Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Cork

Writing to Afloat.ie, reader Joan Twomey bemoans the lack of attention on the sorry status of salmon on the upper River Lee

It is heartening to read about so much EU and Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) collaboration regarding Greenland salmon (Afloat.ie, 2 November 2023).

I wonder if they could do something about the environmental catastrophic actions of our own ESB semi-State body over the last 50-plus years on our Irish salmon on the upper Lee River catchment area.

Salmon are now practically extinct in this area — and in Lough Allua, the Bealaphadeen Stream and surrounding streams and rivers. Nothing is being said about this and very little is being done.

The number of salmon getting past the dams is dismal, if the real numbers were ever revealed — from being able to catch salmon in your hands there were so many, to locals not seeing a single salmon in decades.

Yours sincerely,
Joan Twomey
Ballingeary, Co Cork

Published in Your Say
Tagged under

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) says it is investigating a water pollution incident which took place Monday morning (14 August) east of Cork city.

The incident occurred on the tidal section of the Glashaboy River downstream from the bridge in Glanmire, Co Cork.

IFI was first alerted to the incident by multiple calls to its hotline number at 0818 34 74 24 and staff were on the scene shortly afterwards.

The pollution appeared to have impacted between one and one-and-a-half kilometres of river and caused a blue/grey discolouration of the water.

The freshwater part of the Glashaboy River upstream was unaffected. No fish fatalities have been recorded so far.

IFI staff have taken water samples for analysis.

The State agency for Ireland’s inland fisheries and sea angling resources says is not in a position to confirm the specific cause of the pollution incident at this early stage, but investigations are continuing.

Published in Environment

Cork has become the first city to sign up to the European Commission’s Charter to restore oceans and waters.

Under the ‘Horizon Europe Programme,’ the Commission has launched several ‘Missions’ which it says are focused on “critical areas, to bring solutions to “the greatest challenges of our time, because man-made changes are putting our oceans and waters at serious risk.”

For two days at the National Maritime College in Ringaskiddy, a high-powered European conference discussed healthy seas and oceans, how they can be protected and, where needed, restored to health.

The Charter was signed, on behalf of Cork City, by Lord Mayor Deirdre Forde. A coalition of environmental non-governmental organisations and networks also signed up.

European areas are being designated digitally as ‘lighthouse sectors’ – to light the way forward symbolically. Ireland is a central player in the Atlantic ‘lighthouse.’ The Commission hopes to connect citizens and local communities with the oceans, seas and waters, provide broad ownership and education and co-design transitions in their communities that will allow European Green Deal targets to be reached by 2030.

Is that realistic?

The European Commission predicts, in this strategy, that “economic prosperity” is amongst the opportunities that can be achieved: “The ocean is estimated to generate €2.5 trillion per year by 2030,” it says. “Ocean waters are home to a rich diversity of species. They are major carbon sinks, essential for adaptation to climate change.”

Dr.John Bell, the European Commission’s ‘Healthy Planet Director’Dr.John Bell, the European Commission’s ‘Healthy Planet Director'

While it was well-attended by specialist delegates from many European countries and by President Michael D.Higgins, will the message from it get through to ”ordinary citizens?” That is the question I put at the conference, to my Podcast guest this week – Dr. John Bell, the European Commission’s ‘Healthy Planet Director,’ who is leading its research on Oceans and the European Green Deal.

Published in Cork Harbour
Tagged under

The second event in the Cork Laser/ILCA sprint Tri-series was held at Iniscarra Sailing and Kayaking Club, on Sunday, September 4th. Summer had truly finished and a fresh South Easterly wind was sweeping along with heavy showers up the lake from the direction of the Iniscarra dam.
 
From the outset of the tri-series concept, it was always an interesting proposition to have a sprint race on this underappreciated body of water. The lake does have its challenges with no possibility of seabreeze and a dry summer leading to low water levels.

However, commodore Aoife Herlihy pulled together a very strong team to pull together all logistics to host the second event in the sprint series. Race Officer John Corkery managed a to find a significant upwind leg which really challenged the fleet searching for dramatic wind shifts.
 
A pathway along the northern shore of the lake allowed for fantastic close quarter viewing especially on the downwind leg. The lack of any swell with a building breeze highlighted some excellent pursuits to the leeward buoy. The format of the sprint can mean very tight racing in a single lap and on the third race a near pileup of four boats screamed into the leeward mark roared on from the supporters on the shore.

