Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: BIM

Atlantis Seafood, one of the most reputed seafood businesses based in Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford has partnered with Killiney-based pet food company, Harley & Marley, to create a new range of pet food made wholly from fish. The new pet food will be sold under the Harley & Marley brand, which will be available in Dunnes Stores, independent shops, pet stores, and veterinarian clinics across Ireland from the end of September.

The new pet food is made from the by-products of fish processing that would otherwise go to waste. With the help of Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Atlantis Seafood has been able to provide mentoring and technical support for the creation of this new pet food. Last year, Atlantis received a grant of €233,394 under the Brexit Processing Capital Support Scheme, implemented by BIM, to modernise its factory and make it more environmentally friendly.

The new pet food is a sustainable and healthy option for pet owners who are looking for all-natural products. Unlike other pet foods made with fish, Harley & Marley offers a 100% natural product with fish as the main single ingredient, possibly with small amounts of oats, parsley, and seaweed.

The pet food is produced through gentle air-drying rather than cooking, which means that it doesn't lose any of its natural goodness. The production of the Harley & Marley pet food range will be outsourced to two companies in Ireland, keeping the operation within the country and totally Irish. All products will be packed in recyclable pouches.

John Kenny, the owner of Atlantis Seafood said, "This is minimal processing at its best. The pet food is junk-free and made up of fish with few added ingredients. There is no wheat, wheat gluten, unnecessary fillers, additives, artificial colours or flavours added."

Atlantis has been in business for 30 years and has built its reputation on delivering quality fresh fish and seafood to top chefs and retailers across Ireland. The company employs around 100 people today. With the launch of this new pet food range, Atlantis will be able to advance its mission to be sustainable by dramatically reducing the 50 tonnes of by-product created from the processing of fish each week, with only half of the fish catch used and processed.

Once the pet food range launches on the Irish market, the export market will be explored. "The pet food market is growing globally, and there is huge potential to export," said John. 

The partnership between Atlantis Seafood and Harley & Marley is a great example of how two companies can work together to create a sustainable and natural product that benefits both the environment and pet owners.

Published in BIM
Tagged under

Irish pelagic fishers and processors are joining an international scientific initiative to provide vital information which helps inform the management of Northeast Atlantic mackerel, one of Ireland’s most valuable species.

BIM is working in collaboration with the Marine Institute and pelagic fishers and processors to install mackerel scanners in processing plants in Killybegs, Co Donegal.

Two units have been installed with further units to be fitted in factories over the next two years, with grant aid from the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF).

“Mackerel remains Ireland’s most valuable wild caught export, valued at €95m in 2022,” said Dr Michael Gallagher, pelagic sector manager with BIM. “Given the importance of mackerel to the Irish seafood industry, it is critical that we collaborate to collect the best quality data for this valuable resource.

“BIM and the Marine Institute work closely together and we saw a real opportunity to reach out to fishers and processors to progress this initiative. Dr Edward Farrell of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation (KFO) has also played a central role in coordinating the installation and set-up of the scanners.”

Dr Andrew Campbell, pelagic fisheries team lead at the Marine Institute highlighted the importance of robust scientific data.

“In addition to annual scientific surveys and the triennial mackerel egg survey, tag-return data from this type of study also yields invaluable stock structure and age composition insights,” Dr Campbell said. “This data feeds into assessments to allow meaningful catch limits to be set for sustainable management.”

Two tagging units installed in Killybegs at the end of last year are already capturing important data. “In total, 66 tagged fish have been detected to date and we are hopeful that more valuable tag return data will be generated from the Irish mackerel fishery as more scanning units are installed in cooperation with the pelagic industry,” Dr Campbell added.

Up to 2011, mackerel were tagged by inserting small metal tags into the abdomen of the fish before release, which were then picked up by metal detectors at processing plants when the tagged fish were caught. This labor-intensive, manual process meant workers had to sift through the mackerel to pick out the tagged fish each time they heard the metal detector ping on processing lines.

"The international tagging programme has actually been in operation for over 55 years,” said Dr Edward Farrell, KFO’s chief scientific and sustainability officer. “Over 40,000 fish have been tagged annually, which is done simply by jigging for mackerel on surveys in the North Sea and off the west coast of Ireland and west of Scotland.

“In 2011, radio frequency Iidentification (RFID) replaced these metal tags and now when the tagged fish pass through the scanners in processing plants, valuable data is automatically collected without any need to touch the fish.”

