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Mussel Dredgers Make a Fleeting Trawl of Dalkey Sound

15th May 2011
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Mussel Dredgers Make a Fleeting Trawl of Dalkey Sound

Two mussel dredger-trawlers made a rare transit of Dalkey Sound, last Friday, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The sound which is located to the south of Dublin Bay is not used by commercial traffic but is frequented by pleasure-craft, local fishing boats from Dun Laoghaire. In addition to occasional traffic by the Irish Naval Service, Marine Institute research vessel RV Celtic Voyager, the GSI's RV Keary and foreign tall-ships.

Leading the pair of mussel dredgers was the Belfast registered Mytilus (B-449) named after the mussel species 'Mytilus edulis' and the Wexford registered Branding (WD-4A).
MUSSEL_DREDGERS
Mytilus in Dalkey Sound and in the backround Branding approaches from
Dublin Bay. Photo Jehan Ashmore/ShipSNAPS

The vessels were making a southerly direction as they headed across Dublin Bay towards Dalkey Island. Mytilus lowered a mussel cage bucket into the sound which was dragged on two separate occasions over a short distance running parallel between the island and the coast.

The operation was all too brief as the Mytilus then proceeded into Killiney Bay followed closely astern by Branding. Upon entering the neighbouring bay, both vessels conducted dredging activity before continuing south beyond Bray Head.

Mussel grounds are located throughout certain hotspots in the Irish Sea and earlier this month, it is reported that there was a notable increase in mussel dredgers in Bangor, Northern Ireland. The dredgers were the Mytilus and Branding which berthed at the Co. Down harbour after a lengthy period of relative inactivity.

Mytilus was built in The Netherlands by Scheepwerf Van Os Yerseke B.V. and appeared in an episode of the successful BBC TV series 'Coast'. At the time of the broadcast she was registered at Beaumaris, Anglesey and was seen working in the northern approaches of the Menai Straits. The fishery grounds are ideally suited for the growing processes required in farmed mussel production.

Branding was also built by a Dutch shipyard, Kooieman in 1988 and her design is typical of the mussel dredgers based in Wexford. The market for mussels is mainly from the northern European countries of Belgium, France and the Netherlands.

Published in Fishing
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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