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Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue has today (Tuesday 21 June) announced an extension of the 2022 Brexit Voluntary Temporary Fishing Vessel Tie-up Scheme for the polyvalent and beam trawl fleets to include the month of November 2022.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the scheme is an extension of the 2021 Tie-up Scheme, with some modifications, and aims to help mitigate the impacts of quota cuts for 2022 arising from the Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

The scheme delivers on a recommendation of the Report of the Seafood Task Force – ‘Navigating Change’ (October 2021) and is proposed for funding under the EU Brexit Adjustment Reserve.

In light of the quota cuts taking effect in 2022, Minister McConalogue modified the scheme so that vessel owners can, if they wish, choose to tie-up for up to two calendar months — thereby freeing up additional quota for those vessels continuing to fish, supporting viability in the wider fleet.

However, vessels choosing to tie up for two months must maintain a two-month gap between tie-up months, for example June and September or July and October

Payment rates will be the same as the 2021 scheme. Vessel owners participating in the 2022 scheme will again be required to distribute one third of that payment to crew.

As previously reported, the minister made a formal request to the European Commission to amend the approval of the scheme to encompass November so as to provide for an additional August/November tie-up option.

An official response was received today with no objections to the scheme as amended, on the grounds that it is compatible with the internal market pursuant to Article 107(3)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

“I am pleased to have secured this extension of the time frame allowable for the 2022 Brexit Voluntary Tie-up Scheme,” Minister McConalogue said. “The third option of an August/November tie-up is key to the industry’s ability to manage and maintain the supply of fish to all its customers throughout the six month period of the tie-up scheme.

“This extension has been sought by industry and I welcome their responsiveness to learnings from the experiences of the 2021 scheme.”

The scheme will be administered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) and further details will be published by BIM shortly.

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Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency, announced (Friday, 3 June) the Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Development Scheme is officially open for applications for grant funding to enable coastal communities to restructure, reconfigure, retrain, and diversify post-Brexit.

An initiative of the Government of Ireland, and administered by BIM, the Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Development Scheme aims to counter the adverse economic and social consequences of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union on businesses operating in the blue economy and located in communities within 10km of the coastline.

The Scheme, the largest of its kind ever, will have a €25 million budget available for the years 2022 and 2023, funded under the EU Brexit Adjustment Reserve.

The Scheme will be delivered through the existing Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs). The Fisheries Local Action Groups uniquely focus local development funding specifically for areas within 10kms of the sea around the entire coast, precisely the communities that are most impacted by Brexit.

The Scheme is one of the recommendations of the Seafood Sector Taskforce, established by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D. in March 2021 to mitigate against the impacts of Brexit on the wider Irish seafood industry and coastal communities.

Welcoming today’s announcement the Minister Charlie McConalogue said: “The blue economy is the beating heart of Ireland’s rural coastal communities. This new Scheme is designed to help strengthen and rejuvenate those communities by giving businesses an opportunity to apply for funding for their blue economy activities in areas including seafood, coastal tourism, boat building and maintenance, marine recreation, and renewable energy initiatives.”

Stimulating entrepreneurial activity, providing mentoring to help businesses adapt and find new opportunities and helping people train or retrain to allow them to keep and use their marine skills within the blue economy will enhance the profitability and economic viability of these community’s post Brexit. Grants of up to €200,000 are available and can be used to cover capital investment projects, along with mentoring and training.

In Ireland, 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast and many communities along the Irish coast depend on industries including tourism, fishing and aquaculture. Launching the Scheme Jim O’Toole, CEO BIM, referred to the unique identity of Ireland’s coastal communities and how this latest scheme will help to stimulate already established businesses, and new business ideas, in these communities.

“The seafood sector is an important contributor to Ireland’s coastal communities and combined with other blue economy activities, gives Ireland’s coastal communities a unique and rich heritage - for those who live and work in them and for those who visit. This new scheme will help these communities adapt to new market realities in the post-Brexit landscape by stimulating further growth of the blue economy.”

More here

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Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, today announced the appointment of Aidan Cotter as Chair of Board Iascaigh Mhara (BIM). BIM is the State Agency that helps to develop the Irish seafood industry by providing technical expertise, business support, funding, training and promoting responsible environmental practice.

Mr Cotter has been appointed following a Public Service Appointment Service (PAS) process from 17 May 2022 for a period of three years.

Minister Mc Conalogue said “ I am very pleased that Aidan Cotter has undertaken the important role as Chair of BIM. BIM provides an essential service in supporting and developing the seafood sector and Aidan will lead the work of BIM during this particularly challenging period dealing with the impacts of the EU/UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement and high fuel prices. I am fully satisfied that Aidan experience in both his executive role in leading Board Bia and his wide experience in supporting and growing the food sector in Ireland ensures that he has the skills and experience for this important role. He will bring dedication and leadership to this role to realise the full potential of the seafood sector.”