BIM is hosting a pelagic information session on 29 September at the KFO offices in Killybegs where this project and other topics will be shared. To register for this in-person and online event, visit the Eventbrite page HERE.

Published in BIM

The Commissioners of Irish Lights (Irish Lights) and Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s seafood development agency, have collaborated to launch an online training course aimed at Local Lighthouse Authorities.

The course, delivered through BIM’s Learning Management System, consists of six modules and aims to enhance the safe and efficient operation of local aids to navigation services.

It covers topics such as the legal basis for providing marine aids to navigation, understanding the different types of aids to navigation, maintenance schedules and policies and procedures to cover outage reporting and availability requirements to international standards.

The training course is designed to empower and equip Local Lighthouse Authorities with the necessary knowledge to effectively manage local aids to navigation, ensuring the well-being of mariners and the protection of coastal environments.

Local Lighthouse Authorities are responsible for over 3,500 local aids to navigation around Ireland and Northern Ireland, which play a crucial role in ensuring maritime safety by assisting vessels in the identification of safe navigable waters and highlighting the locations of marine hazards for all marine users.

Published in BIM
Tagged under

Seaweed farming is in its infancy in Ireland, however, a new strategy, BIM Irish Macro-Algal Cultivation Strategy to 2030, published by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) this week sets out a roadmap for the development of a sustainable and profitable Irish seaweed aquaculture sector.

Seaweed is increasingly being viewed as an important sustainable raw material, containing many active substances for use in different industries including, food production, pharma and agriculture. The commercial cultivation of seaweed has increased significantly in the last two decades. Annual global seaweed output is now in excess of 35 million wet tonnes, 97% of which is cultivated biomass. Most of the farmed seaweed is from Asia (China, Indonesia, Republic of Korea & Philippines).

Red seaweed, Dulce, in the hatchery at Pure Ocean Algae, Allihies, West CorkRed seaweed, Dulce, in the hatchery at Pure Ocean Algae, Allihies, West Cork

In referring to the ambitions of the new strategy, Caroline Bocquel, CEO BIM, said: “To ensure a sustainable and economically profitable aquaculture industry in Ireland, the volume of farmed seaweed must increase. This new strategy sets out a roadmap for the seaweed sector to realise its potential. Ireland’s long coastline and clean, cold waters present the ideal conditions to cultivate seaweed, and to sustainably develop this crop that is highly resource efficient, requiring minimal resource input.”

There are currently 25 licenced seaweed farms in Ireland, located along the North West, West and South West coastline Farmed seaweeds are grown on ropes and nets, and are exceptionally fast growing plants.

Michael O’Neill, seaweed farmer, in Allihies, West Cork welcomed the new strategy and spoke of the need to unlock the potential of the seaweed sector in Ireland to meet the growing demand for sustainably produced food.

Pure Ocean Algae, Hatchery, located in rural coastal location of Allihies, West CorkPure Ocean Algae, Hatchery, located in rural coastal location of Allihies, West Cork

“The seaweed industry has the highest potential for growth in the Irish aquaculture sector. Ireland has always been a supplier of high-quality seaweeds for various uses, but there have been limitations, to date, on the scalability of the industry.

The advances in cultivation technology and processing, leaves Ireland extremely well positioned to become a major player in the international seaweed industry, with the demand for seaweed biomass and seaweed-based products outstripping supply for the foreseeable future.

Pure Ocean Algae welcomes the new strategy and looks forward to playing its part in the implementation of the findings of this review.”

Published in BIM
Tagged under

The Brexit Off-register Capacity scheme has opened for applications.

Off-register or latent capacity is fishing capacity licensed for use but not currently in operation for various reasons, such as vessels being lost at sea, damaged or needing repair/upgrade and up for sale.

The scheme complements the Brexit Voluntary Permanent Cessation Scheme and aims to reduce the risk posed by re-entry to the fleet through activating off-register capacity. This would potentially jeopardise any benefits in terms of profitability for those vessels remaining in the fleet following from the removal of fishing capacity through decommissioning.

The Off-register Capacity scheme was one of the key recommendations of the Seafood Taskforce Report, established by the Minister for Agriculture, Food, and the Marine Charlie McConalogue TD.  The Task Force was set up to consider measures to mitigate the impacts of the fish quota share reductions arising from the EU/UK Trade & Cooperation Agreement (TCA), on the Irish Fishing industry and the coastal communities that depend on fisheries.

Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue TDMarine Minister Charlie McConalogue TD

At the time of the Seafood Task Force, the level of off-register capacity was estimated at 15,500 GT, 15,800 kW. The scheme is targeted at polyvalent tonnage and aims to remove 10% of over 18m polyvalent capacity and half of the under 18m polyvalent capacity at market value, up to a maximum payment of €250,000.

Details about the scheme, including eligibility criteria and how to apply, can be found by visiting BIM.ie

The deadline for applications is 30 June, 2023.

Published in Fishing

Ireland's sea fish landings were down, but prices were up last year, according to Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).

BIM’s annual business of seafood report for 2022 estimates that the seafood sector was worth 1.3 billion euros last year.

In spite of a “volatile year”, there was a 4% annual growth due to a combination of higher prices, the reopening of restaurants after Covid-19 and an increase in the consumption of seafood in Ireland.

BIM chief executive Caroline Bocquel says the figures reflect the “enduring strength of those working in the seafood industry” and the vital role which the sector plays in coastal communities in Ireland.

“BIM remains steadfast in its commitment to support industry to navigate the fast-changing global landscape,” she said.

Sea fish landings at Irish Ports Sea fish landings at Irish ports in 2022

The report notes that while the volume of seafood produced by the Irish sector didn’t match previous years , there was very strong price growth, particularly in the sea-caught fish sector, which saw prices increase by 38%.

The value of the overall Irish seafood sector increased by 13% to €703 million, while the overall value of Irish aquaculture products increased by 10% to €196 million, it said.

Dublin Bay prawns surpassed mackerel as the most valuable wild caught species for the industry, having more than doubled in price (+53%) in 2022.

Irish rock oysters (+8%) and rope grown mussels (+7%) also reflected strong price growth last year within the aquaculture sector, the report notes.

The top-selling species on the Irish market during the year were salmon (€119 million) and cod (€44 million), the BIM Business of Seafood report says.

It says organic salmon was the top species produced by the aquaculture sector – accounting for 13,500 tonnes worth €124 million – while Dublin Bay prawns were the top species landed by the Irish fleet, accounting for 6,200 tonnes with a value of €82 million.

During 2022, a total of €507 million worth of seafood was landed at Irish ports, which was a 14% increase on 2021 in value terms, the report says.

Killybegs in Co Donegal was the State’s largest fishing port in 2022 by value, with landings worth €135 million, closely followed by Castletownbere in Co Cork, with €129 million worth of catch landed.

The report notes that the value of landings – particularly in whitefish and prawns- also increased significantly in the ports of Ros an Mhíl, Co Galway, where landings are in long-term decline, along with Clogherhead, Co Louth, and Greencastle, Co Donegal.

The report records a significant increase in Government investment in 2022 as funding under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) began to come onstream.

The report, which was published by Minister for Marine, Charlie McConalogue, shows a 10% increase in Government investment (€255 million) in 2022.

This included the opening of several BAR schemes to cushion the impact of Brexit.

Mr McConalogue referred to the significant challenges facing the industry in 2022, including the conflict in Ukraine, which led to rising energy costs as well as reduced quotas and difficult trading conditions with the UK in the aftermath of Brexit.

“However, the industry has once again shown its resilience to such shocks and continues to be a key socio-economic driver in coastal communities, employing more than 15,000 people,” he said.

The sector employed about 15,300 people in 2022, with 1,993 registered vessels, over ten seafood processors and just under 300 aquaculture sites, BIM says.

It says that more than 8,200 people are directly employed in the sector, with a further 7,100 jobs supporting the sector indirectly.

Evolution of the Irish seafood quota from 1982 to 2023Evolution of the Irish seafood quota from 1982 to 2023

Published in BIM
Tagged under

BIM’s new chief executive Caroline Bocquel has warned the offshore renewable energy (ORE) sector that it must improve its communication with the Irish fishing industry.

She has also told offshore wind developers that there should be “minimal impact” on the commercial fishing sector, which is already experiencing significant challenges, including the impact of Brexit.

Addressing the second national seafarers’ conference in Limerick late last month, Bocquel said that communication is a “key piece”, and such communication must be “early” and “authentic” and “not just for the sake of it”.

Communication has to be a “key part of the discussion”, she said.

She noted that Ireland’s seafood/ORE working group chaired by Capt Robert McCabe had done “huge work” on this and would be producing a set of communication protocols.

These communication protocols need to be “embedded” in the consenting regime to the extent that they “cannot be sidelined”, she said.

