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Displaying items by tag: fisheries

In a move to protect dwindling fish stocks, the European Commission recently took decisive action by significantly reducing Spain's mackerel quotas over the next few years as a result of over-fishing. This over-fishing of mackerel by the Spanish has been of major concern to the Irish fishing industry and was brought to the attention of the Commission by the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) and other bodies.

Spanish fishermen landed almost twice as much mackerel in 2010 from the Cantabrian Sea, in the southern part of the Bay of Biscay, as they were permitted. Through their investigations, the European Commission discovered that the mackerel catch exceeded Spain's quota in the year 2010 by 19,621 tonnes. The European Commission has now passed a regulation reducing Spain's future quotas to account for the excess catches. Spain is obliged, in the period between 2011 and 2015, to return twice the amount of mackerel wrongfully caught.

In order to help combat over-fishing the SFPA operates a round the clock monitoring and surveillance programme to ensure the effective control of fish catches and landings. To promote a culture of compliance with National and EU legislation, landings by Irish, EU and Third Country vessels are inspected by the SFPA in Irish ports. Sea-Fisheries Protection Officers engage in a range of at-sea inspection programmes including both inshore and offshore patrols in conjunction with the Naval Service and Joint inspection patrols with other Member States operating in Irish waters and in those of other Member States.

The SFPA will work with Member States and with the Community Fisheries Control Agency (CFCA) based in Vigo, Spain, when a specific control and inspection programme for pelagic fisheries in Western Waters of the North East Atlantic is established - this is expected to be adopted in the near future. This will allow for the co-ordination of joint control, inspection and surveillance activities by Member States for these pelagic fisheries.

Peter Whelan, Chairman of the SFPA said: "The recent decision by the EU to impose sanctions on Spain for over-fishing and to protect the valuable mackerel fishery is significant. There is a need for all Member States to work together and to comply with the Common Fisheries Policy's rules in order to ensure the sustainable development of fisheries. The role of the SFPA supports profitable, sustainable, managed fisheries at a time when the fishing industry faces many challenges. Effective monitoring and control systems safe-guards the good reputation of Irish food producers in the international marketplace and protects Irish taxpayer from the threat of large fines being imposed when non-compliances with the Common Fisheries Policy are encountered. The SFPA will continue with our aim of working with other Member States to promote a uniform standard of monitoring, control and surveillance."

Published in Fishing
Mr Brendan Smith, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries & Food, today outlined Ireland's proposals for dealing with the complex issue of fish discarding at a joint meeting of European Fisheries Ministers and the European Parliament organised by Commissioner Maria Damanaki, the EU Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs. The meeting which was held in Brussels forms part of the ongoing consultation process for the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

Commissioner Damanaki has placed discards high on her agenda for the CFP reform and has outlined her demands for solutions to this problem.

Minister Smith said "I fully share the Commissioner's concern about discards. Indeed tackling discards is one of the priorities in Ireland's submission on the review of the CFP and in my opinion must be a fundamental cornerstone of the new Common Fisheries Policy." Minister Smith said "there is no disagreement between Ireland and the Commissioner on the objective to reduce discards, the discussion is about the means to achieve this objective"

In response to the Commissioner's demands for a discards ban Minister Smith said "It is important to recognise that discarding is a complex issue with many differing drivers. A successful solution requires an approach, which recognises the multi-faceted issues, the different dynamics of individual fisheries and areas and delivers real policies and change on a number of fronts. A blanket ban on discards in all fisheries may well be counterproductive as it would not have industry support, it would be difficult to implement and enforce. As a result a blanket discards ban would not work."

The Minister went on to say that "The media has quite rightly focussed a lot of attention on this subject of late. However I believe that a clear road map over a specified time period which will deliver long term and sustainable improvements is preferable to a short term set of measures which may not deliver in the long run.

With regard to Ireland's proposals Minister Smith said "In terms of achieving actual reductions, a phased pre-defined reduction policy approach is far more likely to reduce discards in practice than an outright discards ban. Ireland has for some time been arguing for a fishery specific approach involving remedial actions to reduce or eliminate discards involving changes to fishing gear and fishing practices. We need a suite of measures akin to a "tool box" which will be applied to fisheries as appropriate. These measures would regulate catches within pre-defined limits, discourage fishing activity in specific areas and improve gear selectivity to allow young fish and unwanted catches to escape. Whatever suite of actions are adopted it is my firm contention that the co-operation, collaboration and commitment of the relevant stakeholders is vital for success." Minister Smith emphasised that there has been consultation with industry stakeholders on the issue in Ireland and all are committed to a practical phased reduction of discards on a fishery by fishery basis.

Finally the Minister gave Ireland's full commitment to work proactively with the European Commission, the European Parliament and other Member States to progressively reduce discards, fishery by fishery and to work towards their elimination. He said "This type of approach will deliver on everyone's abiding goal, of a sustainable, economically viable and ecologically friendly fishing industry for future generations."

Published in Fishing
Tagged under
Minister for Natural Resources, Conor Lenihan, T.D., has joined 4th class pupils from St. Pius X Girls national school, Terenure on a field trip of the River Dodder. The purpose of the field trip was to analyse the water quality of the River Dodder, a river that is very important in south Dublin.

In preparation for the field trip Des Chew, Project Manager of the Dublin Angling Initiative visited the school and gave the pupils a talk on water quality, the lifecycle of trout and the art of fly-fishing. The pupils then participated in a field trip along the River Dodder, starting at Rathfarnham shopping centre and finishing at the confluence of the Dodder and Owendore rivers at Bushy Park. Minister Lenihan was joined by TV celebrity and angler Derek Davis.

Fisheries staff from Dublin Angling Initiative and Inland Fisheries Ireland took kick samples and were ably assisted by Gerry Heaslip and Brian McDonagh of the Dodder Angling Club. The children identified invertebrates and their delight could be heard far and wide as they found many different species of stonefly and caddis fly! Looking at water pollution indicators, the children could establish that the presence of these different types of invertebrates indicated the good water quality in the river. This is not surprising given the very healthy stock of wild brown trout in the river.

Minister Lenihan, remarked:

'It is wonderful today to see the young people out learning about their local river. The River Dodder is a very important river in south Dublin, it has good water quality, contains a healthy population of wild brown trout and is a wonderful angling resource.

This is in no small part due to the excellent relationship that the Dublin Angling Initiative and Inland Fisheries Ireland have with the Dodder Angling Club'.

Following this the children were given information packs on fish species, invertebrates and fish species posters. St. Pius X School has participated in Inland Fisheries Ireland's 'Something Fishy' programme in previous years and were thrilled to take part in such an exciting field trip of their local river.

The 'Something Fishy' project was developed by Inland Fisheries Ireland (formerly the Central and Regional Fisheries Boards) in association with Blackrock Education Centre and has proved a highly successful way of encouraging young people to take an interest in Irish fish species, their local environment and habitat. In 2010 almost 1,000 young people participated in the Something Fishy programme within the Eastern River Basin District.

Published in Angling

Fine Gael has pledged to reinstate the Department of the Marine in its election manifesto published today. Under the heading 'steering the marine' Fine Gael also says it will replace the Boards of all State Port companies and Harbour Commissions within one year of entering government. The full chapter dealing with Marine is below:

1.11 Supporting the Seafood Sector and Marine
Expanding the Industry: Fine Gael believes Ireland, as an island nation with a strong and valued fishing tradition has huge potential to succeed as a serious competitor in the international seafood sector. The seafood industry currently generates annual revenues of €718 million and provides direct employment for 11,000 people. With an estimated 40 million tonnes of seafood to be required annually by 2030, there is significant scope for further expansion.

Common Fisheries Policy:

We will negotiate the best possible deal for Irish fishermen in the context of the ongoing review of the Common Fisheries Policy. Our priorities are:
• A progressive reduction of discards, fishery by fishery and in all maritime regions in the EU.
• Protection of the Hague Preferences.
• A uniform and transparent regulation regime.
• A clear, independently audited database of infringements across the EU.
• The development of a sustainable aquaculture plan.
• A strong focus on seafood marketing, labelling and country of origin to ensure imports meet the same
standards on safety, hygiene, traceability, recall, information and audit.

Sea Fisheries Bill:

We will publish legislation to replace the criminal sanctions system for minor fisheries offences with an administrative sanction system to bring Ireland into line with other European jurisdictions.

