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Displaying items by tag: Clare

BreakingNews.ie reports that a sea angler has died in an incident on the Co Clare coast yesterday afternoon (Saturday 26 October).

The man, believed to be a Polish national in his 40s, had been fishing with another man at Castle Point near Kilkee when he was hit by an unexpected wave and swept into the sea.

The alarm was quickly raised while the man’s companion attempted to rescue the casualty but to no avail in conditions described as “rough”.

The incident occurred close to where a Hungarian man was swept into the ocean from sea cliffs in January last year.

BreakingNews.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update
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#Kilkee - BreakingNews.ie reports that a body was recovered yesterday (Saturday 24 September) off Kilkee in the search for missing teacher David McMahon.

Hundreds had been involved in the search for the school teacher, who was last seen on 9 September, according to Independent.ie.

The discovery yesterday afternoon came 12 days after the death of Irish Coast Guard volunteer Caitriona Lucas in the same area.

That tragedy occurred when the RIB she and two other coastguard volunteers were on board was flipped over in a heavy swell, three days into the search operation for McMahon off the Co Clare coast.

Published in News Update

#Drowning - A post-mortem was expected today (Monday 11 July) on the body of a woman who drowned off the Co Clare coast yesterday morning.

RTÉ News reports that the 53-year-old woman from Eastern Europe but living in Co Tipperary was with a fishing group at Ballyreen when a wave swept her into the sea.

She was recovered some time later around 1km from the spot where she was washed in.

Despite best efforts by volunteers and Irish Coast Guard crew to save her, she was pronounced dead after she was flown to University Hospital Galway.

Published in News Update
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#BaskingSharks - Conservationist Andrew Power was in the right place at the right time on Monday morning (11 April) when he witnessed a group of up to 20 basking sharks feeding off Kilkee, Co Clare.

"You could see the inside of their huge mouths very clearly under the water as they were feeding," Power told RTÉ News of the three-hour breakfast. "They swam close to the rocks going in circles. It was incredible."



The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) reports that another sighting was made at the same time off Slea Head in Co Kerry – adding to a list of inshore sightings along the South West coast since 31 March, when the first basking shark spotting of 2016 was reported off West Cork.

Regular visitors to our shores, the second largest fish in the ocean were last seen in numbers back in September, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

And the sheer size of this group is surely a boost for the 'shark park' initiative mooted for the Wild Atlantic Way last summer.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Coastguard - Shannon's Irish Coast Guard helicopter flew to the rescue of a man who survived a 21-metre fall off a sea cliff in West Cork yesterday morning (Monday 7 March).

According to the Irish Examiner, Rescue 115 was tasked along with the Toe Head coastguard unit to attend to the man who was spotted at the base of the steep cliffs at Sandy Cove near Castletownshend.

Both were on scene within 20 minutes of the arrival of the ambulance service, who treated the casualty before he could be safely winched on board the helicopter for transport to Cork University Hospital, receiving further treatment for hypothermia.

It's thought that conditions on the popular cliff path above were rendered unstable after recent heavy rains.

In other coastguard rescue news, Sligo's Rescue 118 was involved in the medevac of an ill crewman from a fishing boat west of Hags Head in Co Clare.

The foreign national, aged 30, complained of abdominal pains before he was flown from the trawler Arkh Angel to University Hospital Galway for treatment, as Galway Bay FM reports.

Published in Coastguard

#Missing - Naval Service divers have recovered a body from the sea in the search for a missing Clare man, as The Irish Times reports.

The grim discovery was made yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 28 October) close to where local man Stephen Mungovan is thought to have fallen accidentally from a cliff late on Sunday night.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the cross-agency response began on Monday just hours after the last known sighting of the 20-year-old at the rear of his coastal home.

In other news, the Irish kayaker whose body was found on the Isle of Wight last month had stab wounds to his neck and wrist, the inquest into his death has heard.

But according to TheJournal.ie, Hampshire Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the death of 40-year-old Dr Morgan Savage, originally from Cork, whose remains were found strapped into his canoe on the island's eastern coast on 11 September.

Dr Savage was only officially identified following a weeks-long media appeal by police, after staff at the boat shop where he rented his kayak recalled an Irish accent.

Published in News Update

#clarebeaches – A newly published report by the EPA on Bathing Water Quality around Ireland has found that County Clare's 11 designated bathing areas were adjudged to have "Excellent Water Quality" during 2014.

The marine environment news has been described as "hugely significant and positive news" by Clare County Council in light of the newly introduced EU standards for bathing areas, deemed by the EPA to be almost twice as strict as those applied in previous years.