A second lesson which Ireland could learn from other jurisdictions is the need to work together, with discussions that could lead to better understanding.

She said that the current “developer-led” approach was “very problematic” as there were already “lines on maps”.

“We really need to be engaging on impact before drawing lines on maps,” she said.

She cited exclusion zones around wind farms, and the impact of such infrastructure on marine species, along with the appeals process, as concerns for the fishing industry.

She said BIM was working with the Marine Institute on gathering data.

While some developers were engaging directly with the industry or through representative organisations, others were not engaging at all, she said.

She said BIM was looking at technical support in relation to opportunities and approaches to co-location and developing training opportunities for fishers in the ORE sector.

Irish South and East Fish Producers’ Organisation chief executive John Lynch said that he had warned the ORE and fishing industry sectors were on a “collision course” last year, and this was still the case.

The fishing industry was “united” in its concerns about spatial squeeze, and food security was an important human requirement as energy.

He said the industry was working on its own marine spatial plan from a fishing industry point of view, as the Irish state had failed to produce one.

Several speakers were critical of the lack of a marine spatial plan, while consultant Michael Keatinge called for coastal communities/the fishing industry to have an actual equity stake in ORE projects – not just compensation.

He said there was a “klondyke” for ORE in Irish waters, and dialogue with the fishing industry had not developed at all.

The project off the Donegal coast involving Hexagon and the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation (KFO) showed there could be a new approach, he said, and the fishing industry was not against offshore wind but “just wants to be part of it”.

Marine scientist Damien Haberlin of University College Cork’s MaREI research centre for energy, climate and marine spoke of the gaps in knowledge on the impact of offshore wind.

Whereas there were tens of thousands of scientific papers on the biomedical sector, there were less than 200 papers relating to ORE, he said.

Haberlin said that if he had a “pot of money”, he would wish to spend it on research into the cumulative effects of offshore wind farms, both spatial and temporal.

Though there would be a price for not developing ORE in the context of climate change, “let’s do it, but let’s do it right”, Haberlin said.

Published in BIM
Tagged under

A new study by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) - the State agency that supports development of the seafood sector in Ireland - has found that Irish-produced seafood is among the lowest carbon food produced in Ireland. This study provides the Irish seafood sector with access to reliable data for the first time. It identifies areas for targeted strategies to help minimise the carbon emissions associated with seafood production.

The Carbon Footprint Report of the Irish Seafood Sector found that carbon emissions for the sector are just under 400,000 tonnes of CO2 – less than 2% of those produced in other key food sectors. This number includes the emissions for both farmed and wild-caught seafood. Farmed mussels (rope-grown), oysters and wild-caught mackerel in particular, have been shown to have very low carbon emissions.

Caroline Bocquel, BIM Chief Executive Officer, welcomed the newly published report saying it provided scientific evidence that the sector has significantly low levels of greenhouse gas emissions:

“Access to reliable data is crucial to understand which steps of seafood production create the most emissions. Being able to feed people in a healthy, nutritious, and equitable way, without adding to global warming, is key.

This comprehensive study has taken almost two years to complete. Delivering the data required input from industry and other stakeholders. The findings of the report demonstrate how the sector is producing a beneficial , nutritious, and safe food with low environmental impacts.”

Caroline Bocquel, BIM Chief Executive OfficerCaroline Bocquel, BIM Chief Executive Officer says Irish seafood has among the lowest emissions of all food production in Ireland 

“In fishing, fuel accounts for more than 90% ofcarbon emissions, while processing and transportation accounts for 10% of the emissions. Already, we are seeing transitions away from exclusively diesel-powered engines to hybrid vessels and alternative fuels are also being explored. Later this year BIM will produce a report under the Climate Action Plan 2023 on the role these alternative fuels may play in the future of the Irish seafood sector. We now have a great opportunity to reduce emissions even further.”

The seafood sector and Brexit adjustment

The Irish fishing sector has faced significant challenges in recent years, including the closure of markets due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing impact of Brexit. The Government’s Seafood Taskforce – which included seafood representative organisations – produced a set of recommendations in its final report. These include business supports, funding for capital projects and development of skills to allow seafood businesses to build or adapt their operating models. It also extends to other businesses in coastal communities, to help ensure these are sustainable.

BIM is currently administering schemes with a total value of €265m under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) delivering on the recommendations of the Seafood Taskforce. The aim of all schemes is to develop and restructure the sector, ensuring a profitable and sustainable seafood industry providing jobs and economic activity in coastal communities dependent on fishing.