Some mistimed flips cost a few sailors a podium finish. Isabel McCarthy in her ILCA 4 was leading all bar one of the ILCA 6s at the leeward before a strong gust flattened her chances. Joe O'Sullivan won out the first sprint of the day in his ILCA 6, but then Phillip Doherty dominated the next two races.

From near flat calm conditions at 9am, the wind built all day and after seeing gusts above 30 kts, the race officer called a halt after three exciting races. With over twenty boats competing on the day split near evenly across ILCA 4 and 6, it was a busy day and a bbq afterwards allowed the spectators and organizing team some time to debrief the events of the day.
 
It was Iniscarra Sailing and Kayaking club's first ever experience of hosting an external race like this and they put on an enviable event from start to finish. John Corkery’s race course, which was a challenge to setup for an all in twenty boat start was a great success with the racing dynamics closely watched from the lakeside onshore.

At the end of three races, in ILCA 6 Phillip Doherty (Monkstown Bay Sailing Club) came out first with Joe O'Sullivan 2nd and Andrew Kingston 3rd (both RCYC) . In ILCA4, Ethel Bateman came out in front of Liam Duggan in 2nd and Eve McCarthy 3rd (all RCYC)

The series will conclude with another set of five sprints in Royal Cork Yacht Club on September 18th and as Afloat previously reported, the Tri-Series is open to all, https://www.royalcork.com/ilca-sprint-tri-series/ . Laser class captain Tim McCarthy is hoping for thirty boats to compete on the day with many sailors competing for the series title also.

Latest results after eight races in the series can be found below

Published in Laser
Tagged under

A Cork city man convicted of strokehauling salmon received a three-month prison sentence suspended for two years at a sitting of Cork District Court on Tuesday 17 May.

Shane Heaphy (27) of Templeacre Avenue, Gurranabraher pleaded guilty to committing four fisheries offences on the River Lee on 25 July 2020.

The court heard evidence from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) protection officers that Heaphy entered upon a several (private) fishery at the Cork Waterworks weir on 25 July to strokehaul salmon.

Strokehauling is an illegal method of catching fish that involves ripping weighted hooks along the flank of a fish to try and impale it and causes horrific injuries to the fish.

Judge Marian O’Leary, hearing that Heaphy had previous convictions for strokehauling, responded by stating that “strokehauling was cruel” and that the court took a “dim view” of the practice.

Heaphy was also convicted of possession of a fishing rod and line, fishing within 50 yards of the downstream face of the weir and using a strokehaul. He was fined €300 and ordered to pay €350 in expenses.

IFI director of the South West River Basin District, Sean Long welcomed the judges’ comments: “The practice of strokehauling is barbaric and fuelled by a small black-market for illegally caught fish.

“We will not tolerate any kind of illegal fishing and our protection staff carry out covert and overt operations to safeguard our fisheries resource.

“Anglers and members of the general public are urged to report illegal fishing to IFI in confidence through our 24-hour hotline number 0818 347 424.”

IFI reminds the public that angling is prohibited in the Waterworks Powerhouse area under the Fisheries Consolidation Act 1959 and Article 4 of the River Lee (Cork Waterworks Weir) By-Law No.453 of 1943.

Published in Angling

It's emerged that Minister of Sport Catherine Martin was not told about proposals to host the America's Cup in Cork Harbour for three months.

According to Saturday's Irish Times, an unpublished Government report also reveals that ministers were warned the plans were "overly optimistic and laden with risk".

Last month the bid was officially withdrawn hours before Barcelona were selected as the preferred bidders to host the next edition of the Auld Mug.

Foreign Affairs Minister and Cork TD Simon Coveney confirmed last summer that a bid had been in the works since January 2021. But it's now emerged that the Department of Sport was not informed of the plans until three momnths later.

Subsequent reports and discussions revealed concerns with the event contract and the "very significant costs" involved in staging the event, including related capital projects in Cork Haerbour and environs.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in America's Cup

An alternative proposal for the staging of the next America’s Cup in Cork could save the State some €80 million.

The Irish Examiner reports on the pitch to Cork’s civil servants which proposes a publicly owned site at Tivoli Docks as a base for the event rather than the private dockyard near Cobh suggested in the original bid.

In addition, the race village is envisaged at Kennedy Quay in the city centre, most of which is also under public ownership.

A drawback to this proposal is the longer tow-out for race teams to the open water outside Cork Harbour, as outlined in the briefing document.

But the estimated €80 million savings in staging costs might present a strong case to coalition leaders who in September requested more time to consider the cost-benefit analysis of hosting the Auld Mug in Cork in 2024.

Ireland remains in the running to host the event, with the announcement of the match venue pushed back until the end of March next year.

Published in America's Cup
Tagged under

Valencia is the subject of “advanced negotiations” between the America’s Cup defender Emirates Team New Zealand and the Madrid government to host the next contest for the Auld Mug, it’s being reported.

Scuttlebutt Sailing News has more on the story which suggests that a combination of existing infrastructure—in place since the Spanish port’s previous hosting of the event in 2007—and funding from government and private sources could secure ‘preferred bidder’ status.

Cork had been expected to snap up the rights last month before political wrangles dealt a blow to the campaign’s hopes.

However, with the New Zealand team’s final announcement still some weeks away, Ireland’s negotiating position remains stronger than it may realise, as international sail racing project manager Marcus Hutchinson told Afloat.ie’s Wavelengths podcast.

Published in America's Cup
Tagged under

Beachgoers around Munster have been warned to watch where they step after numerous sightings of a venomous fish that lurks in the sand, as the Irish Examiner reports.

Lesser weevers are small fish, only 15cm in length, but their stinging spines pack a painful wallop — and in rare cases can be potentially fatal.

Kevin Flannery of Dingle OceanWorld says weevers generally avoid spots where people congregate on beaches, but may be encountered off the beaten track — so wearing footwear, even flip-flops, is a must.

And if you’re unlucky enough to step on one, get the affected area under hot water — up to 40 degrees if possible — to help break down the venom. The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Munster is also the place to be to see swarms of jellyfish that have turned up along the Cork coastline in recent days, according to the Irish Mirror.

Thousands of what are believed to be moon jellyfish have been spotted from Garretstown to Cobh in Cork Harbour, likely attracted by warmer waters to feed on their usual diet of plankton, molluscs — and other jellyfish.

Published in Coastal Notes
Tagged under

A sea swimmer got “close enough to be a bit nervous” with a pod of dolphins off Myrtleville earlier this week.

Harry Casey tells the Irish Examiner about his once-in-a-lifetime experience of swimming out to greet the marine wildlife off the Co Cork beach on Tuesday (8 December).

“I didn’t think I’d get that close to be honest,” he says. “I think maybe they were a bit curious and came over to suss me out.”

Harry’s friend Derek McGreevy, who was on hand to photograph the meeting, also snapped the remarkable image of a ‘feeding frenzy’ in outer Cork Harbour this week.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, as many as 60 dolphins have been drawn to the area following shoals of warm-water anchovies and sprat, which have also been temping enormous fin whales inshore.

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
Tagged under
Page 1 of 26

Aquaculture Information

Aquaculture is the farming of animals in the water and has been practised for centuries, with the monks farming fish in the middle ages. More recently the technology has progressed and the aquaculture sector is now producing in the region of 50 thousand tonnes annually and provides a valuable food product as well as much needed employment in many rural areas of Ireland.

A typical fish farm involves keeping fish in pens in the water column, caring for them and supplying them with food so they grow to market size. Or for shellfish, containing them in a specialised unit and allowing them to feed on natural plants and materials in the water column until they reach harvestable size. While farming fish has a lower carbon and water footprint to those of land animals, and a very efficient food fed to weight gain ratio compared to beef, pork or chicken, farming does require protein food sources and produces organic waste which is released into the surrounding waters. Finding sustainable food sources, and reducing the environmental impacts are key challenges facing the sector as it continues to grow.

Salmon is the most popular fish bought by Irish families. In Ireland, most of our salmon is farmed, and along with mussels and oysters, are the main farmed species in the country.