Bathing waters were classified into four categories, namely 'Poor', 'Sufficient', 'Good' and the newly introduced 'Excellent' category. The classification system is based on the levels of E. Coli and intestinal enterococci detected in the bathing water during the 2014 bathing season.

Clare is one of five Local Authority areas to receive "Excellent" classifications for each of its bathing areas, the others being Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, Kerry, Leitrim and Louth.

Clare's 11 bathing areas are Ballyalla Lake (Ennis), White Strand (Milltown Malbay), Ballycuggeran (Lough Derg), Cappa Pier (Kilrush), Bishopsquarter, White Strand (Doonbeg), Kilkee, Spanish Point, Lahinch, Fanore and Mountshannon (Lough Derg).

"This is a magnificent achievement for County Clare and those who work throughout the year to safeguard our bathing areas from environmental pollution and to ensure that the public can enjoy these locations in the knowledge that they are bathing in clean waters," stated Councillor John Crowe, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council.

He added: "This clean sweep for Clare is something that all tourism interests in the County should be aware of as we must now promote our quality beaches and other bathing locations, particularly in light of the growing numbers of visitors arriving in Clare during their journey along the Wild Atlantic Way."

"I wish to pay tribute to the Environment Section of Clare County Council and those living and working in the vicinity of Clare's 11 bathing locations for their due diligence and hard work in delivering this result. It's one that benefits our County's reputation and of course, the environment," said Councillor Crowe.

"The Council is delighted that each of the 11 designated bathing areas that it monitors achieved 'Excellent' status. This achievement is notable in light of the considerable disruption caused to many locations during the storms of early 2014, as well as the newly introduced standards for assessing bathing areas which are almost twice as strict as those previously applied. Our goal now is to maintain these high standards throughout 2015," explained Paul Moroney Senior Engineer, Clare County Council:

Commenting on the bathing water quality results, Dr Matthew Crowe, Director of the EPA's Office of Environmental Assessment, said: "Overall, the quality of Ireland's bathing waters continues to be very good and new standards introduced in 2014 provide a much higher level of protection for bathers."

"Disappointingly, seven identified bathing waters have been assessed as being of poor quality. The relevant local authorities and Irish Water have put management plans in place to tackle the main pollution risks at these beaches. The test will be whether or not we see the necessary improvements in water quality at these beaches," added Dr. Crowe.

The summary report 'Bathing Water Quality in Ireland – A Report for the Year 2014' is available to download from www.epa.ie.

Published in Coastal Notes

#Missing - RTÉ News reports that a body was found yesterday morning (Sunday 19 April) in the search for a missing fisherman off the Clare coast.

The search and rescue operation began in the early hours of yesterday morning after four people working with tractors in the oyster beds at Poulnaserry Bay got into difficulty when the tide came in.

Three of the fishermen were rescued by a local boat. RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update
Tagged under

#WaterfrontProperty - Two new properties on the market in Clare and Fermanagh are sure to appeal to keen anglers.

Sugarloaf on Clifden Hill in Co Clare overlooks Lake Inchiquin, described by the Irish Independent as an 'angler's paradise', and hosting a bounty of wildlife including the spectacular sea eagle.

But the picturesque spot is also a popular area for sunny-day picnics, and not only with the locals.

Sugarloaf provides a permanent picnic spot in the heart of that beautiful visa, with a detached three-bed home in 1.5 acres of gardens with panoramic views of the lake nearby and the Burren beyond.

And in spite of its privacy, with no neighbours in sight, you're just 3.5km from the village of Corofin and a swift drive further on to Ennis.

The Irish Independent has more on this property, on the market for €315,000.

North of the border, angling enthusiasts might be tempted by Amled's Fishing Lodge in Garrison, Co Fermanagh.

Within walking distance of Lough Melvin, the spacious detached five-bed home is on a secure site with high fencing, and plenty of room for boats and more in the driveway.

The wooded grounds have also been developed by the previous owner for wheelchair use, making garden maintenance easier than usual.

It's an unfinished renovation project - the upstairs is yet to be completed - but it'll be more than worth the effort to many, especially with an asking price of just £115,000 (€159,000). 4NI has more on this property.

Elsewhere, for those who just want to enjoy that seaside vibe, the Irish Independent sings the praises of Salthill in Galway.

Just a short walk from the centre of the City of the Tribes, the charming suburb maintains its own old-school seaside town atmosphere, with plenty of local social options, especially for dining.

