Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Latest Stories

#Supertrawler - Naval Service personnel from the LÉ James Joyce have boarded a controversial fishingsupertrawler’ off the North West coast, according to the Donegal Democrat.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the 9,500-tonne FV Margiris — one of the largest fishing vessels in the world — prompted renewed fears among local fisherman and conservationists last week when it was spotted in fishing grounds off Donegal.

News of the Naval Service inspection has been welcomed by the Irish Wildlife Trust, though it cautioned on the need for a full-time inspection regime for such large-scale factory trawlers to ensure they are fishing legally and within quota, and not causing harm to protected wildlife such as dolphins.

The Donegal Democrat has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing

#Supertrawler - The controversial supertrawler Margiris has returned to fish in Irish waters, as Coast Monkey reports.

Previously banned from Australian waters, the 9,500-tonne FV Margiris is one of the largest fishing trawlers on the seas, and has previously fished off Ireland with a quota under the Common Fisheries Policy.

That hasn’t assuaged concerns among the Irish fishing fleet, nor conservationists who fear a connection between the activities of large-scale ‘floating factory’ type fishing vessels and rising numbers of dolphin strandings in the North West.

This past September, MEP Sean Kelly called for regular on-board inspections of supertrawlers fishing in Irish waters to ensure they are sticking to CFP regulations.

The FV Margiris’s latest position can be tracked via Marine Traffic HERE.

Published in Fishing

#Fishing - Two supertrawlers feared to have been "pillaging" fishing grounds off the West Coast have left Irish waters before the Naval Service could board them for inspection.

According to The Irish Times, poor weather conditions over the past fortnight deterred inspection of the Margiris – which has been banned from Australian waters – and the Annelies Ilena, formerly the Atlantic Dawn, whose skipper was convicted after the vessel was detained for breaching EU regulations earlier this year.

The same trawler was detained two years ago over similar alleged infringements, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Both supertrawlers were declared as "high priority" inspection targets due to their large size and on-board fish processing facilities and were being monitored by both the Naval Service and the Sea Fisheries Protection Agency, the latter of which noted the "specific challenges" of closer observation at sea.

MEP Luke 'Ming' Flanagan is among those calling for a stricter inspection regime for such vessels that includes a mandatory stop at an Irish port before leaving this country's waters.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing

#Fishing - Wildlife conservationists have called for an independent observer to be placed aboard a supertrawler previously banned from Australian waters that's returned to Ireland's fishing grounds.

According to The Irish Times, the Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) has urged Marine Minister Simon Coveney to ensure that the FV Margiris – one of the world's largest fishing boats – is sticking to its quota under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) as it fishes off Donegal.

The biggest concern for conservationists is possible by-catch in waters that double as a protected cetacean sanctuary by the 143m vessel, which trawls with enormous nets said be bigger than a football pitch, as the Belfast Telegraph reports.

"It is simply unacceptable that enormous boats like this can move into our waters and hoover up marine life," said IWT campaigns officer Padraic Fogerty.

His concerns were echoed by Irish Fish Producers Organisation (IFPO) CEO Francis O'Donnell, who said that while the boat may be fishing on licence with a quota, "the real worry I would have is that they are not being controlled properly by Irish authorities in Irish waters."

Last year Minister Coveney was forced to assuage concern over the Margiris' fishing activity off the west coast as it has secured an allocation for blue whiting under the CFP.

In other fishing news, The Irish Times says Minister Coveney has promised weekly meetings by the new cross-departmental taskforce established to investigate claims of exploitation in the Irish fishing fleet.

Inspections of fishing vessels began last week, resulting in one Egypptain fisherman charged, but ahead of the latest meeting the minister said: "I don’t want this to be a witchhunt on people who may be here illegally and may be vulnerable."

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the first meeting of the taskforce took place last Thursday 5 November in the wake of a damning Guardian report alleging the exploitation of undocumented and even trafficked labour in the Irish fishing industry.

The allegations have been criticised by leading industry figures as well as the daughter of the lake skipper of the Tit Bonhomme, which sank tragically in January 2012 taking the lives of three Egyptian fishermen along with her father and a fellow Irish crewman.

Published in Fishing

#Fishing - A supertrawler previously expelled from Australian waters that has appeared off the west coast is nothing to be worried about, Marine Minister Simon Coveney said at the weekend.

According to The Irish Times, Minister Coveney told concerned fishermen in Galway that the 9,500-tonne FV Margiris, one of the largest fishing trawlers on the seas, is "probably" involved in legitimate fishing after securing an allocation for blue whiting under the Common Fisheries Policy.

He also admitted that the Naval Service had not inspected the vessel to confirm it is abiding by the rules, but that "we take note" of any such super-sized vessels that come into or near Irish waters.

The minister was speaking at the Galway Skipper Expo, the annual international fisheries show that was celebrating its 10th anniversary last weekend.

Published in Fishing

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

mgm sidebutton
bjmarine sidebutton
xyachts sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

tokyo sidebutton
sovscup sidebutton
vdlr sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating