Displaying items by tag: Fishing
#Fishing - Marine Minister Michael Creed expressed his concern at the potential impact on Irelands’ whitefish fleet, ahead of the annual EU fisheries negotiations in Brussels, scheduled to conclude today (Tuesday 13 December).
“If the commission’s quota proposals remain unchanged, we are facing an overall 19% cut to our whitefish and prawn quotas for 2017,” said Minister Creed yesterday. “This would mean, in real terms, a direct income loss of over €14.7 million to our whitefish fleet.”
The commission’s proposal includes cuts to Celtic Sea cod (-68%), pollack (-20%), megrim (-28%), monkfish (-12%) and Ireland’s most important stock, prawns (-9%).
“I presented the scale and implications of these cuts to the joint Oireachtas Committee earlier this week following the completion of a Sustainability Impact Assessment which was open to public consultation,” the minister added.
“I also met the fishing industry and other stakeholders and got a detailed brief on the issues and priorities. I am very concerned about the level of cuts proposed for the whitefish and prawn fisheries. We need a balanced outcome that delivers necessary cuts to protect stocks while maintaining quota levels where justified.”
Minister Creed said his role at negotiations yesterday and today was “to persuade the commission to apply the available scientific advice in a rational and practical manner.
“This is especially important in the context of the ongoing roll out of the landing obligation, which will apply to all quota stocks from 2019.”
Ireland’s mackerel and blue whiting quotas are set for substantial increases, but this comes with cuts in horse mackerel, Celtic Sea herring and boarfish. The minister says he is accepting these quota adjustments because they are fully justified by the scientific advice.
“This is my first December Fisheries Council and I do not underestimate the challenge,” Minister Creed added. “All I can promise is that I will work as hard as I can with industry and other stakeholders, as well as with Commissioner Vella, and important member states such as France, the UK and Spain, to try and achieve a fair and balanced quota package for Ireland’s fishing industry that ensures the continued vibrancy of our industry and the long term sustainability of our stocks.”
As the West Cork Times reports, Fine Gael’s Deirdre Clune MEP has submitted a parliamentary question that makes reference to the unusually high rate of standings recorded by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) in the first three months of 2016.
“The allegation is that the spike in dolphin deaths is as a direct result of a busy and sustained period of supertrawler activity in our waters,” says Clune, who adds that the Commission “now has a duty of care under the Habitats Directive to investigate this matter to establish the facts.”
Last week the vessel, one of the largest of its kind on the seas, was boarded for inspection by Naval Service personnel — as the Irish Wildlife Trust reiterated its calls for a full-time inspection regime for large-scale factory trawlers to ensure compliance with the Common Fisheries Policy and environmental protections.
The segment follows a call by the Irish Wildlife Trust to ban the practice of pair trawling — or trawling a single net between two fishing boats — in Ireland’s inshore bays and estuaries.
Darragh McCullough welcomed the trust’s campaigns officer Padraig Fogarty and Hugo Boyle of the Irish South & East Fish Producers Organisation to discuss the purposes of the practice, its benefits to the fishing industry and why conservationists are concerned over effects on the ecosystem.
Listen back to the interview on the RTÉ website HERE.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the 9,500-tonne FV Margiris — one of the largest fishing vessels in the world — prompted renewed fears among local fisherman and conservationists last week when it was spotted in fishing grounds off Donegal.
News of the Naval Service inspection has been welcomed by the Irish Wildlife Trust, though it cautioned on the need for a full-time inspection regime for such large-scale factory trawlers to ensure they are fishing legally and within quota, and not causing harm to protected wildlife such as dolphins.
The Donegal Democrat has more on the story HERE.
Previously banned from Australian waters, the 9,500-tonne FV Margiris is one of the largest fishing trawlers on the seas, and has previously fished off Ireland with a quota under the Common Fisheries Policy.
That hasn’t assuaged concerns among the Irish fishing fleet, nor conservationists who fear a connection between the activities of large-scale ‘floating factory’ type fishing vessels and rising numbers of dolphin strandings in the North West.
This past September, MEP Sean Kelly called for regular on-board inspections of supertrawlers fishing in Irish waters to ensure they are sticking to CFP regulations.
The FV Margiris’s latest position can be tracked via Marine Traffic HERE.
The works involve the installation of 3 No. circular steel piles and the subsequent installation of a floating pontoon at the trawler dock (Western Basin) at latitude 53°23'32” N and longitude 6°4’6” W.
The works are being advanced by a marine contractor working from a jack-up barge 18m x 18m in size, using heavy civil engineering plant and machinery, work vessels and platforms. Divers will be employed onsite to install anodes to the piles.
For safety reasons, mariners are requested to proceed slowly and with caution in the trawler dock and to give the works a wide berth. Wave wash from vessels should be avoided.
These works are expected to be ongoing until the end of December 2016, weather permitting.
Leinster House has rejected a claim by Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire that the UK includes the whole of the estuary between Counties Donegal and Derry, which has been under the auspices of the cross-border Loughs Agency since the Good Friday Agreement.
Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough, between Counties Louth and Down, are both matters of dispute between Dublin and London which have only intensified with the uncertainly over fishing rights as the UK prepares to leave the EU and the Common Fisheries Policy.
The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.
#Missing - The search was set to resume this morning for a fisherman missing after going overboard from a three-man fishing vessel off the Wicklow-Wexford border yesterday morning (Wednesday 16 November).
As The Irish Times reports, RNLI lifeboats from Rosslare and Wicklow were tasked along with the Waterford-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 and later Rescue 116 from Dublin Airport to the incident some 6km east of Kilmichael Point in Co Wexford.
It's understood that the missing man is in his late 40s or eary 50s, according to BreakingNews.ie.
A trawler with three fishermen onboard was towed to safety by Wicklow RNLI yesterday morning (Thursday 10 November) after it lost all power 10 miles offshore.
The all-weather lifeboat, under the command of coxswain Nick Keogh and a volunteer crew, launched shortly after 10am and were alongside the stricken fishing vessel 40 minutes later.
The skipper had dropped an anchor, but it had dragged and the vessel had drifted a short distance south with the tide. Conditions in the area had a slight sea state, with northwesterly winds of Force 2-3 and good visibility.
The trawler, with three crew on board, was then towed back to Wicklow and brought safely alongside the South Quay at 12.15pm.
The previous evening (Wednesday 9 November), Courtmacsherry RNLI's all-weather lifeboat was called out at 10.15pm to aid a 65ft fishing vessel in difficulty 25 miles south of the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.
The lifeboat, under coxswain Sean O'Farrell and a crew of six, launched immediately and located the casualty at 11.25pm. Conditions at sea were reasonable, with winds in the area blowing 26 knots.
The fishing boat, with three people on board had encountered trouble with its power while trawling in the area and required assistance.
On scene, the lifeboat quickly assessed the difficulties and for the next two hours, the lifeboat and stricken vessel proceeded back at low speed to Kinsale, where the boat was safely berthed at 1.45am.
The crew on board Wednesday night’s callout with O'Farrell were mechanic Stewart Russell, Ken Cashman, Donal Young, Ciaran Hurley, Denis Murphy and Conor Tyndall.