Unhappy with Lack of Consultation for Inshore Vessel Electronic Reporting
The CEO of the IFPO advised the Marine Times that he was totally
unaware of the Marine Institutes plan to tender for an electronic
reporting system for inshore vessels. It also came as a surprise to
my colleagues in FIF. One would think that we should have been advised
and consulted about this process.
the full story in this months issue
Kirwan of East Coast Seafood, Naas, Co Kildare receives his prize,
as he was announced winner of the Young Fishmonger of the Year Award
Weather in the Celtic Herring Fishery a Major Obstacle for Small
This years herring fishery in the Celtic sea has been hampered
by bad prices and bad weather. Some smaller vessels entered this
ring fenced fishery while the fishery was Two weeks under way for
fish quality purposes. This year the management arrangements dictate
that vessels have to land their quota on a weekly basis, in any
five weeks out of the first eight week period. This all seems fine
but some of the smaller vessels struggled in very poor weather conditions
which left the aggregations of herring dispersed. As part of the
management arrangements vessels are required to land 50% of their
allocated quota in the first period to be eligible for a reallocation
in the second period.
the full story in this months issue
at Glengad, Co. Donegal is the Drontheim Harbour Star
built locally as part of the Heritage Revival / Maritime Matters
Project. The Harbour Star was officially launched on
Saturday 16th November and was very well attended by the Inishowen
community and visitors from far and wide. The Harbour Star
was also given a special welcome to the sea by local children all
decked out in pirate gear. There was a fantastic spirit at Glengad
Pier as this wonderful project let loose her sails in the open water
and made short work of the choppy conditions. Well done to all involved
and big thank you for the hot soup and food that was doing the rounds
that kept the chill out of the bones.
Water Bay Inshore Fishermen Express Their Concerns
Carol Gilbert reports: This
is a story that can affect fishermen in every area of Ireland, not
only the inshore fishermen of Roaring Water Bay, some of whom have
boats which are only 17 ft in length, seventeen feet that is, not
metres. This week I attended a meeting with a representation of
the Roaring Water Bay inshore fishermen, together with Senator Denis
ODonovan. The fishermen explained that Roaring Water Bay is
designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and that they
co-operated fully with the Marine Institute and BIM in meetings
which were held approximately two years ago, regarding a proposed
management plan for the area. Since then they say they have not
been contacted. By chance they discovered there is a management
plan proposed for the area which has been put out for discussion.
They tell me this plan which has a closing date of November 29th
bears no resemblance to the original management plan discussed with
the full story in this months issue
"Buddy M" at Castletownbere.
Government Does Not Respect the Fishing Industry
is particularly ironic that this comes in the wake of BIMs
recently announced five-year strategy to increase seafood sales.
following was published in our November issue: The Irish
Government did little to encourage the fishing industry, the marine
sector, or the coastal communities in Budget 2014. The people of
the coastal communities were not given the same degree of support
or attention as given to the farming community and even supporting
greyhounds and horses was more important!
While I have
a lot of respect for Minister Simon Coveney and his expressed commitment
to the fishing industry and the marine sector, they are not the
main priorities in his Department. This is evident from the way
in which he has allocated the €1,203 million total expenditure
given to his Department. While agriculture is bigger than fishing,
there is a lack of even-handedness and the marine sphere has not
been given allocations comparable to what should be its level of
importance in an island nation.
The key priorities
announced by his Department for the spending of the money allocated
to it are primarily agricultural. They include supporting vulnerable
farming sectors and protecting the incomes of farming families,
job creation in farming, with special measures for the beef sector,
taxation assistance and retirement reliefs.
Not a mention
of anything comparable for the fishing or marine industries!
The best mention
that fishing gets is mixed in with references to the agri-food sector
where the Minister said: The
agri-food and fishing industry is enjoying a period of strong success
and all signs point to continuous growth for the sector.
Tell that to
fishermen who are hanging on by their fingertips and who are considering
leaving the industry.