Funding for Fisheries:

Fianna Fáil and Green Party in-fighting has limited Ireland's ability to draw down EU funds for seafood development. We will resolve difficulties blocking the drawdown of available funds. Aquaculture Licensing: An additional 42 million tonnes of farmed seafood will be required to keep pace with demand each year by 2030, just 20 years away. We must increase our raw material supply and expand our aquaculture sector. We will remove administrative obstacles and clear the backlog of aquaculture licences currently preventing the creation of thousands of jobs in the aquaculture sector.

Value Added Products:

Currently, 85% of all Irish seafood is commodity traded. There is a significant opportunity to generate more value from this raw material base. Fine Gael will task Bord Iascaigh Mhara with assisting Irish companies in adding value to their products through innovation.

Single Food Label:

We will create and market a single label for all Irish produce and will drive a targeted marketing campaign to grow the Irish brand in new markets.

1.12 Steering the Marine

Marine Department:

Marine and fisheries policy is currently spread across three Departments. Fine Gael will merge these responsibilities under one Department for better co-ordination in policy delivery.

National Marine and Coastal Plan:

We will develop an integrated marine and coastal planning process to reach the full potential of our coastline in fishing, aquaculture, ocean energy and tourism.

Ports Development:

We will support the development of our ports and marine sector as important drivers of economic growth. We will also replace the Boards of all State Port companies and Harbour Commissions within one year of entering government.

The manifesto is HERE

Published in News Update
To further assist the development of the marine sector, responsibility for maritime policy will, as far as is practicable, be concentrated in one department. That's according to the Labour Party 2011 General Election manifesto and it's the clearest indication yet from any political party that the Department of the Marine could be reinstated.

Fine Gael has told Afloat.ie details of its marine policy will be published in its manifesto tomorrow. If that's the case things are looking up for anyone interested in seeing Ireland develop the valuable waters that surround it.

After searching for references to 'sea', 'marine' or 'maritime' only the Labour party has so far made the only significant written commitment to the marine sector in its programme for government. Its manifesto acknowledges that Coastal Communities, Fisheries and the Marine face major challenges in the years ahead, but it is also an area of major economic potential.

Fianna Fail merely says on page 21 of its manifesto that it will ensure that 'an inter-departmental strategy is in place to improve the leisure potential of our harbours and increase marine tourism'.

The Green Party 'Renewing Ireland' document says it will promote the creation of marinas and youth and child friendly water sports to encourage activity and awareness of our maritime country. It also says Ireland will participates in the North Seas Offshore Grid Plan.

There is no reference to the marine in the Sinn Fein 'There is a Better Way' manifesto.

Four party manifestos are available to download below.

Labour's priority will be to develop Ireland as a European hub for seafood processing, which will create sustainable, value-added jobs in coastal communities.

Labour will also develop an Irish seafood strategy to grow the market profile and demand for Irish seafood products. We will support the development of sustainable aquaculture and fish farms by streamlining the licensing process and reducing, as much as possible, the associated bureaucracy. To further assist the development of the sector, responsibility for maritime policy will, as far as is practicable, be concentrated in one department.

Labour will establish a Sea Fisheries Sustainability Impact Assessment based on consultation with all major stakeholders. This report will be brought before the Dáil on an annual basis before EU fisheries negotiations commence, and will ensure that there is a regular evaluation of Irish fish stocks and the effectiveness of current policy and quotas.

Labour is open to the experience and expertise of those whose livelihoods depend on maritime activity. The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food will engage in an ongoing structured consultation with industry representatives, the marine scientific community and other stakeholders to enable them to contribute to national maritime policy.

Finally, safety at sea and decent working conditions must underpin the development of the fisheries sector. Labour in government will ensure that the Irish Coast Guard has access to an Emergency Towing Vessel.

Dun Laoghaire People before Profit candidate Richard Boyd Barrett who has campaigned under a 'Save our Seafront' banner in the last council elections, is holding a meeting tomorrow night in Dun Laoghaire, the country's largest boating centre to protest against the possible 'privatisation' of the town's harbour.

We're tracking the progress of maritime affairs in the general election and posting details on afloat.ie. Whether you're a candidate or a vote please get in touch with your #ge11 marine news. Contact us via facebook, twitter or our website.

