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Displaying items by tag: Fishing

#FISHIING TRAWLER  –  Whatever you were doing on the afternoon of Wednesday April 25th as a nor'easterly gale with torrential rain swept Ireland's east coast, chances are you weren't thinking of going near Howth pier and getting a picture of the seas smashing against the rocks of Ireland's Eye.

The scene was a million light years from the usual sight of yachts arrayed on a gentle blue sea with the gannets tiered on the Stack on Ireland's Eye's nor'east corner, serenely observing the peaceful scene. Rather, it was a case of gannets and everyone else hanging on for dear life.

But Colin Keegan of Collins Photo Agency was taking fantastic pictures using a very long lens - a necessary precaution as there was no going near the East Pier, as it was disappearing in surf. Then suddenly this red trawler hove into view, battling her way seaward out of Howth's fish dock.

We know that windsurfing is now an Olympic sport. But trawler surfing? What next?

Seems it was simply all in a day's work. William Price, who co-owns the John B with his brother Patrick with several other fishing boats in their combined ownership, told the Irish Examiner which ran these pictures today (Thursday April 26th), that Ireland now has a "very sustainable prawn fishing industry" thanks to many vessels being taken out of the business, so those who have stayed in are starting to make a living.

But owing to EU regulations, they are only permitted to go to sea for limited periods at certain times, and the crew of John B were simply making full use of their allocation. "You either go for it, or you lose them. There is no respect for bad weather......In today's environment, we have to ignore weather and just go to sea".

Just so. Make of that what you will. Say what you like. But it certainly makes the choice of scampi or chicken liver pate or goat's cheese tartlet for starters even more difficult. – W M Nixon

Published in Fishing
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Dr. Peter Heffernan, CEO Marine Institute and Mr. Liu Qing  Vice President Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences signed a Memorandum of Understanding to enhance cooperation  in relation to Fishery science and technology during a trade visit to China with Mr. Simon Coveney T.D., Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine.   The MOU was signed at the Ministry of Agriculture, Beijing today (Monday, 16th April 2012).

The cooperation will build on the good working relationship developed between the two organisations through the successful internship completed recently by Professor Cheng-Qi Fan from the East China Sea Fisheries Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Fisheries Science in Shanghai researching novel bioactive compounds from marine micro algae at the Marine Institute.

Dr Heffernan of the Marine Institute said "The signing of this MOU with our Chinese counterparts is an important basis for forging closer alliances with the marine research scientific community in China, we are confident that the developing relationship between researchers will be synergistic for both organisations and will lead to joint research programmes in time."

"We are pleased to commence this process with CAFS given its outstanding performance in many aspects of advanced marine research including Seafood Quality, Biotechnology, Conservation, Fisheries Technology, and Aquaculture and feel this new alliance will further strengthen Irish R&D in this important economic sectors."

The cooperation will include exchange of experts annually, submission of partner applications for European and international funding opportunities in marine research and technology and participation in programmes focussed on education and raising awareness of the marine environment.

The Memorandum comes as a result of the Action Plan on Mutual cooperation in relation to the Agri food and Fisheries sector which was signed by Minister Coveney and the Chinese Vice Minister of Agriculture Niu Dun last year.

Published in Marine Science
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#IRISH HARBOURS - Protesters took to the water off Kerry's piers last month in an organised swim drawing attention to proposed harbour bylaws designed to regulate the activities of water users.

“We need to make the public aware they have to make submissions,” Denise Collins told The Irish Times from Kells, which hosted one of the largest swims. “Traditional activities such as swimming will be over-regulated, we fear.”

The proposed bylaws would give Kerry County Council greater control over 16 of the county's 57 harbours and piers, including Kells, Kenmare, Portmagee, Brandon and Ventry.

Under the new bylaws, strict regulations would be placed on the use of loudhailers, landing and unloading passengers and freight, waste and even movement around the harbour.

"Draconian" charges are also set to be imposed on fishermen and other harbour users, while campaingers also feel that a ban on swimming and diving could also be added to the list.