And of course there's the renowned promenade, which hosts among others the annual An Tóstal race for Galway Hookers.

Published in Waterfront Property

#Rescue - A world champion bodyboarder was airlifted to hospital from the base of a Doonbeg cliff earlier this week after suffering an injury in the water off the Clare coast.

The Clare Herald has more on the incident, telling how 36-year-old Australian bodyboard pro Ben Player was injured while bodyboarding near Spanish Point, then fell ill later in the day while watching friends surfing near Doonbeg.

Members of the Irish Tow Surf Rescue Club, who were in the area to keep watch for surfers taking on the challenging Riley's wave, rushed to Player's aid and raised the alarm.

It comes just says after a surfer was rescued from the base of the Cliffs of Moher.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the man was winched to safety by the Sligo coastguard helicopter after getting separated from a group of surfers and winding up on the rocks at the foot of the famous Co Clare cliffs.

Published in Rescue
Tagged under
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Ireland's Commercial Fishing 

The Irish Commercial Fishing Industry employs around 11,000 people in fishing, processing and ancillary services such as sales and marketing. The industry is worth about €1.22 billion annually to the Irish economy. Irish fisheries products are exported all over the world as far as Africa, Japan and China.

FAQs

Over 16,000 people are employed directly or indirectly around the coast, working on over 2,000 registered fishing vessels, in over 160 seafood processing businesses and in 278 aquaculture production units, according to the State's sea fisheries development body Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).

All activities that are concerned with growing, catching, processing or transporting fish are part of the commercial fishing industry, the development of which is overseen by BIM. Recreational fishing, as in angling at sea or inland, is the responsibility of Inland Fisheries Ireland.

The Irish fishing industry is valued at 1.22 billion euro in gross domestic product (GDP), according to 2019 figures issued by BIM. Only 179 of Ireland's 2,000 vessels are over 18 metres in length. Where does Irish commercially caught fish come from? Irish fish and shellfish is caught or cultivated within the 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ), but Irish fishing grounds are part of the common EU "blue" pond. Commercial fishing is regulated under the terms of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), initiated in 1983 and with ten-yearly reviews.

The total value of seafood landed into Irish ports was 424 million euro in 2019, according to BIM. High value landings identified in 2019 were haddock, hake, monkfish and megrim. Irish vessels also land into foreign ports, while non-Irish vessels land into Irish ports, principally Castletownbere, Co Cork, and Killybegs, Co Donegal.

There are a number of different methods for catching fish, with technological advances meaning skippers have detailed real time information at their disposal. Fisheries are classified as inshore, midwater, pelagic or deep water. Inshore targets species close to shore and in depths of up to 200 metres, and may include trawling and gillnetting and long-lining. Trawling is regarded as "active", while "passive" or less environmentally harmful fishing methods include use of gill nets, long lines, traps and pots. Pelagic fisheries focus on species which swim close to the surface and up to depths of 200 metres, including migratory mackerel, and tuna, and methods for catching include pair trawling, purse seining, trolling and longlining. Midwater fisheries target species at depths of around 200 metres, using trawling, longlining and jigging. Deepwater fisheries mainly use trawling for species which are found at depths of over 600 metres.

There are several segments for different catching methods in the registered Irish fleet – the largest segment being polyvalent or multi-purpose vessels using several types of gear which may be active and passive. The polyvalent segment ranges from small inshore vessels engaged in netting and potting to medium and larger vessels targeting whitefish, pelagic (herring, mackerel, horse mackerel and blue whiting) species and bivalve molluscs. The refrigerated seawater (RSW) pelagic segment is engaged mainly in fishing for herring, mackerel, horse mackerel and blue whiting only. The beam trawling segment focuses on flatfish such as sole and plaice. The aquaculture segment is exclusively for managing, developing and servicing fish farming areas and can collect spat from wild mussel stocks.

The top 20 species landed by value in 2019 were mackerel (78 million euro); Dublin Bay prawn (59 million euro); horse mackerel (17 million euro); monkfish (17 million euro); brown crab (16 million euro); hake (11 million euro); blue whiting (10 million euro); megrim (10 million euro); haddock (9 million euro); tuna (7 million euro); scallop (6 million euro); whelk (5 million euro); whiting (4 million euro); sprat (3 million euro); herring (3 million euro); lobster (2 million euro); turbot (2 million euro); cod (2 million euro); boarfish (2 million euro).

Ireland has approximately 220 million acres of marine territory, rich in marine biodiversity. A marine biodiversity scheme under Ireland's operational programme, which is co-funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the Government, aims to reduce the impact of fisheries and aquaculture on the marine environment, including avoidance and reduction of unwanted catch.