Published in News Update
Fishing boats will have to land their entire catch - whether or not the fish are in a saleable condition - according to new European Union proposals.
The Guardian reports that EU fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki has pledged to bring and end to the "nightmare of discards" in response to the high-profile campaign against the practice of fishermen dumping dead fish from their catch.
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.
Damanaki said that her proposed reforms to the system would be phased in over a number of years pending approval by the European parliament.
She acknowledged the concerns of fishermen, who fear the value of their catch will plummet if they are not allowed the choice of which fish to keep, but said they would benefit in the long term as ending discards would help to protect stocks of commercial fish.
Meanwhile, Irish conservation groups have joined a worldwide campaign to put the environment at the heart of the EU's fishing reforms.
The Irish Times reports that Birdwatch Ireland, Coastwatch Europe, the Irish Wildlife Trust and Irish Seal Sanctuary have all signed up to the Ocean 2012 initiative, which hopes to work with the fishing industry to find a balance that preserves both the ecosystem and fishermen's livelihoods.

Fishing boats will have to land their entire catch - whether or not the fish are in a saleable condition - according to new European Union proposals.

The Guardian reports that EU fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki has pledged to bring and end to the "nightmare of discards" in response to the high-profile campaign against the practice of fishermen dumping dead fish from their catch.

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.

Damanaki said that her proposed reforms to the system would be phased in over a number of years pending approval by the European parliament.

She acknowledged the concerns of fishermen, who fear the value of their catch will plummet if they are not allowed the choice of which fish to keep, but said they would benefit in the long term as ending discards would help to protect stocks of commercial fish.

Meanwhile, Irish conservation groups have joined a worldwide campaign to put the environment at the heart of the EU's fishing reforms.

The Irish Times reports that Birdwatch Ireland, Coastwatch Europe, the Irish Wildlife Trust and Irish Seal Sanctuary have all signed up to the Ocean 2012 initiative, which hopes to work with the fishing industry to find a balance that preserves both the ecosystem and fishermen's livelihoods.

Published in Fishing
The Marine Institute's two research vessels, RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager are to lead Europe with an all-time record of 627 days spent at sea of between both ships, well above the average for equivalent European research vessels.
In 2011, the RV Celtic Explorer is scheduled for 17 surveys in Irish waters resulting in 344 days at sea and the RV Celtic Voyager with 29 surveys resulting in 283 days at sea. In comparison, in 2010 the RV Celtic Explorer spent 308 days at sea with 18 surveys and as well as undergoing a refit. The Celtic Voyager took 280 sea-going days resulting in 32 surveys.

These figures compare favourably with our European counterparts, reflecting a high level of activity on national and international research and monitoring programmes.

Work duties in 2011 for the Galway based vessels will range from fisheries surveys to underwater mapping and from climate studies to deepwater surveys with the remotely operated submersible ROV Holland 1. The work schedule will facilitate training missions and to carry out essential maintenance work on Ireland's network of data buoys that, in parallel to their research function, supply the vital information on which weather and shipping forecasts are based.

The increased activity of the research vessels reflects the growing imperative to understand and sustainably manage the economic potential of our offshore marine territories, an area over ten times that of Ireland itself.

A major role of the ships' workload will be commercial fish stock assessments. Together they are to devote 141 days on stock surveys in support of the sustainable management of Ireland's fisheries.

The RV Celtic Voyager will conduct underwater television surveys of valuable prawn stocks off the Aran Islands, the Irish and Celtic Seas, working on blue whiting, a survey of herring stocks in the north-west. In addition a comprehensive 54-day annual Irish Groundfish Survey which will take place in stages all around the Irish coast from September to December.

The survey will be the largest undertaken by an Irish research vessel and is essential to providing the scientific data used to inform the annual quota negotiations required in Brussels each year.

For the 2011 schedule for both vessels is available to view by clicking HERE and the Maritime Institute website click this link.

At 65.5m RV Celtic Explorer (2,425grt) accommodates 35 personnel and up to 21 scientists and 31.4m RV Celtic Voyager (340grt) with up to 8 scientists and a maximum endurance of 14-day days. For detailed technical specifications of the Dutch built vessels, RV Celtic Explorer, click here to download a PDF file and for the RV Celtic Voyager click here

For further information contact: Dr John Joyce, Communications Manager of Marine Institute on 087 2250871

Published in Marine Science

Minister of State (with responsibility for fisheries) Sean Connick TD today published the report of the National Implementation Group established in December 2008 to oversee the implementation of the Strategy for Improved Pest Control on Irish Salmon Farms, published in May 2008.