The proposed bylaws already suffered a set-back earlier this year when Kerry County Councillors decided to restart the consultation process to allow the fishing industry, tourism operators and other interests more time to make submissions.

According to the Irish Examiner, only two submissions had been received by the council as of its January monthly meeting, despite senior council officials working for months on the draft proposals.

Cllr Toiréasa Ferris commented that the proposed charges in particular "would have huge implications for fishermen, some of whom might currently be earning only between €40 and €50 for a 14-hour day."

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, charges may also soon be hiked on yachts berthing at Ireland's main fishing harbours, a list that includes Dingle in Co Kerry.

Irish Marine Federation chairman David O'Brien expressed concern at the potential for such charges to damage "the good tourism dividend for coastal towns", noting that for every euro spent on a harbour berth, €10 was normally spent in the locality.

Published in Irish Harbours

#MARINE WILDLIFE - Sailors, fishermen and SCUBA divers in England's West Country could face "tough new restrictions" if plans for conservation zones in the Irish Sea and around the UK coast go ahead.

According to This Is Cornwall, groups representing water users argue that marine protection plans "would have severe knock-on effects on those who rely on the south west's coastline for employment and leisure".

Alana Murphy of the Royal Yachting Association said: "A lot of the small inshore areas proposed as conservation zones coincide with estuaries and bays that are used by sailors for mooring, or for laying buoys for racing. We are concerned we could lose important sailing areas."

Companies involved in offshore renewable energy have voiced their concerns on the impact of marine reserved on their development, while the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations added that the scale of proposed fishing reserves was too great, and could potentially push commercial fishermen "to other areas which will then get overfished".

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the UK's Wildlife Trusts have expressed dismay that plans to establish Marine Conservation Zones in the Irish Sea and elsewhere have been shelved till at least next year after pressure from fishermen, boaters and other groups.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#IRISH HARBOURS - Yachts berthing at Ireland's main fishing harbours could see their charges hiked by an incredible 800 per cent.

According to The Irish Times, Marine Minister Simon Coveney has announced a mere 21 days for comment and consultation on the draft Fishery Harbour Centres (Rates and Charges) Order 2012. The consultation document is attached to the bottom of this post and available to download as a pdf.

The proposed new charges include an annual fee of €250 per metre for yachts, which could see a 10-metre yacht currently paying €312 a year for a berth shell out as much as €2,500 annually for the same space.

Additional water and electricity costs could even see this bill rise to €3,100 - for berths that come "without proper marina facilities in most cases".

The proposals apply to the State's six fishery centres at Killybegs, Rossaveal, Dingle, Castletownbere, Dunmore East and Howth, only two of which have pontoons suitable for leisure boats.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Irish Harbours

#NEWS UPDATE - A Donegal TD is encouraging the county's marine stakeholders to submit suggestions for the Government's upcoming Integrated Marine Plan, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

The plan, which will be published in the summer, "will be a national agenda for developing our country’s marine potential, across tourism, shipping, leisure, fisheries and other sectors," said Joe McHugh TD.

The Dáil deputy noted "it is significant" that Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney are "dealing with this personally" as "previous Governments did not give this type of prioritisation to the industry".

He added: “I encourage Donegal marine stakeholders who see potential for national development in the fisheries industry, sea tourism, marine leisure, oil production, renewable energy production, deep sea fisheries and in various other areas to make submissions to the Integrated Marine Plan."

More information on the Integrated Marine Plan can be found at www.oceanwealth.ie.

Published in News Update

#COASTAL NOTES - Bantry Bay has reached its capacity for salmon farming, says the committee formed to oppose a proposed new facility at Shot Head.

Save Bantry Bay has called a public meeting for supporters tonight (24 March) at Eccles Hotel in Glengarrif, Co Cork, starting at 8.15pm - where chairman Kieran O'Shea will give a presentation on the group's "wide-ranging objections", as The Fish Site reports.

Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney is currently considering the licence application for Marine Harvet's proposed salmon farm at Shot Head in Adrigole.

Concerns among the committee's members include the potential spoiling of the area's natural beauty having a knock-on effect on tourism, and the environmental consequences of algae blooms from nitrogen and phosphorous waste.

