Displaying items by tag: Blasket Islands
The Irish Seal Sanctuary has said a seal cull is not the answer to the woes of Dingle Peninsula fishermen, who claim a booming population of the protected marine wildlife is putting their livelihood at risk.
Sanctuary co-founder Brendan Price told RTÉ News that “you’re essentially wasting a bullet, it’s futile” as “an apex predator such as a seal is controlled by the available food source”.
Late last year, inshore fishermen who work around the Blaskets, which is a Special Area of Conservation, blamed the local seal colonies for depleted fish stocks and damage to their nets, arguing the situation was “unsustainable”.
Now the fishermen say they are “at breaking point”, with one claiming that seals actively follow their boats to target their catch.
RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.
The inshore fishermen allege that colonies of grey and common seals in the Blaskets — both protected marine wildlife species in the EU and within a Special Area of Conservation — are responsible for depleted pollock stocks, among others, which it is said is forcing smaller fishermen out of the industry over winter or even permanently.
Fisherman Adam Flannery told a public meeting in Dingle before Christmas: “We are looking for a cull. Because if we do not get a cull in six to eight months, within a few years there won’t be any inshore boat in Dingle.”
The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.
Master craftsman Pat Broderick says he was able to save most of the original timber from the beech frame, and replaced the rattan seat with the same material woven in identical fashion.
Broderick’s handiwork will shortly be put on display by the Office of Public Works, either at the Blasket Centre in Dunquin or in the restored home of Tomás Ó Criomhthain on Great Blasket Island.
The deckchair was taken from the water with other flotsam and jetsam by islanders on Great Blasket not long after the Lusitania was torpedoed off Kinsale in May 1915.
It was used as a fireside chair for almost four decades before the island was evacuated in 1953, when it went into storage before the Blasket Centre received it as a donation.
RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.
#FerryNews - Ferries from Dunquin to the Blasket Islands were cancelled this morning – not on account of the weather, but a motorist who managed to wedge their car on a tight bend on the pedestrian-only path to the pier.
Blasket Island Ferries shared a photo of the unfortunate vehicular mishap on their Facebook page, where it's since gone viral with almost 8,000 likes.
According to TheJournal.ie, the driver in question was forced to spend the night in his motor, which was eventually removed with the help of a local tractor at lunchtime today.
"It would be the busiest week of the year for us, so plenty of people were a little annoyed at not being able to catch the ferry this morning," as Sibéal Ní Lubhaing of the ferry company told BreakingNews.ie, which has more on the story HERE.
#WildAtlanticWay - Minister of State for Tourism Patrick O’Donovan has announced almost €1.125 million in funding from Fáilte Ireland’s Capital Grants Allocation for two key projects along the Wild Atlantic Way.
A grant of is being made available to Galway County Council will receive €896,000 for the Connemara Greenway, while a grant of €225,000 is being allocated to the Office of Public Works (OPW) towards the first phase of development of new visitor facilities on Great Blasket Island.
“I am delighted to announce these grants today as these two important tourism attractions will provide a serious contribution to the future success of the Wild Atlantic Way," said the minister last Wednesday (13 July).
"Tourism moves in a very competitive global market and capital development is one means by which we can ensure that we are fighting fit to win a good portion of overseas visitors and, thereby, gain a return on this investment through increased revenue and jobs regionally.”
The grant for the Connemara Greenway will fund a new section of the route from Cloonbeg to Athry, running adjacent to Ballynahinch Castle, with a view to completion in May 2017.
This development is part of a wider plan for the Clifden to Oughterard Greenway that will link up with the planned Greenway from Galway city to Oughterard – ultimately resulting in a 78km Galway to Clifden Greenway offering a cycling experience from city to coast with international appeal for cycling enthusiasts.
The Blasket Centre, meanwhile, is located on the Wild Atlantic Way at the halfway point of the Slea Head Drive on the Dingle Peninsula. It was developed as a heritage and visitor centre honouring the unique community who lived on the remote Blasket Islands until 1953.
