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Displaying items by tag: Dolphins

#MARINE WILDLIFE - Three whales and a dolphin were found beached over the past few days along Ireland's west coast, according to the Belfast Telegraph.

Dr Simon Berrow of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group confirmed that reports had been received of a bottlenose whale on White Strand in Co Clare, a pilot whale on Fintra Beach in Co Donegal and a dolphin in Silverstrand, Co Galway - all found dead.

The latest find was a male sperm whale stranded on Omey Island in Co Galway, shed of its skin and with a broken lower jaw.

"Chances are it died offshore and got washed in with the wind," said Berrow.

The IWDG said such strandings were relatively common, although as reported on Afloat.ie earlier this year there has been growing concern over the rising number of dolphin deaths along the south coast in particular.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MARINE WILDLIFE - They were thought to have disappeared from the east coast in October after delighting wildlife enthusiasts in Dublin and Wicklow.

But concerns that one of the group had died were swept side when the pod of three bottlenose dolphins was once again spotted off Killiney recently.

The Wicklow People reports that the two adults and one juvenile reappeared almost two weeks ago, and have been seen daily "putting on great displays of leaping, breaching, and tail slapping".

Fears were that tragedy had befallen the group when two bottlenoses were seen off Skerries and Balbriggan in late October, and a juvenile was found dead in Portmarnock shortly after.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, some 200 sightings of the dolphins between Dalkey Island and Wicklow town in recent months were validated by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).

According to the IWDG, evidence suggests that the pod is now resident off the east coast.

The Wicklow People has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MARINE WILDLIFE - Some 46 reports of stranded whales and dolphins in Northern Ireland are among the thousands recorded across the UK over the last six years, according to BBC News.

A new study co-ordinated by the Zoological Socoety of London (ZSL) shows that some 3,500 cetaceans were stranded on the British coastline between 2005 and 2010.

Though year-on-year figures have fallen overall, is presumed that many more strandings have gone undetected.

Many were found to have died of disease or starvation – particular harbour dolphins.

But human activity such as fishing, shipping and chemical pollution also poses a significant threat to marine wildlife in the waters around the British Isles, said Rob Deaville of the ZSL.

The public is being encouraged to report stranded marine mammals to help create a more accurate picture.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#TOURISM - Winter might be upon us, but it's a great time to plan a new year holiday in Ireland on the sea, according to the UK's Daily Echo.

From night-time paddling in with renowned kayaking instructor Jim Kennedy, to snorkelling in Baltimore, relaxing in Skibbereen and and fresh seafood lunches in Kinsale, a vacation in Cork can appeal to any taste.

Whale and dolphin watching is a big draw for the region, too, as Ireland's coast – the first cetacean sanctuary in Europe - plays host to a growing variety of species.

The summer feeding grounds off the southern coast are particularly busy, and tourist boats are often treated to whales breaching the surface and surrounded by dolphins putting on a show.

The Daily Echo has more on the story HERE.

Published in Aquatic Tourism
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has said that evidence suggests a pod of three bottlenose dolphins is living on the east coast of Ireland.
According to RTÉ News, the organisation as validated close to 200 sightings of the dolphins - one of whom was spotted off Co Down in October 2010 - along the Dublin and Wicklow coastline in the last year.
The IWDG's Páraig Whooley says that further analysis of theor movements show that they rarely travel north beyond Dalkey Island or south of Wicklow town, ind
icating a core range of 21 miles (33km).
"Remarkably, they seem to split their time evenly between their Dublin and Wicklow hotspots, thus making them extremely easy to locate, observe and photograph," he adds.
"In fact... the best way to find them other than checking this site, is probably to jump on a DART train in Dun Laoghaire bound for Greystones (or visa versa), making sure to look out the correct window."
While well known for being "boisterous, interactive and gregarious", bottlenose dolphins are also "indescriminate killers of porpoises and other dolphin species, with well-documented cases of infanticide".
Neither are they to be taken lightly by swimmers, with "a case load in Ireland of attacks on swimmers leading to serious injury, and at least one overseas case of [a bottlenose] killing a swimmer.
"It's nice to be able to boast of an apex predator lurking so close to the capital," adds Whooley.
RTÉ News has images of the dolphins in action off the south Dublin coastline HERE.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has said that evidence suggests a pod of three bottlenose dolphins is living on the east coast of Ireland.

