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  • Fisheries Monitoring Centre

    Civilians and Army to help understaffed Navy monitor Irish waters post-Brexit

    A number of soldiers, civil servants and civilian clerks are being drafted in to help the understrength Naval Service monitor fishing vessels in Irish-controlled waters post-Brexit.

    Both the Defence Forces and the Department of Defence confirmed the move ahead of an expected increase in monitoring workload at the national Fisheries Monitoring Centre (FMC) which is located at Haulbowline Naval Base in Co. Cork. It monitors vessels on a 24-hour basis every day of the year.

    Concerns have been raised that EU-registered trawlers may flood Irish waters if there is a hard-Brexit and they are forced out of British fisheries.

    Tracking them will be a massive task as FMC monitors Ireland's so-called Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), an area encompassing 1 million sq miles of sea, which is 12 times the landmass of the country.

    It is the third-largest EEZ of any EU state.

    All vessels over 12m long must have satellite tracking systems turned on which enables the FMC to monitor their movements.

    Skippers also have to log their daily catch onto a computer system which the FMC has access to.

    The Air Corps' long-range CASA aircraft also help the Naval Service monitor fisheries.

    In particular, the aircraft crews seek out vessels which don't have their satellite tracking systems turned on.

    Both they and the FMC track fishing trawlers and if they have suspicions about illegal fishing they can request a Naval Service ship to board them.

    The FMC helps highlight anomalies and signal to the Naval Service what trawlers might be worth inspecting.

    Staff at the FMC are also able to monitor Irish fishing vessels anywhere in the world.

    A number of soldiers arrived at the FMC earlier this week and the Department of Defence has said it is in the process of establishing a panel of suitable candidates for posts as civilian clerks at the centre.

    “A number of civil servants are also currently being recruited for deployment in the Naval base,” a spokeswoman added.

    She said Minister for Defence Simon Coveney is trying to ensure “the Defence Forces are fully prepared to address any potential issues that might arise in the defence area as a consequence of Brexit.”

    “The main day-to-day role of the Naval Service is to provide a fishery protection service in accordance with the State's obligations as a member of the European Union. Government policy remains that 90% of Naval Service patrol days will be dedicated to fisheries protection,” the spokeswoman added.

    The Naval Service is suffering a manpower crisis and, as a result, it needs every available person to man patrols, hence the recruitment of outside personnel to aid fisheries monitoring.

    The manpower crisis forced it to tie up two ships in June 2019 and they remain non-operational.

    By contrast, the Royal Navy has commissioned four new fishery patrol ships to deploy in British waters from January 1, in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

    Concerns have also been raised that closing British waters to EU trawlers could cause tensions between them and British vessels.

    Similar concerns have been raised here that an influx of foreign vessels to Irish waters as a result of a hard Brexit could lead to incidents between these and Irish trawlers.
    https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/arid-40191066.html

  • #2
    To be fair that's not exactly what the RN has done.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Sparky42 View Post
      To be fair that's not exactly what the RN has done.
      This is all reconstructing the Pyramids. I remember sending an officer to the Dept. of Fisheries to check that we had all the relevant EU docs on board while in Dublin. He told me Fisheries was one room with an EO and a couple of clerks. The place was piled high with regulations and loose correction bundles not entered. They were not really coping. The job was big but not to the overall Russian doll Department which was responsible for at least three other major Government Depts or sections. We need management and clear Departmental oversight. Moving people to meet expedience's is routine but the jobs they leave are undone. It is all on the principle that there will be no fire tonight. Then there is the public optics of being seen to do something like a launch at Cape Canaveral.
      Last edited by ancientmariner; 15 December 2020, 19:00.

      Comment


      • #4
        Will it re-assign staff from within the DoD or recruit new staff to the already bloated department? I can't see many clerical staff willing to move to Haulbowline from Newbridge.

        edit. Answering my own question
        https://www.gov.ie/en/organisation-i...-vacancies/%20
        Newly recruited, working as Civilian Clerk, DoD, based in Haulbowline (as required).
        Last edited by na grohmiti; 16 December 2020, 13:36.
        German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
        German 2: Private? I am a general!
        German 1: That is the bad news.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post
          Will it re-assign staff from within the DoD or recruit new staff to the already bloated department? I can't see many clerical staff willing to move to Haulbowline from Newbridge.

          edit. Answering my own question
          https://www.gov.ie/en/organisation-i...-vacancies/%20
          Newly recruited, working as Civilian Clerk, DoD, based in Haulbowline (as required).
          Within Technical stores in Haulbowline in my day, we had a HEO and Clerical officer. We also had a Drawing office with a Naval Architecture Technician.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ancientmariner View Post
            Within Technical stores in Haulbowline in my day, we had a HEO and Clerical officer. We also had a Drawing office with a Naval Architecture Technician.
            I know there may have been a few clerk typists there back in the 90s too (before everyone learnt how to type).
            German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
            German 2: Private? I am a general!
            German 1: That is the bad news.