Currently there are no visitor facilities on the island but the new grant will assist the OPW in their overall development of the site by funding new facilities and services on the island, expected to be completed later this summer.
“These grants are an investment in the visitor experience on the ground," said Fáilte Ireland chief executive Shaun Quinn. "While the Wild Atlantic Way has been warmly received at home and abroad, it is still an evolving project. It is vital that we continue to invest in the project to ensure that we open up its full potential.
"We have great natural landscapes along the west coast but we must also ensure that we have top class tourism infrastructure, whether facilities or interpretation, to match them.”
Minister O’Donovan also recently launched a new Fáilte Ireland Grants Scheme for Large Tourism Projects, which will provide a pool of €65 million in investment to develop new, or boost existing, tourism experiences and attractions across Ireland.
The scheme, which will run from 2016-2020, is now open for applications from the public, private and voluntary sectors including community groups. Under the scheme, capital grants in excess of €200,000 and up to a maximum of €5 million will be available.
#islandnation – We were beating on port tack up past Cobh. It was a pleasant night's sailing in Thursday night's cruiser league race out of Monkstown Bay Sailing Club. Then the VHF came alive with the first radio call I have heard from the new Naval vessel, 'SAMUEL BECKETT' which had come up astern, returning from sea. The Naval voice courteously requested if 'ODD JOB,' the yacht on which I was crewing, would alter course, so that the State's ship could make her approach to the Naval Base at Haulbowline, off to our port side.
Our Skipper, John Hegarty, former Class Captain of MBSC Cruiser Fleet, acknowledged with equal courtesy and called a tack so 'ODD JOB' came about to go astern of 'L.E SAMUEL BECKETT' which could then swing across river, gliding into her berth at the Base.
We then brought 'ODD JOB' about again and returned to the racing fray. The alteration cost us first place on handicap by two minutes and forty seconds, but it was the courtesy of good seamanship and it set me to thinking again about the names which are attached to boats, remembering the controversy there had been about the naming of the 'SAMUEL BECKETT.'
I have written about the issue in the current, Summer edition, of Afloat, asking "What's In a Name?" also raising the issue of being called an "islander" and about which it is worth listening to the interview on the July edition of my radio programme, THIS ISLAND NATION on this website (Click HERE to listen), with the last man alive of the islanders who were evacuated from the Blaskets, Gearóid Cheaist Ó Catháin.
Gearoid Cheaist O Cathain - The Last Blasket Islander
The names attached to boats – and ships – are interesting when you study them.
Ships' names are changed so regularly these days that a vessel can have a string of them and former names can be seen, painted over, on the bow and stern of ships. The old adage that it was unlucky to change the name of vessels no longer seems to apply, though there are quite a few who still believe in this.
I don't, I have changed the name of every boat I owned and still own.
So, how are names chosen and what do they mean?
There is still a fair degree of annoyance in Naval circles about the name Samuel Beckett being applied to their new ship and that the next one is to be called 'L.E JAMES JOYCE.'
The belief, amongst those who have been in regular touch with me about the names, is that it was former Defence Minister, Alan Shatter, T.D., who insisted on these choices, against strong feelings in the Naval Service for continuance of the tradition of mostly naming vessels after figures from Celtic mythology.
In the United States the politically-appointed Secretary of the Navy has the right by law to name its warships. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the U.S. Navy had no formal procedure for naming ships. It wasn't until 1819 that Congress passed an act stating that "all of the ships, of the Navy of the United States, now building, or hereafter to be built, shall be named by the Secretary of the Navy." The Secretary has fulfilled this role ever since, even though the passage expressly assigning authority for designating ship names was omitted when the U.S. Code was revised in 1925.
The biggest superyacht registered under the British flag is now the 'LUNA,' built originally for the Russian billionaire, Roman Ambramovich, which was switched from Bermuda registration in a process handled by Watkins Superyachts, the London-based agency which is Luna's management and central charter agent. It is the world's largest charter expedition yacht in the world, 115 metres, built in 2010 by the German Lloyd Werft yard, at a cost of $185m.
