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Weekly Maritime News Roundup

THIS ISLAND NATION
Weekly Maritime News and Comment
By Tom MacSweeney, Marine Correspondent
Dateline – July 28, 2014.
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This weekly service reviews maritime news and opinion and provides a digest of material from other THIS ISLAND NATION publishing outlets.

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FOR DAILY MARITIME NEWS please follow me on Twitter: @TomMacSweeney
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COSTA CONCORDIA ARRIVES FOR SCRAPPING

The Costa Concordia cruise ship wreck was towed into Genoa on Sunday for scrapping, two-and-a-half years after it ran aground on January 13, 2012 and 32 people aboard lost their lives. The 114,500-tonne hulk salvage project has been described as the largest and most complex. Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, was in Genoa for the completion of the operation which he described as restoring “some pride to Italy after a disaster that was a national humiliation as well as a human tragedy.” He said he was there to show gratitude to those involved for doing what some had said would be impossible, as a salute to the work of the salvage team. The wreck is actually in the industrial port of Voltri, just outside the main harbour in Genoa. It will be dismantled by a consortium led by Italian engineering group Saipem and Genoa-based San Giorgio del Porto in an operation expected to cost €100 million and take up to two years. Its captain, Francesco Schettino, is on trial for causing the shipwreck. The body of one crew member lost during the accident has still not been recovered.
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SEA BLINDNESS IN IRELAND

Why is it still prevailing? The sea moulds the Irish coastline, it lubricates the nation’s economy, its exploration is a resource for scientific investigation, it provides adventure and leisure. The sea which surrounds us also has the potential to be a cradle for national resources, with the power to feed and provide energy.

Read more about this on Afloat.ie THIS ISLAND NATION weekly bloc column at: http://bit.ly/1rX5FEd
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IRISH INTERNATIONAL SAILING VICTORY

The Brewin Dolphin Commodore’s Cup is the UK Royal Ocean Racing Club’s biennial flagship event for national teams with amateur crews. It was dominated by Irish sailors in an outstanding triumph, with the highest-ever lead over other teams in the history of the competition. Back in 2010, Ireland won this trophy for the first time. The competition is held every two years. The economic tribulations of 2012 prevented the formation and entry of an Irish team to defend the trophy that year. This year things had recovered and Ireland won the Cup again, despite having just one team of three boats, competing against nations such as Britain and France which countries each had several teams racing in an attempt to win overall. Ireland’s three-boat team was composed of Anthony O’Leary’s Ker 39 Antix; Marc Glimcher’s Ker 40 Catapult and Michael Boyd and Niall Dowling’s Grand Soleil 43 Quokka 8. They scored what has been acknowledged by the RORC as the most comprehensive victory in the 22-year history of the Commodores’ Cup.

The Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) is the organising body for racing under the international IRC Handicap system and the domestic ECHO system for more than 7,000 amateur sailors at clubs and venues around Ireland. As well as organising the annual national championships, ICRA also co-ordinates Ireland’s representation at the biennial Commodores’ Cup, hosts an annual conference and assists newcomers to the sport whether as crew or boat-owners.
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FIRST BANTRY LONGBOAT ON THE SHANNON

The first Bantry Longboat ever built in the Midlands will go sailing on the Shannon at Banagher in County Offaly. At the Glandore Classic Boats Summer Maritime School I met some of those who built the Banagher Longboat. Noel Ryan, told me that it took 5,036 man hours. Another of the group, Willie Kirwan, added that they would have “done it quicker if we were tradesmen, but we were all learners without experience, so we had a lot of tea breaks! If we were tradesmen we would have been quicker, but we enjoyed it and we have a fine boat.” The boat was built as the West Offaly Bantry Bay Longboat Project, originally a Men’s Shed initiative, with support from Offaly Local Enterprise Development Company, West Offaly Enterprise and County Offaly VEC. The boat has led to the formation of the Midlands Atlantic Challenge Club, which intends to organise involvement with schools, youth, sports and corporate groups.

