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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: Fishing

#MARINE WILDLIFE - Northern Ireland faces a whopping £8 million (€9.6 million) fine from the EU over its failure to protect horse mussels.

According to BBC News, "little has been done" to protect horse mussel reefs in Strangford Lough despite promises from two government departments as far back as six years ago.

Last year Afloat.ie reported on a study from Queen's University Belfast that revealed the extent of damage to horse mussel reefs in the lough by fishing activity.

Strangford Lough is officially protected as a Special Conservation Area and a Marine Nature Reserve, as well as an Area of Special Scientfic Interest, but as BBC News states, "in reality there has been little protection put in place".

Horse mussels are pivotal to the lough's ecosystem, as some 100 other species rely on the reefs formed by the mussels in the seabed for their habitat.

NI officials now have just a few months to persuade the European Commission that they are taking strong action to protect the species, otherwise they will be charged with breaking EU directives.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#FISHING - The 2012 Irish Skipper Expo has been hailed by organisers as the most successful to date, as World Fishing reports.

Over 100 companies displayed their products and services to more than 4,500 visitors from the fishing industry and retail and catering sectors at the Skipper Expo International 2012, held at the Galway Bay Hotel on 24-25 February.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Marine Minister Simon Coveney was on hand to launch a new initiative promoting the use of selective fishing nets, and he was full of praise for the weekend-long exposition.

“I am very impressed by the scale and expanse of this event which showcases a wide range of products and services for the fishing industry," he said. "While visiting the stands, I was able to meet and discuss with fishermen current issues and also get a good understanding of the latest developments and innovations in their industry.”

Sharon Boyle, event manager at organisers Mara Media Ltd, added: "The support from the industry continues to be very strong for this show and the number of visitors during the two-day event once more exceeded expectations in what was a very busy weekend.

"Dates for next year’s show are 1-2 March, being held once more at the Galway Bay Hotel.”

Published in Fishing

#FISHING – A new company has been launched along the east coast of Ireland with the purpose of providing econimical and efficient engineering services to the fishing industry.

Fleet Marine is a company founded by Rodney Gillen, a qualified engineer who has extensive experience on both Irish and international fishing vessels. Gillen says "The objective of Fleet Marine is to supply vessels with the local and expert knowledge often required for today's fishing fleet. We provide a professional, efficient service at a price that is affordable".

With over eight years experience in both the Irish white fish and international pelagic industry, Fleet Marine have the knowledge and experience to offer assistance over a broad spectrum of problems. From engine servicing and repairs to electronic fault finding and installations, Fleet Marine covers it all.

Although predominantly based along the east coast, Fleet Marine offers a callout service to other ports along the south, west and northeast coasts. Founder and MD Gillen says "We are very aware of the demands placed on modern trawlers and their crew which is why we are pleased to offer a 24hour service, helping vessels to return to fishing as quickly as possible."

With a proven track record on Irish vessels fishing off the west coast of Ireland and Rockall to Dutch factory ships fishing in the South Pacific and beyond, Rodney has the knowledge and enthuasiasm needed to drive a new company trying to start out in these difficult financial times.

Rodney initially studied engineering in the National Fisheries College in Greencastle before completing his training onboard the 37m Killybegs trawler India Rose. After almost four years fishing out of Killybegs, he moved to a Dutch company and was employed as part of an engineering team onboard the Annelies Ilena (ex Atlantic Dawn). With just under four years experience onboard the largest fishing vessel in the world, he worked in seas off the coast of such places as Chile, Morocco and Canada.

With a number of jobs secured already, business has started well for Fleet Marine. "My first job was a call at 8pm with a request to meet a boat at 3:30am in Dunmore East" says Rodney. "They had to come ashore with a problem in their factory. The vessel was repaired and ready to leave the harbour by 7:30am the same morning, minimising time away from the fishing grounds and allowing the vessel to return to sea as soon as possible."

For more information you can call Rodney at any time on 014306544 or 0868801850 or visit www.fleetmarine.ie.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

#RESCUE - A Donegal-born skipper joined in the dramatic rescue of a fishing trawler crew in Alaska recently, the Donegal Democrat reports.

Seamus Hayden Jr, who captains the fishing vessel Clyde, was berthed in Lazy Bay at the southern end of the Kodiak peninsula when he responded to a call from fellow vessel the Tuxedni to assist the stricken Heritage, which was sinking a mile east of nearby Tanner Head.

“I rousted my crew and fired our main engine to join the Tuxedni in the search," he said. "I did not know at that time if the Heritage crew had abandoned ship.

“I informed everyone onboard my vessel to dress for extreme weather and to use utmost caution and a buddy system at all times around the vessel."

Visibility was low due to ice fog and the darkness of the Alaskan winter nights, and as they got closer to the Heritage's location - where the US Coast Guard was attemping a helicopter rescue - conditions were "horrendous", with ice-cold winds of 60 knots.

I was very worried for the safety of all involved, including our own," said Hayden.

The Donegal Democrat has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue

#FISHING - Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney briefed the Irish Skipper Expo in Galway last weekend on a new initiative promoting the use of selective conservation fishing nets, which allow young fish to escape.

Under the initiative in the Celtic Sea, additional quotas of up to 25% will be made available by the minister to skippers of Irish fishing boats which use an escape panel in their nets, allowing young whiting and haddock to escape.

