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North station was the popular choice with the coin toss winners for the Dublin Colours Boat Race rowing event. Trinity won the men’s and chose it, with UCD winning the women’s.

 Sean Drea was the man in charge for the coin toss at the Dublin Civic Offices at Wood Quay. The races are scheduled for Saturday week, March 14th.

Published in Rowing
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#Rowing: Dublin City Council and Waterways Ireland have backed a new Corporate Regatta in Dublin, the first of a planned series.

The Rowing Ireland event will be held on May 10th in the Docklands. Crews from companies will compete, with the aim of encouraging team spirit. A learn-to-row session, lunch and a drinks and awards presentation are part of the deal.

The next stage of the series is set to be held in Cork in October.

Published in Rowing

Waterways Ireland advises all users of sightings on the Royal Canal at Ashtown of a large invasive rodent species that is highly damaging to river, lake and canal banks.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the coypu — also known as the nutria in the United States — is regarded as a destructive invasive species and pest, posing a threat to agriculture, the stability of river banks and even coastal defences.

The coypu is an EU-regulated species of concern with trade, transport and reproduction restrictions in place (No.1143/2014).

The large river rats can also carry a number of serious diseases communicable to humans and domestic animals.

Waterways Ireland says coypu eradication programmes can cost up to several millions of euro and are not always successful.

Most recently there were sightings of the rodents in Cork city two years ago, after a number were trapped by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) in a tributary of the River Lee.

But their presence across the country in the capital raises concerns about their further spread throughout Ireland’s inland waterways.

Waterways Ireland has provided a checklist for how to spot a coypu, which are often confused with common otters:

  • Large semi-aquatic rodent up to 1 meter in head to tail length. Features same in juveniles.
  • It can weigh 5-9kg.
  • It has webbed hind feet.
  • Dark fur often with lighter ends and has a white muzzle.
  • Has long cylindrical tail (not fur tail like otter) and small slightly protruding ears.
  • Distinctive features are large bright orange-yellow incisor (front) teeth usually visible.
  • Coypu are generally found near permanent water.

Do not attempt to engage, trap or harm these animals.

Waterways Ireland appeals for the public keep a lookout along the waterways and especially along the Royal Canal at Ashtown, and report sightings (with photos is possible) to any of the following:

For more information visit species.biodiversityireland.ie.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#TallShips - Dublin backed out of its bid to host the 2019 Tall Ships Races after Dublin City Council deemed the €3 million costs too high.

As the Irish Independent reports, the council said in defending the decision that the cost "represents a very significant funding implication for DCC", describing it as bigger than its annual budget for festivals and events throughout the year – including the now annual Riverfest.

Business leaders described the move as "disappointing" in light of the expected €30 to €75 million boost to the local economy from an event that attracted over a million visitors when it was last staged in the capital in 2012.

As previously reported, Galway is already stepping into the breach by mounting its own bid to host the tall ships in the same harbour that welcomed the Volvo Ocean Race in 2012 and 2009.

The Irish Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in Tall Ships

#Liffey - An emergency operation in Dublin city centre this afternoon (Monday 5 October) saw a body recovered from the River Liffey, as TheJournal.ie reports.

The body of a man was taken from the water around 2pm less than four hours after he was spotted from a bridge near the IFSC.

Emergency response teams from the Dublin Fire Brigade, the Irish Coast Guard, Dun Laoghaire RNLI and more raced to the scene for the multi-agency operation. The Journal.ie has more HERE.

Published in News Update
Tagged under

#COASTAL ROWING: The third annual Dublin Currach Regatta will take place on Saturday, the 4th of July, between the iconic bridges and in the heart of the city on the river Liffey.
 
Sponsored by Dublin Port Company and Dublin City Council, this is the third year that the east coast has the privilege of hosting a currach regatta included in the national currach racing league.  This year the annual  Dublin currach regatta will take place for the first time ever on the river Liffey in the heart of Dublin city centre.
 
Following many years of forging contacts between east coast currach rowers and teams on the west coast of Ireland, this is the first year that the western teams will come to Dublin to compete in a championship fixture.
 