Aidan was appointed by the Minister as chairperson of the Seafood Task Force in March 2021 and completed a comprehensive report in October 2021 – Navigating Change, the Report of the Seafood Task Force. The Task Force examined the implications of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation agreement for the Irish fishing industry and to make recommendations. Implementation of many of the approved schemes and initiatives recommended by the Task Force is now being undertaken by BIM, working closely with the Department.

Aidan Cotter previously served as CEO of Bord Bia – The Irish Food Board - from 2004 until 2017, having earlier served the organisation in Dusseldorf and London. As CEO, he initiated significant strategic change across the organisation, covering a period which saw the sustained expansion of Ireland’s overall food and drink exports, the extension of its office network eastwards into the Middle East and Asia, and the establishment of its state of the art, globally connected Consumer Insight Centre.

In 2012, he initiated and led the launch of Origin Green, the world’s first national sustainability programme for food and drink, firmly establishing Ireland’s environmental credentials and its international reputation as a world leader in sustainability.

He served as Chairman of Slaney Foods, a joint venture between ABP Foods Group and the Fane Valley Group from 2017 to 2021 and currently Chairs the Plastics Action Alliance. He is a practising barrister.

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As the transitional period for compliance with Safe Manning legislation ends, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency is urging all skippers of vessels of 15 metres in length and above that hold a Second Hand Limited (SHL) certificate, to ensure their Certificate of Competency is endorsed for service as Second Hand Special.

Skippers and owners should check whether they need a second crew member with a Certificate of Competency to be on board to comply with the regulations.

Information on certificates of competency and endorsements may be obtained at www.seafarers.ie. At least 12 months of sea service is required to obtain an endorsement to a SHL certificate.

Safe manning relates to the safe operation of fishing vessels and takes account of the safe navigation of the vessel, operations, machinery, and maintenance. On December 19th, 2019 it became a legal requirement for all fishing vessels of 15 metres in length and above, to apply a safe manning document from the Marine Survey Office (MSO) and Department of Transport. Application forms are available from Gov.ie (MSO Application forms- FV Less than 500gt)

BIM is an approved provider of maritime training on behalf of the MSO. Its two National Fisheries Colleges of Ireland in Greencastle, Co Donegal and in Castletownbere, Co Cork and its mobile Coastal Training Units deliver training to fishers throughout Ireland, to support a safe and professional industry.

To apply to endorse your certificate of competency contact the Mercantile Marine Office at the address below or to find out more information, please contact either of the BIM colleges by email or phone.

Mercantile Marine Office (MMO)

Maritime Services Division, Irish Maritime Administration, Department of Transport, Leeson Lane, Dublin 2, D02TR60.

Tel: +353 (0) 1 6783480

Email: [email protected]

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Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue today (Wednesday 11 May) announced a 2022 Brexit Voluntary Temporary Fishing Vessel Tie-Up Scheme for the polyvalent and beam-trawl fleets.

The scheme is an extension of the 2021 Tie-Up Scheme, with some modifications, and aims to help mitigate the impacts of quota cuts for 2022 arising from the Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

“The object of the scheme is to enable a reduction in quota uptake so as to improve quota availability for the fleet overall throughout the remainder of the year,” Minister McConalogue said.

“The €24 million scheme I am announcing today delivers on a key recommendation of the Report of the Seafood Task Force – Navigating Change (October 2021). In light of the quota cuts taking effect in 2022 I have modified the scheme so that vessel owners can, if they wish, choose to tie-up for up to two calendar months.

“This enhanced tie up opportunity will free up additional quota for those vessels continuing to fish, supporting viability in the wider fleet.”

Payment rates will be the same as the 2021 scheme. Vessel owners participating in the 2022 scheme will again be required to distribute one third of that payment to crew.

In order to maintain the supply of fish to processors and fishmongers, vessels choosing to tie-up for two months must maintain a two-month gap between tie-up months, for example June and September or July and October.

The scheme will initially be expected to operate over the period June to October, but the minister will be asking the European Commission to amend the approval of the scheme to encompass November so as to provide for an additional August/November tie up option.