A decommissioning scheme for whitefish vessels – similar to one initiated in 2008 – was one of the central recommendations of the taskforce to mitigate the impact of quota transfers from the EU to the UK, which resulted from Brexit, and ensure a viable industry could remain in place. The closing date for the scheme’s acceptance of offers is next month, March 2. 57 letters of the offer have been issued with total funding of €75 million. To date, 20 owners have accepted.

A €45M Seafood Processors Scheme - for improvements and innovation in seafood processing - has received a good response. To date, 21 projects of significant size have been approved, totalling some €22M.

The €25M Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Scheme seeks to rejuvenate businesses in coastal communities around Ireland, helping them to adapt, restructure and reskill in the post-Brexit landscape. BIM has received hundreds of applications to date. Everything ranging from mobile seafood trucks to sea salt businesses has successfully applied for funding, and more than €3.5M in grant funding has been approved to date.

“The seafood sector has shown immense resilience and strength in its ability to adapt to changing marketplaces and socio-political impacts. BIM is working closely with industry and other stakeholders to develop supports that allow businesses to be agile and take advantage of new market opportunities,” said Caroline Bocquel.

“Coupled with the fact that seafood has one of the lowest carbon footprints of any food produced in Ireland, this paves the way for a sustainable future for the sector.”

Published in BIM
Tagged under

Caroline Bocquel has been named CEO of Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland's Seafood Development Agency.

Marine Minister McConalogue welcomed the selection of the new CEO and said, "I am delighted to announce that Caroline Bocquel has been named as BIM's new Chief Executive Officer.

McConalogue said Bocquel's significant experience would ensure that BIM has the requisite leadership to secure a sustainable future for Ireland's seafood industry during a time of unprecedented difficulties.

The new CEO will direct the growth of Ireland's €1.26 billion seafood industry while managing a team of 140 employees spread over six major coastal regions.

The Minister continued, "Caroline takes on the role of CEO at a time when BIM is charged with the implementation of a range of schemes for the industry with a total value of €265m under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) scheme, delivering on the recommendations of the recent Seafood Taskforce. The aim of these schemes is to develop and restructure the sector, ensuring it is profitable and sustainable into the future and to identify opportunities for jobs and economic activity in coastal communities dependent on the sector. 2023 will also see the launch of the new European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFF) schemes, with a value of €258m, further supporting the sector's ability for sustainable growth and development".

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

BIM today issued letters of offer to 57 Irish fishing vessels under the fishing vessel Voluntary Permanent Cessation Scheme, funded under the Brexit Adjustment Reserve, with total funding of up to €75 million.

As Afloat reported earlier, the scheme is a crucial recommendation of the Seafood Taskforce, established by the Minister for the Marine Charlie McConalogue TD, to mitigate the impacts of the fish quota share reductions arising from the EU/UK Trade Cooperation Agreements. It aims to help restore the balance between fleet capacity and available fishing quotas following these reductions.

Approved applicants have until 8 February 2023 to accept the offer. Once an offer is taken up, vessel owners must surrender their fishing licences within eight weeks and decommission their vessels, in an environmentally compliant manner, by 31 October 2023.

The Seafood Taskforce agreed to a decommissioning target of approximately 60 whitefish and beam trawl vessels with a total capacity of 8,000 gross tonnes to ensure the future profitability of the Irish whitefish fleet, with approximately 170 vessels remaining in the fleet. Over 9,000 tonnes of quota fish valued at €35 million annually will be available for remaining whitefish vessels to catch, ensuring the remaining fleet's economic viability into the future.

Interim CEO of BIM, Caroline Bocquel, said, “ Minister McConalogue has to date secured funding for a series of schemes, arising from Seafood Taskforce recommendations, to a value of €265 million. These have been designed to support the industry to adjust and restructure in the post-Brexit marketplace and sustain the coastal communities in which they are based. Decommissioning will strengthen the viability of the remaining fleet providing a significant boost to the economics of those boats by making €34 million of fish quotas available annually to the remaining 170 whitefish vessels. This scheme will ultimately help to put the sector on sounder financial footing, delivering a sustainable future for Ireland’s fishers, and restoring the profitability of a fishing sector that supports the economies of coastal communities.”

Published in BIM
Tagged under
Page 3 of 10

Marine Wildlife Around Ireland One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with marine wildlife.  It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. As boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat.  Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!