EU fisheries ministers hold an annual pre-Christmas council in Brussels to decide on total allowable catches and quotas for the following year. This is based on advice from scientific bodies such as the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. In Ireland's case, the State's Marine Institute publishes an annual "stock book" which provides the most up to date stock status and scientific advice on over 60 fish stocks exploited by the Irish fleet. Total allowable catches are supplemented by various technical measures to control effort, such as the size of net mesh for various species.

The west Cork harbour of Castletownbere is Ireland's biggest whitefish port. Killybegs, Co Donegal is the most important port for pelagic (herring, mackerel, blue whiting) landings. Fish are also landed into Dingle, Co Kerry, Rossaveal, Co Galway, Howth, Co Dublin and Dunmore East, Co Waterford, Union Hall, Co Cork, Greencastle, Co Donegal, and Clogherhead, Co Louth. The busiest Northern Irish ports are Portavogie, Ardglass and Kilkeel, Co Down.

Yes, EU quotas are allocated to other fleets within the Irish EEZ, and Ireland has long been a transhipment point for fish caught by the Spanish whitefish fleet in particular. Dingle, Co Kerry has seen an increase in foreign landings, as has Castletownbere. The west Cork port recorded foreign landings of 36 million euro or 48 per cent in 2019, and has long been nicknamed the "peseta" port, due to the presence of Spanish-owned transhipment plant, Eiranova, on Dinish island.

Most fish and shellfish caught or cultivated in Irish waters is for the export market, and this was hit hard from the early stages of this year's Covid-19 pandemic. The EU, Asia and Britain are the main export markets, while the middle Eastern market is also developing and the African market has seen a fall in value and volume, according to figures for 2019 issued by BIM.

Fish was once a penitential food, eaten for religious reasons every Friday. BIM has worked hard over several decades to develop its appeal. Ireland is not like Spain – our land is too good to transform us into a nation of fish eaters, but the obvious health benefits are seeing a growth in demand. Seafood retail sales rose by one per cent in 2019 to 300 million euro. Salmon and cod remain the most popular species, while BIM reports an increase in sales of haddock, trout and the pangasius or freshwater catfish which is cultivated primarily in Vietnam and Cambodia and imported by supermarkets here.

The EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), initiated in 1983, pooled marine resources – with Ireland having some of the richest grounds and one of the largest sea areas at the time, but only receiving four per cent of allocated catch by a quota system. A system known as the "Hague Preferences" did recognise the need to safeguard the particular needs of regions where local populations are especially dependent on fisheries and related activities. The State's Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, based in Clonakilty, Co Cork, works with the Naval Service on administering the EU CFP. The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine and Department of Transport regulate licensing and training requirements, while the Marine Survey Office is responsible for the implementation of all national and international legislation in relation to safety of shipping and the prevention of pollution.

Yes, a range of certificates of competency are required for skippers and crew. Training is the remit of BIM, which runs two national fisheries colleges at Greencastle, Co Donegal and Castletownbere, Co Cork. There have been calls for the colleges to be incorporated into the third-level structure of education, with qualifications recognised as such.

Safety is always an issue, in spite of technological improvements, as fishing is a hazardous occupation and climate change is having its impact on the severity of storms at sea. Fishing skippers and crews are required to hold a number of certificates of competency, including safety and navigation, and wearing of personal flotation devices is a legal requirement. Accidents come under the remit of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board, and the Health and Safety Authority. The MCIB does not find fault or blame, but will make recommendations to the Minister for Transport to avoid a recurrence of incidents.

Fish are part of a marine ecosystem and an integral part of the marine food web. Changing climate is having a negative impact on the health of the oceans, and there have been more frequent reports of warmer water species being caught further and further north in Irish waters.

Brexit, Covid 19, EU policies and safety – Britain is a key market for Irish seafood, and 38 per cent of the Irish catch is taken from the waters around its coast. Ireland's top two species – mackerel and prawns - are 60 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively, dependent on British waters. Also, there are serious fears within the Irish industry about the impact of EU vessels, should they be expelled from British waters, opting to focus even more efforts on Ireland's rich marine resource. Covid-19 has forced closure of international seafood markets, with high value fish sold to restaurants taking a large hit. A temporary tie-up support scheme for whitefish vessels introduced for the summer of 2020 was condemned by industry organisations as "designed to fail".

Sources: Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Marine Institute, Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Department of Transport © Afloat 2020

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