The scheme will be administered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara and further details will be available from BIM at bim.ie/fisheries/funding/

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Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency, in collaboration with Chef Network Ireland and Fáilte Ireland on Monday 9th May 2022 announced the Taste the Atlantic, Young Chef Ambassador Programme for 2022. The aim of the programme is to engage with five ambitious young chefs, and over a four-month period mentor them through an exciting journey of learning about Ireland’s premium seafood offering along the Atlantic seaboard. This is the second year of the successful programme. Five chefs took part in the programme in 2021.

The selected chefs will benefit from on-site farm visits with Taste the Atlantic seafood producers where they will learn first-hand how organic salmon, mussels and oysters are sustainably produced in Ireland. They will also receive training in social media, business, culinary and fish handling skills from experienced industry mentors, such as Michelin starred chef, JP McMahon. Each chef will be paired with a Taste the Atlantic producer to learn about the provenance of the seafood they produce, broadening their knowledge and inspiring them to create Irish seafood recipes. At the end of the programme, the chefs will work together to create a Taste the Atlantic menu, showcasing the skill and knowledge they have gained on their journey as ambassadors helping to highlight the quality and sustainably produced seafood on the Wild Atlantic Way as well as raising awareness of food tourism.

Máirtin Walsh, Development Executive with BIM said, “BIM is delighted to announce the second year of the programme and looks forward to building on the success of 2021. It was inspiring to work with last year’s chefs and to watch them develop such an appreciation of Ireland’s valuable aquaculture sector. As a sector, providing direct employment to almost 2,000 people, it’s a significant contributor to rural, coastal communities, and was valued at €175 million in 2021. The consumption of seafood in Ireland grew by 3% to €418 million in 2021, with the hospitality sector being the main contributor. We look forward to guiding this year’s chefs on their Taste the Atlantic seafood journey!”

Sarah Browne from County Kerry was one of the Young Chef Ambassadors in 2021 and went on to work at Cava Bodega in Galway after the programme. Speaking at the launch of this year’s programme, she said:

“I’m passionate about sustainable food and I was so impressed when meeting the producers last year how much emphasis they place on sustainability and how future-focussed they were. The programme really boosted my confidence in my culinary skills around seafood and it was a huge stepping-stone for my career. I’d highly recommend it.”

JP McMahon, chef-proprietor at Michelin-starred Aniar restaurant, will provide mentorship to the chefs again this year and he spoke about why he is so supportive of the programme. “This program offers a fantastic opportunity for young chefs to develop their appreciation and understanding of the wealth of Irish seafood available to them. They will get to know producers, understand how the seafood is produced and develop their culinary creativity and confidence, learning how to prepare beautiful seafood dishes. Locally sourced produce is key to any good menu, and it doesn’t get much better than the seafood offering along the Wild Atlantic Way!”

Chef Network is a professional network connecting chefs across the island of Ireland, with over 4,500 members. Programme Manager, Ruth Hegarty said, “The Taste the Atlantic Young Chef Ambassador programme is a really exciting collaboration which brings together Ireland’s up and coming culinary talent with our wonderful seafood producers to explore the food tourism potential along the Wild Atlantic Way. It is so important to keep young chefs motivated and curious through opportunities to gain experience, upskill, and explore their creativity, and in my experience, meeting food producers is hugely inspiring and motivating for chefs, which is why I am genuinely delighted that Chef Network have the opportunity to run this programme alongside BIM and Fáilte Ireland.”

The Ambassador programme is now open for nominations, with full details available on www.chefnetwork.ie. The closing date for nominations is May 24th. Interviews will take place in June, following which we will announce the five successful 2022 young chef ambassadors, who will embark on their Taste the Atlantic seafood journey from June-September

The Young Chef Ambassador Programme is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union, under the European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF).

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Shellfish and fish farmers are due to gather in Westport, Co Mayo today (Thursday, April 7) for the IFA aquaculture conference and annual general meeting.

Speakers from the aquaculture industry, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Bord Bia and the Marine Institute will contribute to the two-day conference. The event includes a mussel workshop hosted by BIM.

Presentations at the mussel workshop will address the priorities of the upcoming European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund ( EMFAF) with a focus on

  • the continued development of a sustainable and competitive sector
  • supply of quality, healthy and safe seafood
  • documentation of the carbon footprint of the Irish mussel industry and management of marine biodiversity.

BIM is organising a site visit to Blackshell Farm Ltd on Friday, April 8th.

The event is being supported by the EMFF, and a full agenda and details on how to register are here

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Divers taking part in Bord Iascaigh Mhara’s (BIM) commercial scuba and surface-supplied diving programmes are benefiting from the new diving barge two months on since its launch at the seafood agency’s National Fisheries & Diving College of Ireland (NFCI) in Castletownbere, West Cork.

