17th December

Mackerel negotiations on €1bn industry underway in Ireland

International negotiations on the North East Atlantic mackerel stock are underway in Clonakilty, Co Cork, to establish an agreement on the total allowable catch (TAC) for 2017.

Mackerel talks

Killybegs based MFV Neptune: Ireland's 2016 mackerel quota is 75,000 tonnes.         Photo J Cunningham

Delegations from Ireland, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and the Faroes will attempt to reach consensus on the 5 million tonnes biomass, observed by the Russian Federation and Greenland.

Read more: Mackerel negotiations on €1bn industry underway in Ireland

Budget 2017: Seafarers Allowance extended to commercial fishermen

A Seafarers Allowance of €6,350 amounting to a tax credit of €1,270, is being extended to workers on board fishing vessels under Budget 2017.

The decision has been welcomed by the fishing industry and comes after many years of lobbying for its introduction to remove the anomaly they claim exists in the Taxes Consolidation Act where fishing vessel workers were excluded from claiming the allowance. An independent review of marine taxation by Indecon consultants in 2015 recommended the change.

Joe McHugh IFPO

Minister Joe McHugh (second left) and IFPO representatives at their offices in Killybegs prior to Budget 2017 announcement

"I am pleased that Minister Noonan followed through on his commitment in last year's budget to establishing the feasibility of their implementation in future budgets. I would also like to recognise the support from Minister Creed and his officials and Pat the Cope Gallagher for all their work in bringing this measure finally to fruition," remarked Sean O'Donoghue, Killybegs Fishermen's Organisation chief executive.

Read more: Budget 2017: Seafarers Allowance extended to commercial fishermen

Waterways Ireland wins prestigious award

Waterways Ireland was awarded 'The Guardian Award' at the 2016 World Canals Conference, for its Traditional Heritage Boat Survey (Ireland) of the Royal Canal, Grand Canal, Barrow Line Canal and Barrow Navigation.

The survey is the first-ever systematic audit of traditional heritage boats on Ireland’s inland waterways. A team of boat experts, maritime archaeologists, academics and artists captured the historic vessels on the waterways – from iron canal boats and World War II amphibious vehicles – to fine wooden sculling boats.WI Award at WCC

Nicky Marr, awards host; David Mitchell, Director of Conservation at Historic Environmental Scotland and Cormac McCarthy, Waterways Ireland Environment Officer

Undertaken under the Waterways Ireland Heritage Plan, the project was led by Environment Officer, Cormac McCarthy.

Read more: Waterways Ireland wins prestigious award

Killybegs investment marks confidence boost for the coastal town

Two marine projects in Killybegs, Co Donegal, have been unveiled and described as a ‘major vote of confidence’ in the harbour and seafood industry.

killybegs 2016 projects

A 30m investment by United Fish Industries (UFI) underpins significant redevelopment of the fishmeal plant and is a “serious long-term commitment to seafood in Ireland’ by the parent company Pelagia, remarked Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Read more: Killybegs investment marks confidence boost for the coastal town

Fisheries proposal falls short on social and economic indictors

The European Parliament Committee on Fisheries has published a Working Document that evaluates the objectives and targets of the Commission proposal on conserving fishery resources and protecting marine ecosystems through technical measures.

It finds that current regulations have failed to indicate these objectives.

TCM proposal 2016

The proposal suggests that technical measures ‘aim to control the catch that can be taken with a given amount of fishing effort and also to minimise the impacts of fishing on the ecosystem’ but concedes they have not yet led to achieving common fishery policy objectives. The Commission also indicates that problems still exist with measuring effectiveness in helping to achieve CFP conservation measures.

Read more: Fisheries proposal falls short on social and economic indictors

Five-year FLAG strategies for Ireland

Seven Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs) will benefit from a €12m package to underpin Local Development Strategies to 2020.

Unveiling the funding available through Ireland's Operational Programme for the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), marine minister Michael Creed said job creation and rural development were key prioritites for this government.

FLAGS 2016

Pictured at the launch of the Launch of FLAGS (Fisheries Local Area Groups) programme at the National Seafood Centre in Clonakilty are Michael Creed, T.D., Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Tara McCarthy, CEO, BIM with FLAGS representatives, WEST FLAG, Paddy Crowe, Inis Oirr, Co. Galway; SOUTH WEST FLAG, Kevin Flannery, Dingle Co.Kerry; NORTH FLAG, Gerry Gallagher, Co. Donegal; SOUTH FLAG, Finian OÕSullivan, Bantry, Co. Cork; SOUTH EAST FLAG, Noel McDonagh, Dunmore East, Co. Waterford and NORTH WEST FLAG, Gerard Hassett, Achill, Co. Mayo.

"The success of FLAGs under the previous programme shows that fisheries and aquaculture communities can identify priorities to target investment best suited to their area's needs," Minister Creed added.

Tara McCarthy, BIM chief executive said over the previous 2012-2015 programme, 180 projects were grant aided almost €1m.

Read more: Five-year FLAG strategies for Ireland

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