According to RTÉ News, the organisation as validated close to 200 sightings of the dolphins - one of whom was spotted off Co Down in October 2010 - along the Dublin and Wicklow coastline in the last year.

The IWDG's Pádraig Whooley says that further analysis of theor movements show that they rarely travel north beyond Dalkey Island or south of Wicklow town, indicating a core range of 21 miles (33km).

"Remarkably, they seem to split their time evenly between their Dublin and Wicklow hotspots, thus making them extremely easy to locate, observe and photograph," he adds. 

"In fact... the best way to find them other than checking this site, is probably to jump on a DART train in Dun Laoghaire bound for Greystones (or visa versa), making sure to look out the correct window."

While well known for being "boisterous, interactive and gregarious", bottlenose dolphins are also "indescriminate killers of porpoises and other dolphin species, with well-documented cases of infanticide". 

Neither are they to be taken lightly by swimmers, with "a case load in Ireland of attacks on swimmers leading to serious injury, and at least one overseas case of [a bottlenose] killing a swimmer.

"It's nice to be able to boast of an apex predator lurking so close to the capital," says Whooley.

RTÉ News has images of the dolphins in action off the south Dublin coastline HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
The Irish Independent reports that some 100 bottlenose dolphins have made a new home off the Donegal coast in the past week.
The pod of bottlenoses - a rare treat in Irish waters compared to the near ubiquitous common dolphin - has been spoted by boaters and wildlife enthusiasts in the inner Donegal Bay, between Rossnowlagh Beach and Doorin Head.
Patrick Lane of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group said the bottlenose often swims closer to the shore than its more common counterparts, making it much easier for people on shore to catch a glimpse.
The Irish Independent has more on the story, including photos, HERE.

The Irish Independent reports that some 100 bottlenose dolphins have made a new home off the Donegal coast in the past week.

The pod of bottlenoses - a rare treat in Irish waters compared to the near ubiquitous common dolphin - has been spoted by boaters and wildlife enthusiasts in the inner Donegal Bay, between Rossnowlagh Beach and Doorin Head.

Patrick Lane of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group said the bottlenose often swims closer to the shore than its more common counterparts, making it much easier for people on shore to catch a glimpse.

The Irish Independent has more on the story, including photos, HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
A pod of dolphins attempted to save the life of an Irishman who drowned in Australia last month after only six weeks in the country.
Irish Central reports that Shaun McBride from Donegal was dismantling scaffolding at a wharf in Dampier, Western Australia, when the structure collapsed into the water.
Police divers reportedly found his body surrounded by a pod of dolphins. One of them was using his nose to push the body to the surface.
Shaun's mother Sylvia told mourners at his funeral in Burtonport that she had been comforted at learning the dolphin's actions in keeping vigil on her son.
Irish Central has more on the story HERE.

A pod of dolphins attempted to save the life of an Irishman who drowned in Australia last month after only six weeks in the country.

Irish Central reports that Shaun McBride from Donegal was dismantling scaffolding at a wharf in Dampier, Western Australia, when the structure collapsed into the water.

Police divers reportedly found his body surrounded by a pod of dolphins. One of them was using its nose to push the body to the surface.

Shaun's mother Sylvia told mourners at his funeral in Burtonport that she had been comforted at learning the dolphin's actions in keeping vigil on her son.

Irish Central has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
A Cork fisherman has described his anguish after one of three dolphins that recently made their home in the River Lee died in his nets.
Anthony Quilligan was fishing downriver from Cork city with his father Simon when they were surprised by the dolphin's sudden appearance.
"We were hauling the nets when I saw the dolphin jump out of the water about seven feet behind the net," Anthiony told the Evening Herald.
"He went back under water and we started to haul the nets faster to get them out of the way, but I saw the net's floats go under and I knew he was caught."
He added: ""He was alive when we got him ashore. We were just getting the last bit of net off his tail, and I was holding his head up out of the water. We wanted to save the creature, but he died in my arms."
Herald.ie has more on the story HERE.

A Cork fisherman has described his anguish after one of three dolphins that recently made their home in the River Lee died in his nets.

Anthony Quilligan was fishing downriver from Cork city with his father Simon when they were surprised by the dolphin's sudden appearance.

"We were hauling the nets when I saw the dolphin jump out of the water about seven feet behind the net," Anthiony told the Evening Herald. 

"He went back under water and we started to haul the nets faster to get them out of the way, but I saw the net's floats go under and I knew he was caught."

He added: ""He was alive when we got him ashore. We were just getting the last bit of net off his tail, and I was holding his head up out of the water. We wanted to save the creature, but he died in my arms."

Herald.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has validated 175 sighting records for June 2011.
The most commonly recorded species were bottlenose dolphins, accounting for 28 per cent  of all sightings, followed by harbour porpoise (25%), minke whales (13.6%), common dolphins (9%) and basking sharks (5%).
Other sightings included Risso's dolphins, killer whales, fin whales, humpback whales (0.6%) and pilot whales.
Clearly, with basking shark sightings evaporating from a trickle to a drip, we can draw a close to the 2011 basking shark season.
"This is the second consecutive year that basking shark sightings have declined, with a 36 per cent drop in sightings on the same period in 2010," said IWDG sightings co-ordinator Pádraig Whooley.
The total numbers compare with 270 sightings in June 2010. "The 35 per cent drop in sightings reflects the vagaries of Irish summers," Whooley added.
He also noted that this year marks the first time that the biggest cluster of sightings was off the coast of Co Dublin.
The IWDG has more on the story HERE.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has validated 175 large marine wildlife sighting records for June 2011.

The most commonly recorded species were bottlenose dolphins, accounting for 28 per cent  of all sightings, followed by harbour porpoise (25%), minke whales (13.6%), common dolphins (9%) and basking sharks (5%).

Other sightings included Risso's dolphins, killer whales, fin whales, humpback whales and pilot whales. 

"This is the second consecutive year that basking shark sightings have declined, with a 36 per cent drop in sightings on the same period in 2010," said IWDG sightings co-ordinator Pádraig Whooley.

The total numbers compare with 270 sightings in June 2010. "The 35 per cent drop in sightings reflects the vagaries of Irish summers," Whooley added.

He also noted that this year marks the first time that the biggest cluster of sightings was off the coast of Co Dublin.

The IWDG has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
Today's Irish Times recounts a day in the life of whale watch operator Nic Slocum.
Originally from the UK, Slocum traded tiring commutes to London for the peaceful life of sailing in west Cork 10 years ago, and shortly after turned his hobby into a new business by running whale watching excursions.
"We don’t promise whales and dolphins every time because they are unpredictable creatures," says the Whale Watch West Cork proprietor, "but for anyone interested in wildlife, there is an abundance of things to see. The marine coast is spectacularly beautiful here."
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Today's Irish Times recounts a day in the life of whale watch operator Nic Slocum.

Originally from the UK, Slocum traded tiring commutes to London for the peaceful life of sailing in west Cork 10 years ago, and shortly after turned his hobby into a new business by running whale watching excursions.

"We don’t promise whales and dolphins every time because they are unpredictable creatures," says the Whale Watch West Cork proprietor, "but for anyone interested in wildlife, there is an abundance of things to see. The marine coast is spectacularly beautiful here."

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
Page 8 of 10

Irish Fishing industry 

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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