July 2014 Issue in Shops Now

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Tom McSweeney is back
on the radio and his wonderful
This Island Nation Podcast
is Now Available to Download

Programme 1 - Click here
Programme 2 - Click here
Programme 3 - Click here
Programme 4 - Click here
Programme 5 - Click here


Latest Issue Headlines:
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


This Island Nation - July 2014 by Cry104fm on Mixcloud


We 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 month’s 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.

Also 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 Ireland’s leading maritime programme on radio, THIS ISLAND NATION.

Latest News:
Agreement 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 Coveney, T.D.

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 own Chair.

The Regional Inshore Forums will be established by the already existing six coastal community structures, the FLAG’s 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 basis of:
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 FLAG’s geographical coverage and the characteristics of the region’s inshore fleet and fisheries. The FLAG’s will advertise publicly to invite expressions of interest for membership of the RIF’s.

Michael Keatinge, BIM’s 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 management’

Full details on the terms of reference for the National Inshore Fisheries Forum are available on


In Our August Issue:
Country-and-Western 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.

Catch up with the rest of this "Forum" discussion in our August issue -
In shops and online Friday 1st Aug.

Latest News:
Financial 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 harbour facilities.

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 Department’s response to these recommendations.

Marine 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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