The barge includes a decompression chamber, surface supplied diver unit and welfare accommodation, and is described as “unique” as it’s run by a hybrid battery-powered system that has offset significant carbon emissions and resulted in cost savings.

Captain Shane Begley, principal at the NFCI, said this is the first known time such a system has been used for marine training in Ireland and the results have exceeded expectations.

“BIM has always viewed this project as a pilot to test the viability of using a battery and generator powered system in a marine training environment,” he said. “We set out, with our project partners Bere Island Boatyard and Daretech Technologies, to reduce the carbon footprint and operational costs of the barge, and also to measure the emission offsets and possible cost savings.

“What’s exciting about this project is that now that we’ve seen the results, we can now begin to explore how this system might be applied to other parts of the seafood industry such as aquaculture feed barge vessels and possibly fishing vessels in the future.

“Another unique feature of the system is that the power management of the system [ie the battery and generator] and system monitoring happens remotely, more than 70 miles away.”

The power source for diving barges previously hired by BIM for use on its commercial diving programmes were typically 40kwh diesel generators. These powered all of the lighting and underwater cutting and welding tools used by students. Two petrol and diesel-driven compressors were also used for previous BIM diver operations.

“Now BIM is using a hybrid system comprising a 50kwh battery and generator and the petrol and diesel-driven compressors have been fitted with electric motors, so they now run on electricity,” Capt Begley said.

“What now happens is that the battery, charged by the generator as required, powers all the electricity requirements for the barge and the diving operations, from the lighting and sockets, compressors, underwater burning to the welding equipment. The heat from the generator is also harvested and used to dry the diver drysuits and undersuits.

“The result is an 86% fuel saving and a carbon emission offset of 5,800 KG. Furthermore, the generator kicks in when the barge is vacant, and charges the battery, this results in no noise or emissions while diving operations are taking place.”

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The Minister for the Marine Charlie McConalogue T.D. met virtually today with the members of the National Inshore Fisheries Forum (NIFF).

Minister McConalogue welcomed those representatives from the six Regional Inshore Fisheries Forums who were attending the NIFF for the first time, noting that the process of renewing Forum membership has been working well.

“I am delighted with the level of commitment that people have shown in engaging with the Forums because, without that commitment, this initiative would not have emerged as the influential voice for the inshore sector that it has become,” the Minister said.

The Minister discussed issues, that are important to the inshore sector, with the Forum members, including the recommendations in the final report of the Seafood Sector Task Force. The Minister thanked the NIFF for its participation in the Task Force and the valuable contributions it made to those discussions.

The Minister said, “I am urgently examining the Task Force report with a view to quickly implementing a comprehensive response to the impacts of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement on our fishing sector and coastal communities.”

The Minister and inshore representatives also discussed a range of other topics including the “hook and line” mackerel fishery and the sustainable management of the brown crab fishery, which is one of the most important stocks for inshore fishers and for the seafood sector.

The meeting included contributions from Bord Bia, the Marine Institute and Bord Iascaigh Mhara. The Minister thanked all those attending for their constructive engagement throughout the meeting.

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Five up and coming young chefs, aged between 21 and 24, have been successfully awarded places on BIM’s Taste the Atlantic Ambassador Programme, an exciting initiative created by Bord Iascaigh Mhara in partnership with Chef Network to drive awareness of the provenance of Irish seafood among young and aspiring chefs. Working with Chef Network, nominations were sought from around the country and five candidates have been selected following a written submission and interview process.

The five Ambassadors will now take part in a three-month programme including mentoring from some of our premium seafood producers along the Taste the Atlantic, A Seafood Journey! trail and workshops with Master fishmonger, Hal Dawson and Michelin-starred chef, JP McMahon.

Taste the Atlantic, A Seafood Journey! was developed by BIM in partnership with Fáilte Ireland and the trail, sweeping from Malin Head, Co. Donegal to Kinsale, Co. Cork, showcases the incredible range of seafood producers and visitor attractions along the Wild Atlantic Way to visitors.

Kicking off the Ambassadors programme is a producer visit to Kelly Oysters in South Galway, who will introduce them to a third-generation shellfish business that exports around the Globe. That afternoon they will participate in a culinary masterclass on Irish seafood with Chef JP McMahon. The group will then visit Killary Harbour in Co. Galway and will learn about mussel farming and Seafood Tourism directly from Killary Fjord Shellfish, this will be followed by a trip to DK Connemara Oysters where the Ambassadors will learn about oyster farming and the storied history of oyster production in Ballinakill bay.

Speaking after the young chefs were announced, Mairtín Walsh, BIM said, “As a member of the interview panel I was struck by the energy and knowledge all of the nominees. We genuinely had a tough job selecting only five chefs, but we can say with confidence they will be vibrant and vociferous ambassadors for premium Irish seafood into the future. We wish them the very best of luck on their seafood journey!”

Executive Chef at Harvey’s Point, Donegal and Chef Network Advisory Council member Chris McMenamin, who also took part in the selection interviews, commented: “This programme is a fantastic chance to show young chefs the wealth of seafood out there on the Wild Atlantic Way; to get to know the producers, understand how it is produced, and get excited about working with it. We would like to see more local seafood featured on menus and these chefs can help champion that and inspire others. At the same time, the programme will greatly expand their knowledge and skills and contribute to their professional development. It’s been really refreshing to meet the candidates and we are genuinely excited to work with the five selected ambassadors over the coming months”.

The young chefs hail from all over the country, Sarah Jane Browne, originally from Kerry, is now Chef/ Manager of Time & Tide in Annagry, Co. Donegal. Jake Kennedy is from Co. Wicklow and is Chef de Partie (Fish Section), Glovers Alley, Dublin. Kevin King is Senior Sous Chef, Connemara Sands Beach Hotel and Spa, Ballyconneely, Co. Galway and is from Clifden. Hailing from Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, Lucas Serpa Maciel Lisboa is Junior Chef de Partie, Bunnyconnellan Coastal Restaurant, Myrtleville, Co. Cork and Andrew Zeppa is Commis Chef at The Yacht Pub & Upper Deck Restaurant, Clontarf, Co. Dublin.

The mentoring programme is underway and is being supported by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund

Meet the Young Chefs!

Sarah Jane Browne, Chef/Manager, Time & Tide Café. (Annagry, Co. Donegal)

Sarah is originally from Kerry but is now Chef/Manager at Time & Tide Café in Annagry, Co. Donegal. Sarah has studied and honed her culinary skills in CIT and LYIT and has extensive experience working in tourism including at the world-famous Molls Gap in Kerry. Sarah is from a dairy farming background is a passionate believer that sustainability in food production is critical and that chefs and producers are key stakeholders in the future of sustainable food production. Sarah wants to learn more about sustainable seafood production and bring learnings back to her work in Co. Donegal.

Jake Kennedy, Chef de Partie (Fish Section), Glovers Alley (Dublin)

Jake is from Wicklow and is very keen on all things fish and marine related. Jake has been developing his fish skills in Glovers Alley. Jake is also a keen sport fisherman, taking every opportunity to get involved in fishing whether in Ireland or the Canaries or Singapore. Jake is a graduate of DIT and cites Nathan Outlaw and Josh Niland as his inspirations. Jake will be very much at home on the shore and on boats with Taste the Atlantic producers.

Kevin King, Senior Sous Chef, Connemara Sands Beach Hotel and Spa. (Ballyconneely, Co. Galway)

Kevin is from Clifden, Co. Galway and grew up around fishing where he has fished for lobster and crab for years. He is extremely passionate about sustainability and wild food, where he forages daily to further champion local, organic produce within the Connemara Sands menu. Kevin has worked and completed stagiaires in high end restaurants and hotels in Connemara, Galway and the UK including The Black Swan at Oldstead and The Oakroom at Adare Manor. Kevin is ambitious and is starting on an MSc in Food Business and Innovation in UCC. Kevin is already familiar with some Taste the Atlantic producers but wants to learn much more.

Lucas Serpa Maciel Lisboa, Junior Chef de Partie, Bunnyconnellan Coastal Restaurant. (Myrtleville, Co. Cork)

Lucas is from Salvador de Bahia in Brazil a city with great seafood cuisine. Lucas developed his interest in food in childhood, sharing meals with his family. ''In my family sharing a meal was the way that we choose to celebrate, so, my relationship with the kitchen has this powerful feeling attached. '' Lucas came to Ireland to challenge himself and to broaden his range of culinary skills and techniques. Lucas wants to bring the diverse flavours and techniques of historic Salvador de Bahia to the Taste the Atlantic producers to create a new and exciting fusion.

Andrew Zeppa, Chef de Partie, The Yacht Pub & Upper Deck Restaurant, (Clontarf, Co. Dublin)

Andrew is from Dublin and has been working at the Yacht Pub and Upper Deck Restaurant in Clontarf for several years. A high-quality seafood offering at the Upper Deck Restaurant has helped Andrew develop a strong interest in seafood and the culinary skills required to bring out the best in the product. Andrew wants to get out and about on the water with Taste the Atlantic producers and bring a bit of the west coast back to Clontarf, Andrew is keen to draw on his Italian heritage to create interesting new dishes.

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