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What started as a small fundraiser for Galway RNLI and Cancer Care West has turned into something spectacular as the players and members of Galway Corinthians RFC have raised over €8,500 for both organisations through two fundraising efforts.

The first featured the senior players in the club with Jack Noone and Kenneth Casburn behind the organisation of ‘Movember’ where players, management and committee members grew facial hair of some kind for the month of November.

The second featured the mercurial talents of club president Kieran Faherty.

Known fondly as ‘Flash’, Kieran is an accomplished artist and he generously provided one of his paintings known as ‘Brewing Up A Storm’, a stunning view of Galway Bay that has proved very popular with prints and cards selling out quickly.

But what inspired the painting? “I am often asked that,” Kieran says. “Pretty much my signature pieces are all about colour, and Connemara is my inspiration for many.

“As a kid I only saw greyness in the Connemara landscape, but age opens your eyes. Now I embrace all the wonderful changing coloured landscape that the mountains, bogs and lakes give up to us.”

He added: “I think my inspiration for this piece is the challenges it offers, as it sits in stormy waters, and I think appropriately it is raising funds for a charity that lives in stormy waters with their incredible brave crew.”

The fundraising has been warmly welcomed by both organisations, with Mike Swan, Galway RNLI lifeboat operations manager, saying: “I wanted to express my personal gratitude for the effort of the members of Corinthians Rugby Club and thank them for their very generous donation, of which will be put to good use saving lives at sea.

“Given the year that’s in it, the crew are overwhelmed with the support from the people of Galway.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

In Galway city, the RNLI inshore lifeboat rescued a man caught in rising tide while out walking at Ballyloughane beach near Renmore.

A member of the public spotted the man who had taken refuge on Hare island at about 11 am, and the alarm was raised with the Irish Coast Guard.

Galway lifeboat launched within minutes and took the man safely on board at Hare island, bringing him back to Galway docks. He did not require medical attention.

Galway lifeboat launch authority Mike Swan urged the public “ to be aware of the tide times and to take extra care when out walking any of the coastal areas around the bay so as not to get caught out”.

“Thankfully this ended well,” he said.

The Galway RNLI crew on the callout were helmsman Declan Killilea, with Stefanie Carr, Greg Cullen and Olivia Byrne.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Improving stocks of wild salmon and trout in the West of Ireland in the goal of a new initiative launched by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).

Derek Evans writes in The Irish Times about IFI’s partnership with Co Galway angling federation Cairde an Chláir to restore a near kilometre-long stretch of the Abbert River, a tributary of the River Clare.

Earlier this year the two groups signed a memorandum of understanding on the conservation and development of brown trout and salmon and their habitat, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

While the coronavirus pandemic slowed progress over the year, IFI says the project is now at the stage where work on the river can begin — while a similar scheme to restore 8km of nursery streams such as the River Nanny is already under way.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

Indepdendent.ie reports that a member of a well-known Galway fishing family has died after an incident on a vessel in Galway Bay this afternoon (Monday 2 November).

The alarm was raised at lunchtime by a man on board the boat which was located at the time between Blackrock and Silverstrand west of Galway city.

Galway RNLI were tasked to the scene by the Irish Coast Guard, and the lifeboat crew brought the casualty back to Galway Docks from where he was transported by ambulance to University Hospital Galway.

Published in Fishing
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Galway RNLI has rescued a man whose yacht got into difficulty on Galway Bay this morning.

Galway RNLI says that the yacht was sailing from Barna to Ballyvaughan in Clare when the forestay broke and the mast crashed onto the deck.

The man was alone on the yacht and contacted the Irish Coast Guard which tasked sought the Galway inshore lifeboat at about 9.27 am.

It launched within minutes, and located the yacht off Furbo. The crew took the man on board and towed the yacht to Spiddal.

Galway Lifeboat deputy launch authority Shane Folan said the rescue was “not without difficulties”.

“There was a south west wind force four to five, a sea swell of one and a half to two metres, but thankfully we got the vessel safely to Spiddal,”Folan said.

The RNLI crew involved were helmsman Martin Oliver, Sean King, Lisa McDonagh and Greg Cullen.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A former Italian honorary consul has expressed disappointment at damage to a monument marking explorer Christopher Columbus’s links to Galway.

A Labour city councillor, Niall MacNelis, has also condemned the spraying of black paint on the monument, and says he has reported the matter to the Garda Siochána.

Adriano Cavalleri was honorary consul to Galway when the monument was unveiled in 1992 to mark the 500th anniversary of Columbus’s voyage to the Americas.

Mr Cavalleri explained it was intended to celebrate the navigation skills of Columbus and his crew, and the fact that he is believed to have docked in Galway port in 1477.

Late Italian historian and Columbus biographer Paolo Emilio Taviani had established that Columbus had called to the port and received chart information, Mr Cavalleri said.

“We wished to celebrate these maritime skills, and the link between Galway and Genoa where Columbus was from,” Mr Cavalleri said.

The Columbus monument was donated by the city of Genoa, and its installation close to the Spanish Arch was supported by the Italian Cultural Institute.

