18th December

Dublin hosts Tall Ships 2012

An estimated 1.4 million people from across the island of Ireland and beyond gathered in Dublin in August for the four-day Tall Ships Race 2012 festival.

The 40-strong fleet comprising many different classes of vessels lined the city’s north and south quays, creating a maritime scene reminiscence of times gone by.
8.6Coastline news Tall Ships

The Naval Service LE Emer led the parade of sail out of the port on departure Sunday along a course towards Dún Laoghaire before taking a 21-gun salute that saw the fleet disperse towards Howth on the north side of Dublin bay.

Read more: Dublin hosts Tall Ships 2012

'Radical overhaul' of National Port Policy

Government is to have a more 'hands-on role' in the maritime ports sector under a new National Ports Policy outlined by the Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, Leo Varadkar.

Shareholders will be encouraged to take an 'activist approach' to managing their ports 'to ensure the State gets best value...whether that shareholder is the government or the local authority', according to the department.

Dun-Laoghaire - Port of National Significance under new National Ports Policy - will be placed within a local authority-led governance structure with local authorities taking a shareholding. Photo Gillian Mills

Dun-Laoghaire - Port of National Significance under new National Ports Policy - will be placed within a local authority-led governance structure with local authorities taking a shareholding. Photo Gillian Mills

It adds that previous policies 'have not recognised the huge diversity among the 19 ports that handle commercial freight.' The core objective is to facilitate a 'competitive and effective market for maritime transport services'. 

Read more: 'Radical overhaul' of National Port Policy

The need for a national sail training vessel

Seán T Rickard

Ireland’s hosting the Tall Ships 2012 last August was a major visual attraction with knock-on economic benefits for Dublin, and should serve to silence those who question the need for a national Irish sail training vessel. Such benefits would be compounded if national maritime awareness were dramatically increased among the general public.

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Shrouded in morning mist: Irish maritime history sails by. L.É. Aoife (just visible far left) and ILV Granuaile escort Asgard II, Dunbrody and Jeanie Johnston to the start line of the 2005 Tall Ships Race, off Hook Head, Co Waterford.  Photo G.Mills

Indeed, if we are to promote the sea and the exploitation of its manifold resources, e.g. fisheries; renewable energy; medical research; recreation; tourism and maritime heritage/culture, it would be best showcased and supported by the operation of a national tall ship. The potential revenues thereby gained by such exploitation could be used as a funding stream for a tall ship. If these arguments aren’t enough there are plenty more reasons.

Read more: The need for a national sail training vessel

Separated by sea but united by common maritime culture

Dúthchas na Mara/Dúthas na Mara (Belonging to the Sea) is an exploratory work into conflict that two separate Gaelic-speaking island communities – one in Ireland and one in Scotland– are currently embroiled in concerning processes by government bodies whose remit it is to protect aspects of the natural environment in which the islanders live.

Authors Iain McKinnon (Scottish Crofting Federation) and Ruth Brennan (Scottish Association of Marine Science) describe the concerns of fishermen who believe their livelihood and way of life is being threatened by ‘powerful institutions who are not listening to them.’

review Duchas

On Barra the dispute centres on proposals by the Scottish Natural Heritage to designate two European marine conservation areas in waters off the island. Meanwhile on Donegal islands, including Arranmore, communities are opposed to the moratorium on drift-net fishing for salmon in their local waters.

Read more: Separated by sea but united by common maritime culture

Ports and shipping identified as 'important engines' for economic growth

Addressing the European ShortSea Convention 2012 organised by the IMDO and Coastlink, Leo Varadkar, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport noted that the event was “timely” given the challenges facing the EuroZone.

“The European Commission has identified ports and shipping as important engines for future economic growth. Their latest estimate identifies that over 800,000 enterprises, employing more than 3 million people directly, are located within European port community clusters.”

European ports are the transit point for up to 90% of Europe’s freight movements with the rest of the world, and 40% of the internal market. 

Read more: Ports and shipping identified as 'important engines' for economic growth

Connecting the marine industry with educational institutes

A comprehensive STCW10 education and training package aimed at seafarers in diverse sectors of the marine industry and operating worldwide is now available via an e-learning platform in the EU MarLeaNet Programme, a workshop has heard. 

Capt Michael McCarthy, Port of Cork; Capt Bill Kavanagh, NMCI; Alison Kay, Trinity College Dublin and Dr Trevor Dobbins, High Speed Craft, UK

Capt Michael McCarthy, Port of Cork; Capt Bill Kavanagh, NMCI; Alison Kay, Trinity College Dublin and Dr Trevor Dobbins, High Speed Craft, UK

Gráinne Lynch who is responsible for research development at the National Maritime College of Ireland in Ringaskiddy - the outreach college for MarLeaNet in Ireland, which hosted the workshop - explains that because maritime training centres generally exist independently of one another – reporting solely to their own authorities – there is often no connection between what the maritime industry needs and what educational institutes are providing.

Read more: Connecting the marine industry with educational institutes

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