Abramovich's 'other yacht' is named 'ECLIPSE,' which has its own advanced –missile system. Could that be to deal with Chelsea's misadventures?
The co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen, had his super yacht named 'OCTOPUS.' It has hatches at waterline level to form a dock for jet skis.
Amongst Richard Branson's stable was 'NECKER BELLE,' a catamaran for sailing around Necker Island which he owns in the Caribbean.
The Seven Seas
Steven Spielberg has 'SEVEN SEAS' which includes an indoor cinema.
Oracle boss Larry Ellison, whose funding of the winning of the Americas Cup dominated the sailing news last year, had 'RISING SUN' built, featuring an extensive wine cellar amongst other luxuries.' It is now owned by film producer, David Geffen.
And of course there were the Irish super yachts of Celtic Tiger times, such as 'THE ULYSSES,' once the subject of discussion in NAMA.
There are some clever names on boats – 'SHE GOT THE HOUSE' – now there must be a story behind that; 'CIRRHOSIS OF THE RIVER' and for those superyachts – 'WHO CARES.
Then there are the regulars to be seen around marinas – 'AQUAHOLIC,' 'CAST AWAY,' 'DUN DREAMIN'; 'HAPPY HOURS'; 'SEA KNIGHT'; ' SEA MIST' 'Y KNOT' 'ALOAN AGAIN'; 'TOYSFORBOYS' 'DARK SECRET' and so on amongst them.....
So, what is in a name?
It should be indicative of confidence, I think, as well as of uniqueness and pride, without arrogance showing of course, unless that is you own a superyacht, when arrogance and naming seem to go together!
Fishing boats are often named by owners after their wives or children, or in a combination of both.
Owners of leisure craft vary widely in their choices, from the predictable to the somewhat bizarre and many shades between.
Commercial reasons can be used to name ships and change them to avoid legal difficulties.
But, does anyone notice what is in a name?
The public was not really energised by the Naval naming controversy.
The first boat I named was a 12 ft. Vagabond dinghy – 'LEGAN SCRIBE.' 'Legan' being traditional in the townland name of Monkstown so the local sailing club took pride in using it. This class of boats, unique at the time in Ireland, insisted that a name must indicate something about the owner. Being a reporter, mine was 'Scribe. The owner of a plumbing business had 'LEGAN LOO' and a butcher's boat was 'LEGAN LAMB'.
When I owned a Ruffian 23 I re-named it 'SCRIBBLER,' ignoring warnings about dangers inherent in changing the names of boats. I did similarly when moving onto a Sadler 25, which I re-named 'SEASCAPES,' as the purchaser of the Ruffian insisted on keeping its name - though a later owner changed it. I was then broadcasting a programme of that name. When I sold the Sadler, its new owner kept the name. So on the Sigma 33 which I now own, I changed its name to 'SEASCAPES II'. The purchaser of the Sadler later changed its name back to an original name it had.
While my new radio programme is named 'THIS ISLAND NATION' I won't be re-naming my Sigma. Not for the present anyway. I have thought about it, but the family who sail with me are firmly against it.
THE COAST GUARD CRIER
Cliff Winser, Afloat's Tom MacSweeney visiting Youghal Coast Guard station, Mike Lee, officer-in-charge and Tony Lawlor Coast Guard
What's in a name anyway?
For example, the name of Town Crier,' where a maritime man is to represent Ireland at the World Town Crier Tournament in Chester in England next month:
Youghal Coast Guard Station is located on the seafront, overlooking the harbour and Cliff Winser is an ardent believer in the importance of the service:
"There are two things I am particularly proud of in my life, being Receiving Officer for this station when it began operations and being Town Crier. I have been associated with the Coast Guard for a long time and have seen a lot of changes. This station was the first in the country to be completed and handed over to the service which was re-organised in the late 90s. The Coast Guard is not really sufficiently appreciated by the public, but then is any emergency service appreciated by the public until it is needed?" he told me.
"I have been Town Crier in Youghal since the 80s. It was historic and traditional to have a Town Crier and when it was being revived for a festival, I was chosen. Maybe it was my beard that got it for me! Anyway, it has been going since and the townspeople and tourists seem to like it and, with support from the town, I have been nominated for the world competition."
