A Good Deal or Just Crumbs from an Unbalanced Table?
Reactions to the €148 million to Assist Irish Seafood Industry
Inshore Fishermans Meeting Hailed a Success
Our Ocean Wealth Conference Outlines Progress of
Integrated Marine Plan & Opportunities
Uncertain Future for Irish Mussel Industry
The Maritime Place in Government
All of this plus plenty more news, views
and opinion from around the coast of our maritime nation in our July issue
of the Marine Times Newspaper
Island Nation - July 2014 by Cry104fm
can never leave our history or our tradition behind us. We carry that
with us forever. Those words from GearóId Cheaist O Catháin
remain in my mind from what he told me when I interviewed him for this
months edition of THIS ISLAND NATION which you can hear on the Marine
Times website (see above link). He was once described as the loneliest
boy in the world, whose only playmates were seagulls, a description
which went around the world and resulted in his being offered adoption
by two families in the United States, one of whom offered to take his
entire family to the USA. His description of the reality of the tough
life on the Blaskets islands will be a revelation to those who may have
a more romantic notion of life on an island.
on the programme we discuss why there are so many blue sharks around Irish
waters this summer, hear about an analysis of why children drown, of the
work of the RNLI and why Clifden in County Galway is unique in the lifeboat
service. Together with a call for Kinsale to preserve its maritime history
amidst the concentration on tourism and food and the surprising news of
a decline of interest in sailing, there is a great mix of maritime news,
features and information on Irelands leading maritime programme
on radio, THIS ISLAND NATION.
Reached on Terms of Reference for New Inshore Fisheries Forum
At a meeting hosted by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) on the 8th July, representatives
from the six Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs) developed and agreed
with BIM and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine the terms
of reference for the new National Inshore Fisheries Forum launched earlier
this year by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Mr. Simon
Forming part of a development package including €1 million in funding
and conservation measures for lobster and shrimp; the National Inshore
Fisheries Forum will give a voice to representatives of the industry (fishermen
using fishing boats of less than 12m in length) around the country.
A National Inshore Fisheries Forum and Regional Inshore Forums will be
established this autumn. The aim of the forums is to provide the inshore
sector with effective opportunities to develop and implement policies
and initiatives relating to the sustainable management of inshore fisheries
with 6 nautical miles, consistent with national and EU policies concerning
fisheries management, sustainable development and protection of the marine
environment. The forums will also implement measures to enable local fishermen
to contribute to inshore fisheries management policies.
How does it work?....
The National Inshore Fisheries Forum (NIFF), consisting of 2 delegates
representing each of the Regional Inshore Forums (RIF) will provide a
national platform under which the Regional Inshore Forums (RIF) can interact
with each other and with the Department of Agriculture and the marine
agencies (BIM, SFPA and the Marine Institute). The NIFF will appoint its
The Regional Inshore Forums will be established by the already existing
six coastal community structures, the FLAGs or Fisheries Local Action
Groups. The BIM FLAG programme has already proved to be a great success
with six groups representing the different regions developing and implementing
strategies for their areas that will boost revenue and employment. In
this case, each FLAG will establish a Regional Inshore Forum (RIF) for
its region as a subgroup of the FLAG. Each RIF will consist of no more
than 12 members of which there will be at least one fisheries representative
from the corresponding FLAG and at least one environmental representative.
Each RIF will select its own Chair and Vice Chair, both of whom will act
as delegates to the National Inshore Fisheries Forum.
How are members of the RIF selected?...