Earlier this week, People Before Profit called on Galway City Council to remove monuments which “glorified slavery and racism”, including the Columbus monument.

It also criticised a plaque in Tuam honouring Major Richard (Dick) Dowling who served with the Confederate Army in the US.

Cllr MacNelis said that conflating Columbus’s visit to Galway in 1477 with slavery did “no service to the Black Lives Matter campaign”.

“If this is the approach, where do we stop – does this mean we don’t remember the Galway soldiers who lost their lives while fighting abroad,” Cllr MacNelis said.

Published in Galway Harbour

The traditional first day of spring in Ireland also saw the return of Nimmo, a bottlenose dolphin who’s become a regular visitor to Galway city.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) says this is the sixth consecutive year for this particular dolphin, who has stayed for anywhere between four and eight months since 2016.

As reported this time last year on Afloat.ie, Nimmo’s predilection for Galway Harbour is a sign that the area has become an important feeding habitat.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for people in Galway to observe a wild dolphin close to a city centre and often within clear view of the shoreline,” says IWDG sightings officer Pádraig Whooley.

He also calls on local citizen scientists and marine wildlife watchers to submit their own sightings over the coming months.

Published in Marine Wildlife

Giant “fire sculptures”, a community dinner, jazz lunch and a walk to Omey island are among activities planned for Conamara Sea Week’s programme based in and around the Quaker village of Letterfrack.

Ecologist Gordon D’Arcy is participating in a schools programme, and students from primary to third level have created images for the “After the Light” parade tonight, Wed October 23rd, from 7pm.

The award-winning festival, which has been running since 1984, is focused on the community, with a strong environmental focus.

“Myth, magic and a hint of madness” is promised for the mid-week parade, involving students from five primary schools, local crèches, Youthreach, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) Letterfrack, the Galway Roscommon Education and Training Board and the Brothers of Charity.

An “active age club” lunch and music at Rosleague Manor takes place on Thursday, October 24th, and that same evening a community dinner in Veldon’s Seafarer will offer food made by award-winning chef Jonathan Keane of the Lodge at Ashford.

Artist Mo West will open a sea week “small works” art exhibition at Connemara National Park on Saturday (Oct 26), and John O’Halloran will lead a walk on Sunday to Omey island, meeting at Claddaghduff church at 10.30am.

The programme, including music of all genres, continues until bank holiday Monday, and further information is available by phoning 085 1154629 or check the website here

Published in Maritime Festivals
Tagged under

#Rowing: Irish crews added four more wins to their haul over the weekend at the World Masters Regatta at Lake Velence in Hungary. The wins came on Saturday. Denis Crowley featured in a composite eight, which beat strong British opposition, and in a four – bringing his personal tally to eight wins. Brendan Smyth and Patrick Fowler of Commercial won in the double and Milo and Pat Murray of Cappoquin won the in the pair. A mixed eight finished second on Sunday.

World Masters Regatta, Lake Velence, Hungary (Selected Results; Irish interest; Winners)

Saturday

Men

Eight  (E – avg 55 or more): Galway, Belfast BC, Neptune, Clonmel, Commercial, Shannon (G Murphy, A McCallion, K McDonald, D Crowley, F O’Toole, O McGrath, G O’Neill, C Hunter, M McGlynn) 3:04.90

Four (D – avg 50 or more): Commercial, Neptune (B Smyth, F O’Toole, G Murphy, D Crowley) 3:24.72.

Pair (F – avg 60 or more): Cappoquin (P Murray, M Murray) 6:12.10.

Sculling, Double (C – avg 43 or more): Commercial (B Smyth, F Fowler) 3:28.39.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Denis Crowley of Commercial brought his tally of wins to a remarkable six after three days at the World Masters Regatta in Budapest. In just one day, the 57-year-old won in the coxless four and twice in the single sculls – in the C class (43 years or more) and the E class for 55 or more. The decision to form composite crews again paid off for the Irish, with wins in the C eight and the D coxed four, along with Crowley’s haul.

World Masters Regatta, Budapest, (Selected Results, Irish interest, winners)

Friday

Men

Eight

(C – 43 or more): Heat Four: Commercial, Cork, Neptune, Clonmel, Shannon, Galway, Castleconnell (B Crean, B Smyth, R Carroll, O McGrath, G O’Neill, P Fowler, B O’Shaughnessy, K McDonald; cox: M McGlynn) 3:09.75.

Four

(E – 55 or more) Heat Five: Commercial, Neptune, Belfast BC, Galway (D Crowley, G Murphy, C Hunter, A McCallion)

Four, coxed

(D – 50 or more) Heat 3: Galway, Neptune, Castleconnell, Clonmel (G O’Neill, O McGrath, B O’Shaughnessy, T Dunn; cox: M McGlynn) 3:35.89.

Sculling, Single

(C - 43 or more) Heat 19: Commercial (D Crowley) 3:49.92.

(E – 55 or more) Heat 8: Commercial (Crowley)

Published in Rowing
Page 1 of 31

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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