Aquaculture in Ireland

  • Fish and shellfish are farmed in 14 Irish coastal counties.
  • Irish SMEs and families grow salmon, oysters, mussels and other seafood
  • The sector is worth €150m at the farm gate – 80% in export earnings.
  • The industry sustains 1,833 direct jobs in remote rural areas – 80% in the west of Ireland
  • Every full-time job in aquaculture creates 2.27 other jobs locally (Teagasc 2015)
  • Ireland’s marine farms occupy 0.0004% of Ireland’s 17,500Km2 inshore area.
  • 83% of people in coastal areas support the development of fish farming
  • Aquaculture is a strong, sustainable and popular strategic asset for development and job creation (Foodwise 2025, National Strategic Plan, Seafood
  • Operational Programme 2020, FAO, European Commission, European Investment Bank, Harvesting Our Ocean Wealth, Silicon Republic, CEDRA)
    Ireland has led the world in organically certified farmed fish for over 30 years
  • Fish farm workers include people who have spent over two decades in the business to school-leavers intent on becoming third-generation farmers on their family sites.

Irish Aquaculture FAQs

Aquaculture, also known as aquafarming, is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic plants, and involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled conditions- in contrast to commercial fishing, which is the harvesting of wild fish. Mariculture refers to aquaculture practiced in marine environments and in underwater habitats. Particular kinds of aquaculture include fish farming, shrimp farming, oyster farming, mariculture, algaculture (such as seaweed farming), and the cultivation of ornamental fish. Particular methods include aquaponics and integrated multi-trophic aquaculture, both of which integrate fish farming and plant farming.

About 580 aquatic species are currently farmed all over the world, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), which says it is "practised by both some of the poorest farmers in developing countries and by multinational companies".

Increasing global demand for protein through seafood is driving increasing demand for aquaculture, particularly given the pressures on certain commercially caught wild stocks of fish. The FAO says that "eating fish is part of the cultural tradition of many people and in terms of health benefits, it has an excellent nutritional profile, and "is a good source of protein, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and essential micronutrients".

Aquaculture now accounts for 50 per cent of the world's fish consumed for food, and is the fastest-growing good sector.

China provides over 60 per cent of the world's farmed fish. In Europe, Norway and Scotland are leading producers of finfish, principally farmed salmon.

For farmed salmon, the feed conversion ratio, which is the measurement of how much feed it takes to produce the protein, is 1.1, as in one pound of feed producing one pound of protein, compared to rates of between 2.2 and 10 for beef, pork and chicken. However, scientists have also pointed out that certain farmed fish and shrimp requiring higher levels of protein and calories in feed compared to chickens, pigs, and cattle.

Tilapia farming which originated in the Middle East and Africa has now become the most profitable business in most countries. Tilapia has become the second most popular seafood after crab, due to which its farming is flourishing. It has entered the list of best selling species like shrimp and salmon.

There are 278 aquaculture production units in Ireland, according to Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) *, producing 38,000 tonnes of finfish and shellfish in 2019 and with a total value of €172 million

There are currently almost 2,000 people directly employed in Irish aquaculture in the Republic, according to BIM.

BIM figures for 2019 recorded farmed salmon at almost 12,000 tonnes, valued at €110 million; rock oysters reached 10,300 tonnes at a value of €44 million; rope mussels at 10,600 tonnes were valued at €7 million; seabed cultured mussels at 4,600 tonnes were valued at €7 million; "other" finfish reached 600 tonnes, valued at €2 million and "other" shellfish reached 300 tonnes, valued at €2 million

Irish aquaculture products are exported to Europe, US and Asia, with salmon exported to France, Germany, Belgium and the US. Oysters are exported to France, with developing sales to markets in Hong Kong and China. France is Ireland's largest export for mussels, while there have been increased sales in the domestic and British markets.

The value of the Irish farmed finfish sector fell by five per cent in volume and seven per cent in value in 2019, mainly due to a fall on salmon production, but this was partially offset by a seven per cent increased in farmed shellfish to a value of 60 million euro. Delays in issuing State licenses have hampered further growth of the sector, according to industry representatives.

Fish and shellfish farmers must be licensed, and must comply with regulations and inspections conducted by the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority and the Marine Institute. Food labelling is a function of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. There is a long backlog of license approvals in the finfish sector, while the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine says it is working to reduce the backlog in the shellfish sector.

The department says it is working through the backlog, but notes that an application for a marine finfish aquaculture licence must be accompanied by either an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or an Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR). As of October 2020, over two-thirds of applications on hand had an EIS outstanding, it said.