I had the pleasure of sailing in the Bantry Longboat built in Bantry itself a few years ago. It went at a pretty quick speed and it was the skill of the crew in balancing the boat which kept it upright. You needed to be lively, as the longboat doesn’t have a keel.

Digested from THIS ISLAND NATION weekly blog on Afloat.ie at:
http://afloat.ie/blogs/island-nation
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IRISHMAN IS SANDYACHTING WORLD PRESIDENT

I once tried sandyachting, on Red Barn beach in County Cork. I found it initially difficult. But then thrilling as I got to know how to manage the yacht and saw the speed across the sand. Like all aspects of sailing it depends upon conditions and winds. It has been a long wait of 31 years since Ireland won world medals in this sport. Sandyachting Team Ireland won two Bronze medals at the World Landsailing Championships raced on Smith Creek Playa in Nevada, USA. The event was staged by Federation Internationale de Sand et Land Yachting, the world governing body since 1962.Colman Billings from Palmerstown in County Dublin was one of the Bronze medal winners. He also sails on water in Dublin Bay in his Dragon “Rebel.” The other Irish medal winner was Alan Watson from Laytown in Co.Meath who is also a GP14 dinghy sailor. Both are also members of the Irish Power Kite and Sandyacht Association who hold competitions and events on beaches around Ireland during the winter months. Alan Watson has been elected President of the world governing body FISLY and is also President of the International Mini 5.6 Sandyacht Class Association.
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UK FIRST IN THE WORLD

ASDA has become the first retailer in the world to offer a full disclosure of where and how it sources wild fish, alongside an assessment of the sustainability of each fishery, in a bid to enable shoppers to find out where their fish come from and how those fisheries are managed. The move has been welcomed by a number of campaigners including the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) and Greenpeace. The food company has published a report – Asda Wild Fisheries Annual Review 2013 – which covers all source fisheries used by Asda and is the result of collaboration between SFP and the retailer.
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FIRST WORLD ANGLING MEDAL FOR IRELAND

A historic achievement by Irish coarse fishing anglers at Coachford, a Mid Cork village on the edge of the huge River Lee reservoir, where 125 anglers from 25 countries competed in the World Feeder Fishing Championships. Going into the competition the English team were favourites. They had planned well, visiting Coachford a few times in advance of the competition as part of their training. “But the Irish finishing place in the competition was especially satisfying,” Paul Bourke of Inland Fisheries Ireland told me, “as it is the first team medal won in a world championships.” Congratulations to Brenton Sweeney, the Captain; Roger Baker, 2nd Captain and team members Francis McGoldrick, Richard Pratt, Tony Kersley, Paul Leese, Nigel Houldsworth and Ken Ince.
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UNITED NATIONS SHOULD MAKE THE OCEANS A PRIORITY – IRELAND SHOULD HAVE AN OCEANS MINISTER

In February of last year the Global Ocean Commission was established. It has an impressive title and an impressive membership. It originated as an initiative of the Pew Charitable Trust which has carried out several studies into the oceans and the fishing industry, in partnership with Somerville College at the University of Oxford in the UK, the Adessium Foundation and Oceans 5, which all give it financial support. The Commission has declared itself independent of them, despite this support. It comprises former heads of state, government officials and business leaders but, noticeably, not a lot of maritime professionals or experience amongst them. The first report of the Commission is a major document, calling for the United Nations to lead a five-year rescue plan, but it is not received a lot of media coverage, particularly not here in Ireland which should, according to the Commission, appoint an ‘Ocean Minister.”

Digested from The Marine Times. Read more in the August edition of The Marine Times
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POLAR PRESSURE

Because climate change, affecting the ice caps, is opening up Polar shipping routes, the United Nations’ body responsible for safety at sea, the International Maritime Organisation, is drawing up a Polar Code. This will provide a regulatory framework to deal with increasing use of Arctic and Antarctic waters by cruise ships. They will have to apply for a Polar Ship Certificate that will specify where they can sail, in what areas of ice and what safety systems are needed aboard. It will also cover ships drilling for oil and gas in the area.

Digested from Sea Echoes in the Cork Evening Echo
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COSMETIC POLLUTION

Microbeads are little pieces of plastic that cosmetic companies put in their products for “extra scrubbiness,” according to an environmental organisation called The Plastic Soup Foundation Europe which is one of several trying to control the amount of plastic waste in the seas. “ These microbeads go straight into waterways because they can’t be removed from wastewater,” it says reporting that, together with the North Sea Foundation, a Dutch environmental group, it has “convinced five major companies to stop using microbeads in their products.”
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RED SAILS BACK IN CORK

The first boat I ever owned was a Mirror, which I sailed out of Monkstown Bay Sailing Club. They are a great boat. It was good to see the red sails of Mirror dinghies back in Cork Harbour for the Southern Championships of the class sailed out of the RCYC at Crosshaven. There were 23 boats, with 46 sailors in all ranging in age from 14 to 50+ It was the biggest turn-out for the ‘Southerns’ in years, I was told. Mirrors hadn’t sailed out of the RCYC since 2005. There is some thought that the event may lead to a revival of interest in this dinghy class in Cork. There was a lot of discussion about the changes from the original wooden boats to the present fibreglass dinghies, with consequent changes in equipment and rigging. “There is no doubt that the plastic Mirror is a fine design, but a good wooden boat can still challenge them,” one of the ‘woodies,’ said. Indeed, a wooden boat from South Africa won the Mirror World Championships held at Lough Derg Yacht Club last year.
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COUNTRY-AND-WESTERN MUSIC MORE IMPORTANT TO GOVERNMENT THAN MARINE AND FISHING

If Enda Kenny and Joan Burton spent more time speaking about the way in which the fishing industry is being destroyed by the European Union, or listened to the pleas of the coastal and island communities for a debate in the Dáil about the problems, or raised the profile of the marine sector generally in Government, rather than their plethora of comments and anxiety about a petulant country-and-western singer, it would demonstrate the concern which politicians should have for all of their people.
• Read more about this in my FORUM in the August issue of THE MARINE TIMES which will be on sale on Friday. August 1.
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NEW SEA CREATURE

American marine researchers have identified and named a new sea creature which lives near hydrothermal vents that was previously thought to be a giant sea anemone. Photograph shows the creature. Originally it was identified in deep sea areas and described as “the world’s largest sea anemone.” New research suggests that the monster, which has tentacles measuring more than 6 feet (2 metres) long, is not an anemone but the first known organism in a new order of animals. This follows a four-year study in which researchers from the American Museum of Natural History created a “tree of life” for sea anemones that are sometimes called “flowers of the sea” but are actually stationary meat-eating animals. In doing so, they examined the DNA of the creature identified as Boloceroides daphneae which was first discovered in 2006 in the deep Pacific Ocean. They found the creature stood out as not fitting the sea anemone tree of life. It has been re-named the Relicanthidae Sea Creature, which lives near hydrothermal vents “This is the equivalent to finding the first member of a group like primates or rodents,” said Estefanía Rodríguez, Assistant Curator in the American Museum of Natural History.
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THIS ISLAND NATION RADIO MONTHLY RADIO PROGRAMME

THIS ISLAND NATION monthly radio programme which is made at Youghal Radio, cry104fm (cry104fm.com website) and is broadcast from there on the first Weds night of each month at 7.30-8.30 pm, and on Near FM in Dublin and Raidio Corca Baiscinn, West Clare, is also broadcast throughout each month on the AFLOAT (www.afloat.ie) and MARINE TIMES (www.marinetimes.ie) websites in case you would like to listen at any stage.

• All community radio stations are welcome to transmit the programme. If interested in your station transmitting the programme, please Email: tommacsweeneymarine@gmail.com or : thisislandnation@gmail.com
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OTHER MARITIME COLUMNS
‘SEA ECHOES’ each Wednesday in the Cork Evening Echo
SAILING NEWS each Thursday in the Cork Evening Echo
FORUM each month in THE MARINE TIMES
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