Over the course of the Implementation Group's work, the vast majority of sites maintained lice levels below treatment trigger levels and, in all instances when notices to treat were issued, effective treatment plans were put into practice. Arising from the positive results, the report contains a series of recommendations encompassing treatments, disease monitoring and management practices to continue the progress to date.

Commenting on the report, Minister Connick noted that "Pest control will always remain a challenge requiring active management on any farm. However it is heartening to see that since the introduction of the new Pest Management strategy there has been a sustained reduction in the level of egg-bearing lice on farms in spring time. This illustrates the benefits of co-ordinating efforts between scientists and industry and I commend the participants, including the members of the Group and all salmon farmers who took part in the work, for their mutual co-operation on this issue."

Both the report and the Strategy <http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/media/migration/publications/2008/SeaLiceControlStrategy.pdf> are available for download from the Publications section of the Department's website.

Published in Fishing
Page 8 of 8

Marine Institute Research Vessel Tom Crean

Ireland’s new marine research vessel will be named the RV Tom Crean after the renowned County Kerry seaman and explorer who undertook three major groundbreaking expeditions to the Antarctic in the early years of the 20th Century which sought to increase scientific knowledge and to explore unreached areas of the world, at that time.

Ireland's new multi-purpose marine research vessel RV Tom Crean, was delivered in July 2022 and will be used by the Marine Institute and other State agencies and universities to undertake fisheries research, oceanographic and environmental research, seabed mapping surveys; as well as maintaining and deploying weather buoys, observational infrastructure and Remotely Operated Vehicles.

The RV Tom Crean will also enable the Marine Institute to continue to lead and support high-quality scientific surveys that contribute to Ireland's position as a leader in marine science. The research vessel is a modern, multipurpose, silent vessel (designed to meet the stringent criteria of the ICES 209 noise standard for fisheries research), capable of operating in the Irish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The Tom Crean is able to go to sea for at least 21 days at a time and is designed to operate in harsh sea conditions.

RV Tom Crean Specification Overview

  • Length Overall: 52.8 m
  • Beam 14m
  • Draft 5.2M 

Power

  • Main Propulsion Motor 2000 kw
  • Bow Thruster 780 kw
  • Tunnel thruster 400 kw

Other

  • Endurance  21 Days
  • Range of 8,000 nautical miles
  • DP1 Dynamic Positioning
  • Capacity for 3 x 20ft Containers

Irish Marine Research activities

The new state-of-the-art multi-purpose marine research vessel will carry out a wide range of marine research activities, including vital fisheries, climate change-related research, seabed mapping and oceanography.

The new 52.8-metre modern research vessel, which will replace the 31-metre RV Celtic Voyager, has been commissioned with funding provided by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine approved by the Government of Ireland.

According to Aodhán FitzGerald, Research Vessel Manager of the MI, the RV Tom Crean will feature an articulated boom crane aft (6t@ 10m, 3T@ 15m), located on the aft-gantry. This will be largely used for loading science equipment and net and equipment handling offshore.

Mounted at the stern is a 10T A-frame aft which can articulate through 170 degrees which are for deploying and recovering large science equipment such as a remotely operated vehicle (ROV’s), towed sleds and for fishing operations.

In addition the fitting of an 8 Ton starboard side T Frame for deploying grabs and corers to 4000m which is the same depth applicable to when the vessel is heaving but is compensated by a CTD system consisting of a winch and frame during such operations.

The vessel will have the regulation MOB boat on a dedicated davit and the facility to carry a 6.5m Rigid Inflatable tender on the port side.

Also at the aft deck is where the 'Holland 1' Work class ROV and the University of Limericks 'Etain' sub-Atlantic ROV will be positioned. In addition up to 3 x 20’ (TEU) containers can be carried.

The newbuild has been engineered to endure increasing harsher conditions and the punishing weather systems encountered in the North-East Atlantic where deployments of RV Tom Crean on surveys spent up to 21 days duration.

In addition, RV Tom Crean will be able to operate in an ultra silent-mode, which is crucial to meet the stringent criteria of the ICES 209 noise standard for fisheries research purposes.

The classification of the newbuild as been appointed to Lloyds and below is a list of the main capabilities and duties to be tasked by RV Tom Crean:

  • Oceanographic surveys, incl. CTD water sampling
  • Fishery research operations
  • Acoustic research operations
  • Environmental research and sampling operation incl. coring
  • ROV and AUV/ASV Surveys
  • Buoy/Mooring operations