Currach racing teams from Donegal, Kerry, West Clare, The Aran Islands, Connemara and  Galway will attend. Both women’s and men’s crews will be competing as well as the traditional mixed crew race, Fear agus Ban.  The races will feature qualifying heats following on to senior men’s and women’s finals as well as mixed crew racing.
 
All races will take place between 11:00 a.m. and 16:30  and the heats and competition can be viewed all along the Liffey quays right up to the Jeanie Johnston for the duration of the regatta.

Published in Coastal Rowing
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#ROWING: Trinity won all four Colours races on the Liffey today. In the Gannon Cup for senior men, the men in black and white hoops took a small early advantage, stretched it to three-quarters of a length by Capel Street Bridge and won by one-and-a-half lengths. The two novice races were surprisingly one-sided for the Dublin University crews. The best race of the day was the women’s senior contest, for the Corcoran Cup. UCD took an early advantage and led for most of the race. But Trinity were impressively controlled in their rowing and took the lead through the last two bridges. They stretched their advantage to half a length at the finish.

Colours Races 2015, Liffey, Dublin, Saturday, March 14th.

Senior Men (Gannon Cup): Trinity (A Browne, W Doyle, J Magan, M Corcoran, P Moreau, M Kelly, L Hawkes, D Butler; cox: C Flynn) bt UCD 1½ l

Novice (Dan Quinn Shield): Trinity bt UCD, easily

Senior Women (Corcoran Cup): Trinity (G Crowe, H O’Neill, H McCarthy, S Healy, S O’Brien, A Leahy, L McHugh, R Morris; cox: N Williams) bt UCD ½ l

Novice (Sally Moorhead trophy): Trinity bt UCD easily

Published in Rowing

#ROWING: Trinity’s senior eight, fresh from setting a course record at the Erne Head of the River, continued their winning run at the Dublin Head of the River today. In sunny but testing headwind condtions they covered the course from the Marlborough Street steps to Islandbridge in 14 minutes and seven seconds. The Trinity intermediate eight finished second fastest, while UCD were the top men’s novice crew.

Dublin Head of the River, Marlborough Street Steps to Islandbridge, Saturday

(Selected results)

Overall: 1 Trinity men’s senior eight 14 minutes 7 seconds, 2 Trinity intermediate eight 14:23, 3 UCD inter eight 15:11, 4 Commercial inter eight 15:57, 5 Neptune masters eight 17:03, 6 UCD novice eight 17:04.

Men

Eights – Senior: Trinity 14:07. Inter: Trinity 14:23. Novice: UCD 17:04. Junior 18: Commercial A 17:29. Masters: St Michael’s 17:18 (adjusted).

Women

Eights – Senior: Trinity 17:25 (timing only). Novice: Commercial 19:19. Masters: Tribesmen 20:20. Junior 18: Commercial 19:06.

Published in Rowing

#Rescue - TheJournal.ie reports on the rescue of a man from the River Liffey in Dublin city centure this afternoon (Monday 22 December).

The Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) responded to the scene between the Ha'penny and Millennium Bridges not long after 2pm, as passers by attempted to reach the man with lifebuoys from the boardwalk above.

One firefighter was lowered down from the boardwalk to reach the man in the water, who was safely removed on the DFB rescue boat and taken for treatment at the Mater Hospital.

TheJournal.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue
Tagged under

#LiffeySwim - Dublin celebrated its 95th Liffey Swim yesterday as more than 360 people took to the river's waters yesterday (13 September) for the annual race through the heart of the capital.

As The Irish Times reports, 257 men and 111 women set off from the quays at the Guinness brewery on the more than 2km downstream course towards the Loopline Bridge, swimming beneath the majority of the city's landmark spans.

And almost all of the swimmers completed the race, with Ger Wilkes of the North Dublin Winter Swimming Club coming first among the men, while paramedic Rachel Lee was the first woman to reach the Custom House

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Sea Swim
Tagged under
Page 1 of 12

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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