete in a diverse range of vessels including dragon boats, kayaks, currachs, Celtic long boats, Cornish pilot gigs and Irish coastal rowing boats.
Sunday 5 June will see a special 10km kayak race through the city centre. The Irish Naval Service flagship LE Orla will also offer free public tours, while Meitheal Mara will host a guided voyage around the island of Cork by a variety of small craft.
To mark the Cork Harbour School and Heritage Trails Weekend from from 9-11 June, a series of events highlighting the attractions of Cork Harbour, both water and land based, will take place.
Activities include a summer school on the theme of 'recreation in a working port', which will be held in the Port of Cork on Friday 10 June and opened by Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney.
For more details visit www.oceantocity.com.

Ocean to City, Cork Harbour's annual maritime festival, takes place this year from 3-12 June. 

The yearly celebration of Cork’s maritime history and its unique harbour begins on Friday 3 June when members of the public can voyage through the city by kayak, enjoy the thrill of a sea safari trip around Cork Harbour or follow TG4’s Padraig Ó Duinnín as he presents a historical walking tour and talk on rowing in Cork. 

The highlight of the festival, An Rás Mór, takes place on Saturday 4 June and will see boats of all sizes row 15 nautical miles from Crosshaven via Cork Harbour, Monkstown and Blackrock before finishing at the boardwalk in Lapps Quay in Cork. 

Around 400 Irish and International rowers will compete in a diverse range of vessels including dragon boats, kayaks, currachs, Celtic long boats, Cornish pilot gigs and Irish coastal rowing boats. 

Sunday 5 June will see a special 10km kayak race through the city centre. The Irish Naval Service flagship LE Orla will also offer free public tours, while Meitheal Mara will host a guided voyage around the island of Cork by a variety of small craft.

To mark the Cork Harbour School and Heritage Trails Weekend from from 9-11 June, a series of events highlighting the attractions of Cork Harbour, both water and land based, will take place.

Activities include a summer school on the theme of 'recreation in a working port', which will be held in the Port of Cork on Friday 10 June and opened by Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney. 

For more details visit www.oceantocity.com.

Published in Cork Harbour
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney TD visited the 18 Irish seafood exporters exhibiting at the European Seafood Expo (ESE) in Brussels today. ESE is the world's largest seafood fair, attracting buyers and sellers from over 140 countries, with over 1600 exhibitors in attendance.

Minister Coveney thanked Bord Bia, who organised the Irish participation, for their successful efforts over the year which saw seafood exports increase in 2010 by 18% to €365m. The Minister said that "Irish Seafood exporters are indigenous businesses with significant scope for expansion who have an important role to play on the road to National economic recovery".

The Minister added that "it is very encouraging that our seafood exports increased by 18% last year.  Over 70% of our Seafood exports are sold in EU Markets and hence it is important to see such a strong representation from the Irish Seafood Exporters here at this trade expo, the major annual seafood trade event within Europe. There are more exhibitors this year than in 2010.  The Irish seafood sector has exciting potential for further development on the domestic and international markets. If we want to continue towards a high margin export strategy we need to co-operate with each other, continue to differentiate, innovate and develop products based on customer feedback and market research".

On Ireland's international reputation for wholesome, fresh and natural seafood, produced in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner, the Minister said "this is a key selling point for Irish seafood companies and together with Bord Bia's marketing expertise, and the co-operation and determination of our seafood industry I am confident that we will have a more vibrant and successful sector in the years to come".

The Minister also used the opportunity of his visit to Brussels to meet with the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Maire Geoghegan- Quinn. The Minister said "I see the Commissioner as an important ally for Ireland in the Commission and in Europe.  I am anxious to develop a strong working relationship with her".