Cliff will be amongst 36 Town Criers from England, Wales, Germany, Holland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the Channel Islands and the USA, taking part:
"I'm doing a fair bit of practice at present. It all starts on August 15 and continues until a winner is chosen by the 25th, so it is a long tournament."
TIMELY RADAR WARNING
CHIRP Maritime is the Maritime Confidential Hazardous Incident Reporting Programme operated from the UK. It is a non-profit organisation which issues reports about safety-related issues or 'near misses' in all aspects of the maritime sphere. They published a 'FEEDBACK' newsletter which in its current edition has a detailed account of the close encounter which two yachts, travelling in company, had with a bulk carrier in fog in the English Channel. They were a 30ft. cutter and a 33ft.sloop. Even though they took what they thought to be avoiding action, the ship passed within a hundred yards, without seeing them. All three vessels, watching radar, in altering course to avoid each other, actually altered into the paths of each other at the same time.
The yacht crews were experienced, including an Ocean Yacht Master, an experienced professional Master Mariner and two Day Skippers. All concluded that fog at sea is frightening.
IrishCentral reports on The Crest, the story of two distant cousins from opposite sides of the United States - Andrew Jacob from Massachusetts and Dennis Kane from California. Though previously unknown to each other, the two nevertheless share a deep passion for surfing.
And it's the waves that bring them together as they unite in the land of their great-great-grandfather to indulge their obsession and ride the giant swells for which the west of Ireland is becoming so renowned.
Indeed, Canada's National Post is just the latest to discover the attractions of surfing at Lahinch and the Cliffs of Moher
Crowdfunded via a Kickstarter campaign, the documentary crew already shot footage in Cape Cod and San Diego before decamping to the Blaskets off Kerry last month to shadow the cousins as they connect to their roots.
The film is directed by Mark Corvino, who co-directed the current film festival favourite music documentary A Band Called Death.
#FISHERY DETENTION - Naval Service OPV L.É. Aisling (P23) detained an Irish registered fishing vessel approximately 100 nautical miles west of the Blasket Islands, Co Kerry, yesterday afternoon.
The detention was in relation to alleged breaches of fishing regulations and recording of catch. According to the Naval Service, the detained vessel was under escort by the L.É. Aisling to Castletownbere and was expected to arrive this morning and then handed over to the Gardaí.
Earlier this month the Naval Service detained a French registered vessel, 170 nautical miles west of Castletownbere. The navy has detained 17 vessels in total so far in 2012.
Writing in the Irish Examiner yesterday, Donal Hickey points Ireland's tourism authorities towards our abundant marine wildlife as a draw for potential visitors.
Hickey makes note of the "multi-million euro industry" built up around Fungie the dolphin in Dingle and eco-tours to see bird colonies on the Blasket Islands as examples of the kind of business that could be developed around Ireland's coastline.
He also hails "on-the-ball" Munster MEP Sean Kelly, who "did not have to look outside his own constituency to highlight the wonders of the sea shore, glorious beaches, deep-sea angling in east Cork, whale watching in west Cork, surfing along the beautiful beaches of Kerry and Clare."
The Atlantic Area Strategy that Kelly debated at the European Parliament could encourage greater enterepreneurship in the marine tourism sector and co-operation with other European maritime nations, Hickey writes.
The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.
Kerry fishermen are calling for a cull of the local grey seal population over claims that they eat up to 10kg of fish a day, The Irish Times reports on marine animals.
Fishermen along the Kerry coast are arguing the the seals are "over-protected", are too great in number and are posing a threat to salmon conservation, as well as depleting stocks of hake and pollock.
Concerns are on the rise that seals will be culled illegally if there is no official intervention on the matter. However, the National Parks and Wildlife Service has ruled out any action.
Locals in the Blasket Islands have claimed that more than 1,200 seals inhabit the area. Research by the Seal Track programme showed only 400 seals in the Blaskets in 2003, down over 40% from 1998 numbers.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.