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September 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

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Latest Issue Headlines:
Over a Billion Euro Taken in Fish Catches from Irish Waters
EU Propose to Ban All Driftnet Fisheries
Simulation Trials to Show Potential Impact of Landing Obligations Begin
Greystones Fishermen Protest at Harbour Exclusion
Interviews with Billy Burrell and Marie Power
New Discoveries Made by Scientists During Expedition of Rockall Bank
Lough Swilly RNLI to Receive First €2.4M Shannon Class Lifeboat in Ireland

All of this plus plenty more news, views and opinion from around the coast of our maritime nation in our Sept issue of the Marine Times Newspaper

 

This Island Nation - September 2014 by Cry104fm on Mixcloud

 

Latest News:
Five Fishmongers to Compete for the Title of
BIM Young Fishmonger, 2015

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Irish Sea Fisheries Board, is delighted to announce the shortlist for the BIM Young Fishmonger 2015 competition today, the 9th September, 2014.

The five finalists are as follows:
Gerard Collier, Fishermans Catch in Clogherhead, Co. Louth
Stevie Connolly, Connollys Fish Company, Rathmines Road, Dublin
Mateusz Kowalik, Dorans on the Pier, Howth, Co Dublin
Gary Quinn, Stephens Fish Market, Mullingar, Co Westmeath
Neil Turner, Cavistons Food Emporium, Glasthule, Co. Dublin

BIM’s Young Fishmonger competition aims to recognise and reward young fishmongers and in doing so; raise the bar across the sector in terms of product knowledge and skills. Now in its second year, the competition is gaining profile and interest from industry.

Donal Buckley, BIM’s Business Development & Innovation Director explains the rationale behind the competition; ‘We are very proud of this initiative, it is a programme that directly recognises the high level of expertise and knowledge amongst young fishmongers around the country. It also promotes the valuable service a fishmonger provides to customers in terms of preparing and buying seafood and I hope this competition helps to encourage consumers to seek out their local fishmonger and support local business. I would like to thank everyone who applied this year and we would encourage those who did not make it through to the final to consider entering again next year. Best of luck to all our finalists’

The shortlist of five nominees will now compete in round two and three of the competition involving in-depth visits by the judges to assess their knowledge of seafood, their understanding of quality issues, skills, techniques and customer service. The finalists will also be tested on their practical skills with each finalist required to fillet and prepare a range of fish and shellfish under time constraints in BIM’s Seafood Development Centre, Clonakilty.

As part of their prize, the five finalists will receive a master class in seafood cookery from renowned TV chef and owner of Fishy Fishy restaurant in Kinsale, Martin Shanahan. Finalists will also receive a specially designed trophy, a place on BIM’s retail development workshops, a set of professional knives and a cheque for €500. The winner will receive a study trip to France and a cheque for €1,000.

The overall winner will be announced at a presentation lunch in the Radisson St. Helen’s Hotel, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin on the 24th November.

Dunmore East eagerly awaiting word on the commencement of the promised dredging of the harbour along with the necessary regulations associated with the useage of the harbour during the process - hopefully it is sorted soon as the very busy herring season is due to commence soon! Photo courtesy WP

Department Finances Under Fire and Under Question as 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 the 8th July.

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.

Around €1.2 million of harbour dues was billed retrospectively by the Department due to a variety of weaknesses and errors. Delays in processes led to another €210,000 not being billed and deemed to be irrecoverable by the Department. Due to perceived difficulties in collecting dues from foreign vessels, a non-statutory flat rate charge was applied up to 2012. Had the applicable statutory rate been charged, an estimated additional 10% in dues could have been billed.

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. Based on the charges in place under the legislation, Howth could have generated car parking fee income of between €250,000 and €400,000 annually before taking account of operating costs. However this should be tempered by the fact that the development of a car park at Rossaveel in 2011 cost €340,000. It was expected to generate €580,000 annually before VAT and operators' costs, but it only realised a net income of €11,000 in its first 12 months of operation due to a number of unforeseen circumstances. A business case for the investment to develop the parking facilities was not available for review, setting out an assessment of the projected costs and benefits.

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.

A copy of the report can be found at www.audgen.gov.ie

 

Industry News:
First Ever Irish Maritime Forum to be Held in Cork City

Together the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Port of Cork Company announced that the first ever Irish Maritime Forum will be held in Cork City Hall on Friday September 26th 2014. The forum themed ‘Developing the Dynamic Future for Ireland’s Maritime Sector’ will focus on exploring the future of the maritime sector within Ireland and will look closely at the challenges and opportunities faced by many within the sector. The forum which will attract delegates from across the entire Irish maritime sector will be hosted by the Port of Cork.

A unique platform of both national and international speakers is expected at the forum such as Mr Joachim Coens, President of Port of Zebrugee, Mr Alan Gray, Managing Director of the Indecon International Consulting Group, Mr Liam Lacey, Director of IMDO, Captain Fredrik Van Wijnen, General Secretary of the Confederation of European Shipmasters’ Associations (CESMA), Isabelle Ryckbost, Secretary General of the European Sea Ports Organisation and Christophe Mathieu, Deputy Managing Director of Brittany Ferries. With more speakers due to be announced, each speaker will bring his/her own expert knowledge and experience to the forum.

Speaking at the announcement, Mr John Mullins, Chairman of the Port of Cork, said: “The Irish Maritime Forum is a unique event in that it will be the first time a forum attracting the entire maritime industry in Ireland will come together to jointly share and learn from each other’s experience. The theme ‘Developing the Dynamic future of Ireland’s Maritime Industry’ is aimed at everyone within the maritime sector, from ports, ship owners and operators, shipping lines, stevedore, plus maritime associations such as the Irish Institute of Master Mariners and the Chamber of Irish Shipping to name a few.

“The Port of Cork is honoured to be hosting this forum which will be held in Cork City Hall on Friday 26th September 2014. We hope that delegates will benefit from attending the forum and also enjoy Cork City and its many attractions.”

Delegates interested in attending the Irish Maritime Forum 2014 are asked to register now by visiting www.irishmaritimeforum.ie The Irish Maritime Forum will feature a host of events including a welcome address by an Irish Government Minister, lunch, gala dinner and a partner’s programme.

For further information please see full programme at www.irishmaritimeforum.ie or contact info@irishmartimeforum.ie Exhibitor places available plus excellent sponsorship opportunities.

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