The Commissioner's directorate is responsible for the €142 billion budget of the new Common Strategic Framework 2014-2020 (CSF) Programme, which will combine the funding of a number of current competitive research programmes into a single strategic research vehicle. The Minister went on to say that from an Irish perspective "it is vital that the expertise, previous championing and contribution to the development of research based policy formulation in Europe materialises itself into being successful in the tendering processes in new research programmes. I outlined some of the work of the Marine Institute on the EU front in recent times and the opportunities that it and other Irish research bodies can realise using the expertise and experience built up. I also used the occasion to brief Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn on the major policy challenges we are facing in agriculture and fisheries, particularly the  reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy(CAP) and the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The Minister outlined his strong concerns relating to the proposed EU Mercosur Trade Agreement and its impact on the agri food sector in Ireland".

Published in Fishing
Terence Johnson was made a Life Governor of Irish Water Safety to day at the Westbury Hotel, Dublin in due recognition of his work as Chairman of the Irish Management Committee of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. The Government Chief Whip, Minister Paul Kehoe T.D. made this presentation and thanked him for the important role he played in promoting water safety and saving peoples lives at sea during his tenure. Minister Kehoe commended Mr. Johnson for the exceptional voluntary work that he did to advance the search and rescue facilities in Ireland.

Approximately forty Life Governors of Irish Water Safety were in attendance at the ceremony. They included former Minister Bobby Molloy, former Director of the Coast Guard Captain Liam Kirwan, former Chairman of the National Safety Council Cartan Finnegan to name but a few. Also in attendance was Commodore Mark Mellett DSM, Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Service, Mr. Chris Reynolds current director of the Coast Guard.

Guest Speakers were Mark Mellett, Director of the Naval Service, TJ Mc Carron, Ballybunion Community Rescue Boat, Eddie Breen and County Manager of Wexford Co Co.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine met with Maria Damanaki European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries in Luxembourg today (Thursday 14th April).

Minister Coveney sought the meeting with the Commissioner to discuss the planned reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and other topical issues on the fisheries horizon at present. Minister Coveney invited Commissioner Damanaki to Ireland to meet the Irish Fishing industry in coastal communities.

Minister Coveney said "It is important from the perspective of furthering Irish ambitions that I build up a close working relationship with the Commissioner, so I saw this as an important opportunity to develop a rapport and connect in a meaningful way with Commissioner Damanaki. I had a frank and forthright discussion with her on the Reform of the CFP, and on Ireland's priorities."

The Minister set out key priority issues for Ireland in the CFP reform. A major priority is the retention of the Hague Preferences, agreed by Heads of State in 1976 by way of the Hague Resolution, under which Ireland receives additional shares of quotas for the whitefish stocks around our coast. There was been strong pressure from certain Member States that these should be abolished in the Reform. Minister Coveney said "Any interference that results in Ireland losing the current benefits of the Hague Preferences within the reformed CFP would be totally unacceptable to me. The Hague Preferences were the payment made for Ireland granting access to our waters to other Member States and a recognition of the high costs involved for the State in the control of these rich fishing grounds."

Minister Coveney set out Ireland's opposition to the mandatory privatisation of fish quotas and outlined the impacts of this policy on Ireland's coastal communities dependant on fisheries. Minister Coveney said "I used this the opportunity to explain why Ireland is strongly opposing a mandatory scheme for privatisation and trading of fish quota. I explained that the family owned fishing fleet in Ireland would be quickly bought out by international fishing companies without links to the coastal communities. I explained my strong belief that these companies would not land into Ireland and we would lose not just the jobs in the fleet but also the processing and ancillary jobs in our fishing ports."

Commissioner Damanaki has placed discarding of fish high on her agenda for the CFP reform to which the Minister made clear that he was committed to giving Ireland's support to assisting the Commissioner in identifying and implementing the appropriate measures to effectively address discards.

In addition to the issues surrounding the CFP reform, the Minister made very clear Ireland's demand for strong actions against Iceland and the Faroe Islands for their irresponsible and untenable fishing activities on the mackerel stock. The Minister said "the actions of these two fishing nations pose a serious threat to the well being of the mackerel stock which is very important to Ireland. I pressed the Commissioner to initiate strong action now, including the introduction of trade sanctions to bring pressure to bear on these two parties to come to the table with reasonable demands and agree a long term management framework for mackerel".

Finally the Minister said "I will continue to liaise closely with the Federation of Irish Fishermen and other industry representatives to further develop Ireland's negotiating position. I consider that today's meeting with Commissioner Damanaki was very useful in giving her a full understanding of Ireland's situation and the importance of the maintenance of a strong fishing industry supporting the fishing communities around our coast".

Published in Fishing
There is some confusion within the marine sector this week as to how fully civil servants are accepting the return of "marine" to the name of a Government Department. When Simon Coveney was appointed as "Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food" by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, some sections of the marine industry questioned how much this really changed the attitude of the Government towards maritime matters.

My view was that it was a substantial change and that the pre-Election pledge of Fine Gael to co-ordinate all maritime aspects under one Department was being delivered upon and I welcomed the appointment.

But this week it has been pointed out that, while the names of other Government Departments have already been changed to their new designations under the Ministerial appointments announced in the Dail, this has not been done where the marine is concerned. The Department of the Taoiseach's website lists Simon Coveney's Department as "Agriculture, Fisheries & Food" and the Department is so far retaining that title. Its press releases have describe Coveney as "Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine," not what the Taoiseach announced in the Dail.

This is not pedantic, but a reasonable issue to raise bearing in mind past marine experience. When Bertie Ahern abolished the Department of the Marine and assigned duties to the "Minister for Transport and Marine" in the last Government, top civil servants in that Department removed "marine" from its title. When I questioned that, I was told that a meeting of those officials had been held and that decision had been made.

So, I asked the Department of the Taoiseach this week, what exactly is the title of Simon Coveney's department. To the time of writing this column, no response has been received.

When he was Fine Gael Leader, Enda Kenny told me in a radio interview of his pride in the maritime connections of his family which had been involved in the lighthouse service.

I asked the Department of "Agriculture, Fisheries and Food" press office why "marine" was listed as third in the Minister's role rather than second, as described in the Dail. I was told that arrangements and decisions and an "SI" - "statutory instrument" - were awaited.

I will be interested to see how long that takes..

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
Published in Island Nation
Tributes have been paid to legendary boat builder George Bushe, who died last week aged 89.
Born in Baltimore, Co Cork, Bushe got his start in boat building through his father, who make traditional punts. From there he went on to Skinner's Boatyard in Skibbereen and worked with the late Jack O'Driscoll in Ringaskiddy.
In the 1960s and '70s he worked at the Southcoast Boatyard in Rochestown, where be built many famous racing boats for Cork's premier sailing clans - such as the Golden Apple for the late Hugh Coveney, father of Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney.
Bushe went into semi-retirement in the 1970s, working at the Royal Cork Yacht Club, restoring boats in winter and even racing his own until the mid 2000s.
His remains were carried to St Patrick's Cemetary in Crosshaven aboard the Cánóg, the last boat he completed and which he raced competitively as recently as 2006.
George Bushe is survived by his wife Carmel and their children: Bernice, Fergus, sail maker Majella, shipwright Mark, and boat builder and sailor Killian Bushe, who just last month received the Fastnet Award for his own contributions to sailing.
The Irish Examiner has more HERE.

Sailing tributes have been paid to legendary boat builder George Bushe, who died last week aged 89.

Born in Baltimore, Co Cork, Bushe got his start in boat building through his father, who make traditional punts. From there he went on to Skinner's Boatyard in Skibbereen and worked with the late Jack O'Driscoll in Ringaskiddy.

In the 1960s and '70s he worked at the Southcoast Boatyard in Rochestown, where be built many famous racing boats for Cork's premier sailing clans - such as the Golden Apple for the late Hugh Coveney, father of Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney.

Bushe went into semi-retirement in the 1970s, working at the Royal Cork Yacht Club, restoring boats in winter and even racing his own until the mid 2000s.

His remains were carried to St Patrick's Cemetary in Crosshaven aboard the Cánóg, the last boat he completed and which he raced competitively as recently as 2006.

George Bushe is survived by his wife Carmel and their children: Bernice, Fergus, sail maker Majella, shipwright Mark, and boat builder and sailor Killian Bushe, who just last month received the Fastnet Award for his own contributions to sailing.
 
The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE

Published in News Update
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