Members of the RIF will be appointed by the corresponding FLAG on the
Their ability to represent the views of the inshore sector
Their knowledge of inshore fisheries, fish stocks, and fishing methods
Their capacity to engage on fisheries management issues
On appointing RIF members, each FLAG must strive to make each membership
representative of the FLAGs geographical coverage and the characteristics
of the regions inshore fleet and fisheries. The FLAGs will
advertise publicly to invite expressions of interest for membership of
Michael Keatinge, BIMs Director of Fisheries & Training Development
outlined the importance of this new initiative; The forums will
give the Inshore sector a voice and an opportunity to contribute to how
this important fishery is managed and developed. The Inshore sector is
too fragmented; this is why we are now putting in place a more structured
approach to community-led development using the existing infrastructure
of the Fisheries Local Action Groups. We have learnt a great deal from
this programme and our experience in this area will greatly benefit the
Inshore forums. This is a real and genuine attempt at bottom-up cooperative
Full details on the terms of reference for the National Inshore Fisheries
Forum are available on www.bim.ie
Our August Issue:
Music More Important to Government Than Marine and Fishing
If Enda Kenny and Joan Burton spent more time speaking about the way in
which the fishing industry is being destroyed by the European Union, or
listened to the pleas of the coastal and island communities for a debate
in the Dáil about their problems, or raised the profile of the
marine sector generally in Government, rather than the plethora of comments
and anxiety which they expressed about a petulant country-and-western
singer, it would demonstrate the concern which politicians should have
for all of their people.
Coupled with the theatrical
sideshow of our national parliament attempting to rush emergency legislation
through to change planning regulations in order to appease the petulance
of Garth Brooks, it seemed that the dire situation of the majority of
people in this over-taxed nation who do have not enough money to live
on, was of less importance.
up with the rest of this "Forum" discussion in our August issue
In shops and online Friday 1st Aug.
Management and Reporting for Fishery Harbour Centres
Questioned as Department Finances under fire with harbours owed €5m
in rent and fees
The Comptroller and Auditor General has completed a report on the financial
management of the fishery harbour centres. The report was been presented
to the Houses of the Oireachtas on, 8th July 2014.
Fishery harbour centres were established under the Fishery Harbour Centre
Act 1968 as centres in which to promote and develop sea fishing activities.
Six centres have been designated under the Act. Overall responsibility
for their management and operation rests with the Department of Agriculture,
Food and the Marine (the Department).
The day-to-day operations
of the centres are funded through harbour dues and charges set by law
and rents from properties. In addition, annual capital grant funding from
the Exchequer is made available for the development and maintenance of
The Department took over responsibility for management and operations
of the centres from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural
Resources in October 2007. From then until April 2008, transition arrangements
were applied to facilitate the transfer of responsibility. However, those
arrangements were not effective, and resulted in significant lapses in
invoicing of harbour dues.
Over the period 2007
to 2011, €4 million in rental income was received by centres. Over
€2 million in rent was billed retrospectively, of which €360,000
remains to be collected. In one of these cases, rent had not been billed
for eight years, resulting in a build up of arrears of €264,000.
In another case, the sale of a property agreed in 1993 had still not been
completed- a deposit of 50% of the sales price was received in 1993, but
there was no rent billed on the property since then.
The Department has
updated and enhanced its accounting systems to address these weaknesses.
This took time to resolve and further strengthening of systems for rent
collection is ongoing.
The Department has
also experienced difficulties in generating a return from the use of car
parking facilities at some harbours.
Given the extent of
retrospective billing, the Department faced significant challenges in
collecting debts. Over €5 million was owed to the centres at June
2013. The Department has taken a number of steps to collect outstanding
amounts which have had varying degrees of success.
The form of the centres
accounts was devised many years ago. Unusually, they are prepared on both
a cash and accruals basis. Some of the accruals-based information is not
consistent with current accounting practice, and there is scope to improve
the quality and usefulness of the financial information presented.
The nature of the
activities of the centres, the significant assets at their disposal, and
the accounting transactions are unlike other activities administered by
the Department, and may require a revised governance and organisational
structure tailored to cater for these activities.
The report sets out a number of recommendations that address ways to enhance
the financial management of the centres and the Departments response
to these recommendations.
Times hopes to have further opinion and feedback on this matter for our
August issue meanwhile full text of the report can be found here
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