17th July

Building a bridge between you and the EU

The European Commission Representation in Ireland is part of a network of representative offices throughout the Member States of the European Union. It is the Commission’s voice in Ireland, and aims to communicate EU affairs at national and local level. 

Inshore Ireland asked the Dublin Office about its role specifically relating to fisheries, aquaculture and maritime affairs:

The Commission’s role is framed by the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). It proposes legislation at EC level; manages EC funds earmarked under the CFP, and monitors the application of EC law. In some specific cases, the Commission also adopts detailed technical rules.

Read more: Building a bridge between you and the EU

The gandelows of the Shannon Estuary

Darina Tully

The indigenous wooden boat of the Shannon Estuary is a dory-style boat known locally as a ‘gandelow’. The boats have a flat bottom and are clinker-planked although there is also a yawl type that is carvel built.Shannon Gandalows1

The gandalows could have evolved locally, as the boat's shape enables fishermen and farmers to expolot the tidal areas of the estuary. Photo Darina Tully

Just like a dory, there is considerable sheer in the bow. Different styles of gandelow can be found within the Shannon Estuary. Boats found in the Cashen, Clarecastle, Killadysert, Bunratty and Limerick City areas all display regional differences, mainly in the shape of the stern.

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The case for a European Union coastguard

John Cushnahan, Fine Gael MEP for Munister 1989-2004 explains why

The recent tsunami in the Indian Ocean has chillingly demonstrated the danger that can lurk in the seas surrounding island countries, spelling potential disaster for coastal communities. Professor Bill Mc Guire, a hazards research expert at University College London, has warned that a collapse of the Cumbre Vieja volcano in the Canary Isles could inflict a tsunami-type catastrophe on Ireland. Before anyone starts heading for the hills, it is important to note that the experts point out that natural disasters of this type are infrequent, rarely occurring in the same century or even Millennium. In my view, a more immediate danger is more likely to be the consequence of a man-made disaster rather than a natural one.

In recent years, European coastal waters have experienced a significant increase in maritime traffic, often with horrific consequences. There have been environmental disasters: tragic loss of life in shipping accidents; criminal trafficking in drugs and human beings, and continued flagrant breaches of the Common Fisheries Policy.

Read more: The case for a European Union coastguard

The Naval Service

The Naval Service (NS) is the principal seagoing agency of the State and is responsible for patrolling Ireland’s 132,000m2 Exclusive Fishery Limit (EFL). This area represents approximately 12 per cent of EU waters and is about six times the size of Ireland. The NS also conducts fishery protection in waters beyond the 200-mile EFL as part of Ireland’s contribution to bodies such as NEAFC, NAFO, etc (North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission, North Atlantic Fisheries Commission), writes Cdr Gerard O’Flynn.

Provision of a fishery protection service is one of the stated roles of the Defence Forces and is fully delegated to the NS. The work of monitoring, inspection and control is conducted by a fleet of eight patrol ships ranging in age from the 27-year-old LE Emer to the newest ships, LE Niamh and LE Roisin, both commissioned within the last five years.

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Ireland places the environment centre stage of EU maritime policy

Ireland's response to the EU Green Paper, Towards a Future Maritime Policy for the Union states that a healthy marine environment 'is essential to the continued development of teh European marine economy' and 'strongly advocates' that its protection should form 'the cornerstone' of any policy.   

Incorporating the viewpoints of stakeholders in the marine and maritime sectors, the Irish position adds that such a policy ‘must not prejudice the sovereign rights of Member States in their respective maritime zones under national jurisdiction, and in particular their rights over natural resources (including non-living and marine genetic resources) located therein.’


3.3 maritime Greenpaper

Read more: Ireland places the environment centre stage of EU maritime policy

Providing a guiding light to mariners

Dermot Grey, Master, ILV Granuaile

The Irish Lights vessel, ILV Granuaile, is operated by the Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL) who are the General Lighthouse Authority for all of Ireland, its adjacent coasts and islands.

The CIL provide Aids to Navigation for the general safe passage of all vessels operating in Irish waters. These Aids include 80 lighthouses, 149 buoys, 2 automatic light vessels, two Large Automatic Navigational Buoys (Lanbys), differential GPS transmissions from three coastal locations, 19 beacons, 30 perches and 22 racons.

ILV Granuaile

ILV Granuaile. Photo Gillian Mills/Inshore Ireland

The Aids mark exposed headlands, sandbanks, reefs and isolated dangers such as rocks and wrecks. The differential GPS transmissions correct and enhance the raw GPS positions received by vessels to an accuracy of 10 meters.

Read more: Providing a guiding light to mariners

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