Local fisherman fear that a fish farm of more than 100 acres would see the closing off of part of an "important ground for shrimp and prawn".

Possible infection of wild salmon in local river systems by sea lice from farmed salmon is also an issue, with the Environmental Impact Statement for Shot Head highlighting an outbreak of lice at Marine Harvest's facility in Roancarrig two years ago.

The Fish Site has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#MCIB - The families of two fishermen found dead at sea off the Skerries last April may never uncover the circumstances that led to their demise. But the official report into the incident indicated that the absence of lifejackets was a significant contributing factor.

Ronan Browne (26) and David Gilsenan (41) were reported missing on the evening of 1 April after failing to return from a trip tending to lobster pots.

Their vessel, Lady Linda, was found the following morning upturned in an oil slick off Clogherhead with no sign of the crew.

It wasn't until a week later that their bodies were discovered caught in the vessel's fishing gear some five miles east of Clogherhead, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Post-mortem results found that both men died from drowning, with Gilsenan also showing signs of hypothermia.

With no eyewitnesses to the incident, the report by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) indicated a number of possible causes from eqiupment malfunction or shifting of lobster pots on deck, to the wave height and weather conditions on the day, which were reportedly deteriorating when the boat left port.

It also said that Browne and Gilsenan "were lifelong friends, both men were experienced and qualified marine engineers in the fishing vessel industry. Both men were experienced in boat handling and fishing and had worked together on many occasions."

But the report emphasised the lack of personal flotation devices (PFDs) on board, and noted that emergency equipment was stored under the deck and not easily accessible.

The MCIB's recommendations include a review of the code of practice for fishing vessels under 15m to establish "revised stability critera" and ensuring that all boats are fitted with automatic radio beacons that deploy upon capsize.

In a separate incident, lack of proper maintenance led to an unlicenced boat taking on water off Co Kerry last August.

The Claire Buoyant was carrying one crew, five passengers and 21 sheep from Beginish Island to Ventry when the vessel began to lose stability.

Skipper Eoin Firtear - who the MCIB described as having "limited sea-going experience" - and his five passengers were rescued by passenger ferry. All sheep were jettisoned overboard, with 18 eventually recovered.

The report reminded that the carriage of livestock should only be undertaken in appropriately certified vessels.

Published in MCIB

#FISHING - Conservationists and the fishing industry have joined forces in a new venture to evaulate the state of the Isle of Man's scallop fishery, as the Guardian reports.

Both sides will co-manage the 35-square-mile Ramsey marine nature reserve in the Irish Sea, collecting data to show what progress the scallops have made since fishing in the area was banned in 2009.

It is hoped that the study will lead to a renewing of leases for scallop fishing, which is worth up to £12 million annually to the Isle of Man's economy - though industry leaders have doubts that the new arrangement will serve the island's fishermen.

Some 2.6% of Manx waters are protected, with more than 1% 'highly protected', which is in stark contrast to the rest of the United Kingdom after plans for a national network of conservation zones were shelved till at least next year.

The Guardian has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing

#FISHING - The Guardian reports that an alliance of EU member states plans to "hijack" a council meeting of the union's fisheries ministers today to prevent a ban on fish discards.

EU maritime affairs commissioner Maria Damanaki has stated her commitment to ending the practice, describing it as “unethical, a waste of natural resources and a waste of fishermen’s effort.”

Half of all fish in the North Sea - and up to two-thirds in other areas - are thrown back under the quota system implemented under the EU's common fisheries policy. The practice was recently highlighted by TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's 'Fish Fight' campaign.

Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney has called on EU states to support Ireland's effort to deal with fish discards, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

But some member states, led by France and Spain, have dismissed the proposed ban as "unrealistic" and "too prescriptive", and will attempt to pass a declaration to allow the practice to continue indefinitely.

According to the Guardian, the charge is being led by industrial-scale fishing enterprises who want to retain the permission to discard lower value fish in order to maximise profits.

Brussels insiders say that if the declaration were to pass it would "kill the reform".

Published in Fishing
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