The EU requires member states to have marine spatial plans by 2021, and Ireland has assigned responsibility to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government for the National Marine Planning Framework (NMPF). Legislation has been drawn up to underpin this, and to provide a "one stop shop" for marine planning, ranging from fish farms to offshore energy – as in Marine Planning and Development Management Bill. However, the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine confirmed last year that it intends to retain responsibility for aquaculture and sea-fisheries related development – meaning fish and shellfish farmers won't be able to avail of the "one stop shop" for marine planning.

Fish and shellfish health is a challenge, with naturally occurring blooms, jellyfish and the risk of disease. There are also issues with a perception that the sector causes environmental problems.

The industry has been on a steep learning curve, particularly in finfish farming, since it was hailed as a new future for Irish coastal communities from the 1970s – with the State's Electricity Supply Board being an early pioneer, and tobacco company Carrolls also becoming involved for a time. Nutrient build up, which occurs when there is a high density of fish in one area, waste production and its impact on depleting oxygen in water, creating algal blooms and "dead zones", and farmers' use of antibiotics to prevent disease have all been concerns, and anglers have also been worried about the impact of escaped farmed salmon on wild fish populations. Sea lice from salmon farmers were also blamed for declines in sea trout and wild salmon in Irish estuaries and rivers.

BIM says over 95% of all salmon farmed in Ireland are certified organic. Organically grown salmon are only fed a diet of sustainable organic feed. They are also raised in more spacious pens than traditional farmed salmon. The need to site locations for fish farms further out to sea, using more robust cages for weather, has been recognised by regulatory agencies. There is a move towards land-based aquaculture in Norway to reduce impact on local ecosystems. The industry says that antibiotic use is declining, and it says that "safe and effective vaccinations have since been developed for farmed fish and are now widely used". Many countries are now adopting a more sustainable approach to removing sea lice from salmon, using feeder fish such as wrasse and lumpsucker fish. Ireland's first lumpsucker hatchery was opened in 2015.

BIM says over 95% of all salmon farmed in Ireland are certified organic. Organically grown salmon are only fed a diet of sustainable organic feed. They are also raised in more spacious pens than traditional farmed salmon. The need to site locations for fish farms further out to sea, using more robust cages for weather, has been recognised by regulatory agencies. There is a move towards land-based aquaculture in Norway to reduce impact on local ecosystems. The industry says that antibiotic use is declining, and it says that "safe and effective vaccinations have since been developed for farmed fish and are now widely used". Many countries are now adopting a more sustainable approach to removing sea lice from salmon, using feeder fish such as wrasse and lumpsucker fish. Ireland's first lumpsucker hatchery was opened in 2015.

Yes, as it is considered to have better potential for controlling environmental impacts, but it is expensive. As of October 2020, the department was handling over 20 land-based aquaculture applications.

The Irish Farmers' Association has represented fish and shellfish farmers for many years, with its chief executive Richie Flynn, who died in 2018, tirelessly championing the sector. His successor, Teresa Morrissey, is an equally forceful advocate, having worked previously in the Marine Institute in providing regulatory advice on fish health matters, scientific research on emerging aquatic diseases and management of the National Reference Laboratory for crustacean diseases.

BIM provides training in the national vocational certificate in aquaculture at its National Fisheries College, Castletownbere, Co Cork. It also trains divers to work in the industry. The Institute of Technology Carlow has also developed a higher diploma in aqua business at its campus in Wexford, in collaboration with BIM and IFA Aquaculture, the representative association for fish and shellfish farming.

© Afloat 2020

At A Glance - Irish Aquaculture

  • Fish and shellfish are farmed in 14 Irish coastal counties
  • Salmon is the most popular fish bought by Irish families. 
  • In Ireland, most of our salmon is farmed, and along with mussels and oysters, are the main farmed species in the country.
  • The industry sustains 1,833 direct jobs in remote rural areas – 80% in the west of Ireland
  • Every full-time job in aquaculture creates 2.27 other jobs locally (Teagasc 2015)
  • Ireland’s marine farms occupy 0.0004% of Ireland’s 17,500Km2 inshore area.
  • 83% of people in coastal areas support the development of fish farming

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating