18th December

EU Parliament adopts Maritime Spatial Planning legislation

E Commission logo 2 resized

The European Parliament has endorsed (17/04) a Directive for MSP that 'should help Member States develop plans to better coordinate the various activities that take place at sea, ensuring they are as efficient and sustainable as possible,' an European Commission communique states.

In coastal and maritime areas, many activities compete for the same space and resources, e.g. fishing grounds, aquaculture sites, marine protected areas alongside maritime infrastructures such as cables, pipelines, shipping lanes, oil, gas and wind installations. 

'The new Directive will help avoid potential conflicts between diverse users and create a stable environment attractive for investors thereby contributing to sustainable growth.

It will also contribute to more efficient implementation of EU environmental legislation in marine waters and will help Member States reach good environmental status of their waters by 2020.

It should help establish coherent networks of Marine Protected Areas for which cooperation on planning across borders is essential and ensure that participating of all stakeholders in planning processes.'

Next Steps

Once adopted by ministers, Member States must transpose the Directive into their national legislation by 2016 and nominate Competent Authorities in charge of implementation. MS must also draw up their national marine spacial plans by 2021.

'They are free to tailor the content of the plans and stategies to their specific economic, social and environmental priorities, and their national sectorial policy objectives and legal traditions, but must respect the minimum requirements of the Directive. 

Agreement reached on CFP funding package

The European Parliament has endorsed the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) with an overwhelming majority. With a budget of €6.5 billion for 2014-2020, the fund will finance projects to implement the new reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and provide financial support to fishermen, fish farmers and coastal communities to adapt to the changed rules.The Fund will also finance projects to boost 'blue' growth and jobs under the EU's Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP).


"Our reformed fisheries policy is putting European fisheries on a sustainable footing once and for all. To get there will mean radical changes for our fishermen and the whole sector, which needs our financial support. We will co-fund concrete projects in the Member States to help fishermen and coastal communities develop a sustainable seafood industry - from the net to the plate," remarked European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki.

Read more: Agreement reached on CFP funding package

Quantitative Risk Assessment for Haulbowline Island

The former steelworks factory site on Haubowline Island is to undergo a Detailed Quantitative Risk Assessment; details of the contract were signed today.

According to Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the contract moves the remediation project into a "new phase" and underpines the approach now being adopted.

Haulbowline Risk Assessment

With Minister Coveney at the contract signing in County Hall were: Denis Crowley, ARUP, Declan Daly, temporary Cork County Manager; the Mayor of Cork County Cllr Noel O'Connor; Pascal Hayes, Department Principal Officer and Cormac O'Suilleabhain CCC

The contract was awarded to ARUP and is for a 'rigorous and robust DQRA'  which will be prepared 'in accordance with current best practice, taking cognisance of relevant legislation, standards and guidance,' according to the department. 

Additional surface water, groundwater and gas sampling will be undertaken.

'All availlable data will be collated, analysed and interpreted and a report containing the DQRA, options appraisal and remedial solution prepared. The report will also outline in detail, the proposed remedial solution.'

A decision on the application is due by April 24.

Coliemore harbour development plans

Development plans for Dublin Bay's 'earliest' harbour, Coliemore, are due to be complete by the end of May, ahead of the summer season.

Situated off the coast of Dalkey 16km south of Dublin City, the harbour will be used as an access point by small boats going out to the island that was first inhabited roughly 6,000 years ago. Coliemore is also the base of the Dalkey Rowing Club, established in 1931 and for inshore angling boats.

Coliemore harbour with Dalkey island in the background

Coliemore harbour with Dalkey island in the background

"The final management plan will be very important as it will govern the safe use of the harbour," remarked local TD, Mary Mitchell-O'Connor. 

"I am delighted that this project is going ahead and I am confident it will help entice even more visitors into the area. It will also improve the amenity which is already so popular among locals.  

Maritime Spatial Planning or Integrated Coastal Management - the sticking point for new maritime legislation

Inshore Ireland masthead

Our last issue [vol 10.1] looked in some detail and attempted to review the progress and current status of Integrated Coastal Zone Management, now called Integrated Coastal Management, as it might impact on Ireland.

Our coverage revealed an appalling fact: that seventeen years after politicians first began tinkering with the challenge of agreeing an imaginative and workable legislative architecture for good coastal governance, progress had been at best, patchy, and at worst, mostly ineffectual.

Read more: Maritime Spatial Planning or Integrated Coastal Management - the sticking point for new maritime...

Fourth helicopter completes Irish Coast Guard upgrade

The fourth and final Sikorsky S92 helicopeter has joined the Irish Coast Guard and completes the upgrading of the fleet to one of the most modern worldwide.

Speaking at the launch, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar, said the S92 was tailored specially for search and rescue operations and has an extended range of 270 nautical miles.

"It is also faster, safer can carry more casualties and can fly at higher altitude and in much worse weather," he added. 

Launch of S92 at Dublin Coast Guard base

Launch of S92 at Dublin Coast Guard base

The S92 fleet also allows the Coast Guard to exand its role to providing emergency medical transport for the HSE. 

Read more: Fourth helicopter completes Irish Coast Guard upgrade

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