The escape panel, developed by the Irish industry, has been endorsed at EU level and is expected to be a mandatory requirement later in the year.

Minister Coveney said on Saturday: “The use of this panel will significantly reduce discards of juvenile whiting and haddock in the Celtic Sea, allowing juvenile fish to grow and mature and contribute to increased stock size and returns for fishermen in future years.

"I believe that this offers an example of a practical approach to dealing effectively with the discards problem and retention of a flexible quota allocation system that we should take forward in the context of the Common Fisheries Policy Review."

In other news, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) announced €1.5 million in grant aid for the Irish fishing industry at the expo.

A spokesperson for BIM confirmed to the Galway Independent that the funding will be available to industry through a variety of schemes including fleet safety, seafood environmental management, lobster V-notching and coastal action groups.

Over 100 companies displayed their products and services to fishermen at the Irish Skipper Expo International 2012, held at the Galway Bay Hotel on 24-25 February.

Published in Fishing

#NEWS UPDATE - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) advises on a pipeline survey in the Celtic Sea next month.

PSE Kinsale Energy Limited will be commencing the survey of the 24" Gas Export Pipeline on 6 March 2012 using the Marine Institute vessel RV Celtic Voyager (call sign EIQN). The survey is expected to last 1 to 2 days, depending on weather conditions.

The survey will take place along the existing pipeline route in the Celtic Sea, between the shoreline at Inch Beach in Co Cork and gas platform 'Alpha'.

The RV Celtic Voyager will display appropriate lights and signals, and will be towing side scan sonar with cables of up to 200m long. A Radio Navigation Warning will be issued via the Irish Coast Guard (schedule Bravo, four times a day) prior to the vessel's arrival at the survey area. The vessel will also keep a listening watch on VHF Channel 16.

All vessels, particularly those engaged in fishing, are requested to give the RV Celtic Voyager and her towed equipment a wide berth and keep a sharp lookout in the relevant areas.

Further details for seafarers, including relevant co-ordinates, are included in Marine Notice No 7 of 2012, a PDF of which is available to read and download HERE.

Published in News Update

#GALWAY BAY - Galway Bay FM reports that the National Parks and Wildlife Service is to work with the Marine Institute towards completing a management plan for Galway Bay.

It comes two weeks after a group of oyster fishermen met Minister for Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte at Leinster House to voice their concerns over a cap on oyster dredging licences.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, local fishermen in the inner Galway Bay-Clarinbridge area are concerned that their livelihoods are at risk after the European Union ruled that there is over-intensification of fishing at the oyster bed.

Only 13 dredging licences have been issued this year, and EU Directives prevent their further issue until a fisheries management plan is introduced.

Galway West Senator Fidelma Healy-Eames says steps are being made to get the management plan on track.

Published in Galway Harbour

#RESCUELifeboat crew with Howth RNLI spent over ten hours on Saturday (4 February 2012) assisting a 17 metre fishing tralwer, with seven crew onboard, 36 miles north east of Howth, which was rapidly taking on water.

Howth RNLI were requested to launch their all weather lifeboat to the fishing vessel at 1.08 pm on Saturday afternoon and it would be nearly ten and a half hours later when they returned to the harbour with the casualty vessel under tow.

The Irish Coast Helicopter were also on scene to help the stricken vessel and a winchman delivered a salvage pump onboard to help the crew try and staunch the water.  With the lifeboat on scene the Coast Guard helcopter returned to base and the lifeboat crew worked quickly to establish a tow in difficult conditions.  Weather was force six with a strong southerly wind.

Keeping the casualty vessel under tow in bad conditions proved challenging and the rope parted a couple of times.  Sixteen miles north east of Howth the fishing crew reported that the water coming into the vessel was increasing and the tow was stopped.  A lifeboat crewmember was transferred onto the fishing trawler and a new salvage pump was put onboard.  The source of the leak was identified and action taken to stem the flow of water.  The lifeboat once again undertook the tow and eventually arrived into Howth harbour at 10.25pm.  All crew onboard the fishing vessel were unhurt.

Commenting on the callout Howth RNLI crewmember Dave Howard said, " This was a long callout for our all weather lifeboat crew.  Condtions were not great offshore and going from the lifeboat onto the casualty vessel in a two to three metre swell was very challenging.  However when a fishing vessel reports taking on water, it is vital to make sure that the crew are safe and that the tow does not part.  We are relieved that all crew got home safe."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#FISHING - Fishermen from Galway met Minister for Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte at Leinster House yesterday to voice their concerns over a cap on oyster dredging licences, Galway Bay FM reports.

Local fishermen in the inner Galway Bay-Clarinbridge area are concerned that their livelihoods are at risk after the European Union ruled that there is over-intensification of fishing at the oyster bed.

Only 13 dredging licences have been issued this year, and EU Directives prevent their further issue until a fisheries management plan is introduced.

Published in Fishing

#RESCUE - The Irish Times reports that the search has resumed for a fisherman who fell overboard from a trawler in the Irish Sea yesterday.

The crewman of the Kilkeel-registered fishing vessel Zenith was reported missing some nine miles (14.5km) off Clogherhead, Co Louth.

Yesterday afternoon the Irish Coast Guard and Clogherhead RNLI began an air and sea search and rescue effort, assisted by coastguard helicopter and other lifeboats and vessels in the area.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue
Page 57 of 64

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!

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