PDForra say the recruitment and retention crisis in the Naval Service is continuing to cause problems with crewing ships.
It's understood staffing levels in the service have dropped to below 700, that's almost 400 people fewer than the minimum set by the Government.
The Irish Examiner reports that two inshore patrol vessels bought from New Zealand for €26 million may not become operational until next year, and only then if they can be crewed.
Speaking to RedFM News, Mark Keane from PDForra says pay and conditions are the main reason staff are leaving:
"Even since our conference in May, we've noticed that there has been an impetus of people going again. We need to see an increase in PDA, also naval pay, and also we need to see a strategy put in place where we have retention, remuneration and recruitment strategies. Members of the naval service, and the defence forces, have a valued skill set. They have corporate knowledge, which is something that is attractive to a private employer".