            Comment


            • #7
              aa
              Last edited by sofa; 16 December 2020, 22:33.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Rhodes View Post
                Civilians and Army to help understaffed Navy monitor Irish waters post-Brexit



                https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/arid-40191066.html
                Within the quoted reasons for augmenting or replacing Naval Staff are the seeds of destroying the Naval Service and it's perceived needed Establishment. The FMC was manned and developed by NS Personnel. If say 10 civilian/army personnel arrive and operate the FMC then the NS Establishment will be reduced by a Number of Officers , NCO's, and ratings to cover the cost of the new cohort. It would take very little to hand over various peace time police duties to other entities and we could turn things back to pre-1939. The obvious solutions are open door non fussy recruitment allowing the Service to choose those they will keep. Improve conditions and Pay and set up an all Branch training unit to produce techs and specialists as required by placement of recruited personnel with the Colleges.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ancientmariner View Post
                  Within the quoted reasons for augmenting or replacing Naval Staff are the seeds of destroying the Naval Service and it's perceived needed Establishment. The FMC was manned and developed by NS Personnel. If say 10 civilian/army personnel arrive and operate the FMC then the NS Establishment will be reduced by a Number of Officers , NCO's, and ratings to cover the cost of the new cohort. It would take very little to hand over various peace time police duties to other entities and we could turn things back to pre-1939. The obvious solutions are open door non fussy recruitment allowing the Service to choose those they will keep. Improve conditions and Pay and set up an all Branch training unit to produce techs and specialists as required by placement of recruited personnel with the Colleges.
                  I don't understand how the DoD could justify recruiting new entrants, instead of redeploying clerics from other departments, on secondment? Once you recruit them, you an't sack them, and you won't transfer a CO from Haulbowline to Newbridge, no matter how nicely you ask. Having them answer to DF staff also complicates issues. The civvies get shift allowance, what will their colleague in uniform get?
                  Worst case scenario these posts should have been filled from the army, CIS, and returned to army when the need for them had passed. What next? Private security replacing the NS military police? Kearney's Coach drivers replacing the Navy transport drivers? I note also from the document provided for candidates that while they will answer to DF, the DoD will handle the recruitment and interview process, meaning the DF has no say over who they get and why.
                  German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
                  German 2: Private? I am a general!
                  German 1: That is the bad news.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    How many positions are there to be filled ? I noticed "shift allowance" in the document which would mean a 7 over 7 schedule, that would require several positions to roster for 5 days a week and cover for sick days and annual leave .
                    Don't spit in my Bouillabaisse .

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Laners View Post
                      How many positions are there to be filled ? I noticed "shift allowance" in the document which would mean a 7 over 7 schedule, that would require several positions to roster for 5 days a week and cover for sick days and annual leave .
                      7 days a week, 12 hour shift, with an average working week of 37 hours. You need at least 5 staff to cover one position.
                      German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
                      German 2: Private? I am a general!
                      German 1: That is the bad news.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        1 WTE is 1.78 persons , so it works on how many WTEs is required
                        Covid 19 is not over ....it's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by hptmurphy View Post
                          1 WTE is 1.78 persons , so it works on how many WTEs is required
                          If the FMC is a continuous watch system with an operator overnight then it would need the following. Normal oversight and management staff from say 8am every morning until 4pm in the evening, using three people- Oi/c, supervisor, operator. At 4pm sole operator on to midnight, followed by another operator until 8am. After three watches each, the operators should get two complete days off, and eventually rotate through daywork for at least a week each. It might take 13 staff to run such a system. The bigger difficulty is that staff need to be maritime aware by experience, to a level where they can advise , read a chart , and communicate over available systems.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            What levels normally operate here? Last time I passed through FMC it was mostly officers faces I saw looking back, apart from the comops and sparks. Are we replacing Trades and officers with minimum wage clerical staff?
                            German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
                            German 2: Private? I am a general!
                            German 1: That is the bad news.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post
                              What levels normally operate here? Last time I passed through FMC it was mostly officers faces I saw looking back, apart from the comops and sparks. Are we replacing Trades and officers with minimum wage clerical staff?
                              I would expect an O i /c, and NCO with rating operators who might be JNCO's or astute gamer type ratings. Job cannot be done by unaware clerical staff.

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