Ministers comments with those of IFO Chairman Ebbie Sheehan
who maintains that quotas are so bad that owners cannot continue
to survive on a share-out of a handful of boxes. Theres no
political will to assist the industry, he said. Theres
never been much goodwill from any Government to invest in an industry
that still has the potential to create jobs.
sector has great potential but is disregarded at the top levels
in Government and at the highest level of Civil Service administration.
This is evident from the Budgetary allocations.
Ministers comments with those of Eibhlin OSullivan,
Chief Executive of the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation,
who said that frustration and fear remained hallmarks of the industry.
are suffering severe economic hardship this year due to the limited
availability of quota. If the proposed reductions for 2014 are implemented,
we will undoubtedly see Irish fishermen leaving the industry. There
are fundamental differences between the fishing industrys
perception of certain stocks and what the scientific advice is saying.
Trawlermen are reporting an abundance of cod, haddock and monk,
but there are significant reductions proposed for these stocks
30% reduction in Celtic Sea cod quota, 75% reduction haddock and
a 20% reduction for monk. Fishermen receive no compensation unlike
farmers. No business, whether fishing or otherwise, can survive
when there is a continual reduction in their income.
particularly ironic that this comes in the wake of BIMs recently
announced five-year strategy to increase seafood sales. If the current
situation continues this strategy will only benefit those exporting
seafood to Ireland.
post-Budget statement said that he wanted to support small disadvantaged
areas where farming was concerned. He said not a single comparative
word about disadvantaged coastal areas, nor protecting the incomes
of fishing families.
Where is there
evidence of even-handedness, even allowing for the bigger size of
the farming sector?
statement said that in the Marine sector he had provided
an increased capital allocation of €10 million to maintain
the infrastructure at the Departments fishery harbour centres
and local authority fishery harbours which makes a valuable
contribution to Irelands marine sector.
allocation to the Marine Institute, he said, was being increased
to €10 million to cover the cost of its research programme
as well as upgrading its research vessels. Capital funding to BIM
was increased to €6.5 million to assist in the implementation
of the revised Common Fisheries Policy.
in funding to the marine sector and to fishing is welcome, but compare
those amounts to what has been allocated to Bord na gCon, also within
his Departments remit and to which he has given €10.9m.
- for the greyhound industry! In total he gave the horse and greyhound
racing industries €54m.
Compare that to €26.5m. for fishery harbours, the Marine Institute
What does that
say about Government interest and support for the fishing and marine
said that the allocation of spending in his Department is a
strong commitment to supporting a capital programme across the agri-food,
fisheries and forestry sectors.
for the agri-food sector remains very bright, he said, and
the sector will continue to contribute strongly to national economic
recovery. There is a new awareness of the vital economic importance
of the sector and a strong recognition that the sector has the fundamental
building blocks in place to reach the demanding targets in Food
Harvest 2020, a blueprint that will contribute hugely to the growth
in food and drink exports and to national prosperity. I am confident
that the measures introduced in Budget 2014, in a very challenging
fiscal environment, will help us to continue on this path towards
His view and
that of the fishing industry, in which there is commitment, differ.
There are great people who are doing their best, but look again
at what Eibhlin OSullivan, Chief Executive of the Irish South
and West Fish Producers Organisation said, that if the current situation
in fishing continues, BIMs five-year strategy will only benefit
exports of seafood into Ireland, not the other way.
Reality is not
an easy concept to accept, particularly in times of difficulty,
but it seems to me that the fishing industry is going to continue
to shrink in size, because quotas will not support the fleet. I
see little example of a Government committed to maintaining an industry
that is vital to the coastal areas. There are no signs of similar
assistance being offered to fishermen, nor concern shown for them
or the coastal communities, as there is towards agriculture and
industry is bigger and thus gets more support, but there is a necessity
for even-handedness towards fishing and the marine and this has
not been shown in Budget 2014.
It is time the
Government realised that the coastal communities, the fishing and
marine industries are composed of people, dedicated people who can
and have survived, but people who deserve a hand-up, not a hand-out,
people who deserve the same treatment as given to farmers, even
to greyhounds and horses!
(Eddie) Gallagher unloading herring at Dunmore East from the newly
refurbished 63 year old MFV Ros Ard. Photo courtesy