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Displaying items by tag: Irish Coast Guard

Cork Beo reports that a body was recovered off the West Cork coast in a multi-agency operation for a missing person on Sunday (27 December).

Thermal imaging was used to locate the remains in the area of the Old Head of Kinsale.

The crew of the Irish Coast Guard’s Waterford-based helicopter Rescue 117 were praised on social media for their bravery in recovering the body amid severe winds ahead of Storm Bella.

The incident came within days of the discovery of a body in the water at Dun Laoghaire’s Coal Harbour pier, which is being investigated by gardaí.

Published in Coastguard

The Irish Coast Guard has has upgraded radio equipment at a number of VHF network remote locatosn in recent months.

Following these upgrades, the table below sets out the detail of the new coastguard working channels that are now in operation:

Site

Radio Call Sign

Current Channel

New Channel

Howth Hts

Dublin Coast Guard

CH 83

CH 03

Rosslare Hts

Rosslare Coast Guard

CH 23

CH 05

Mine Hd Hts

Mine Head Coast Guard

CH 83

CH 03

Cork Hts

Cork Coast Guard

CH 26

CH 02

Bantry Hts

Bantry Coast Guard

CH 23

CH 05

Valentia Hts

Valentia Coast Guard

CH 24

CH 62

Shannon Hts

Shannon Coast Guard

CH 28

CH 64

Belmullet Hts

Belmullet Coast Guard

CH 83

CH 63

Clifden Hts

Clifden Coast Guard

CH 26

CH 03

Malin Hd Hts

Malin Head Coast Guard

CH 23

CH 05

Scalp Mountain

Malin Head Coast Guard

CH 85

CH 01

Glen Hd Hts

Glen Head Coast Guard

CH 24

CH 03

 

The remaining sites of Carlingford (CH04), Wicklow (CH02), Mizen Head (CH04), Galway (CH04), Clew Bay (CH05), Donegal Bay (CH02), Lough Ree (CH62) and Lough Derg (CH61) will retain their respective currently assigned channel.

A map showing the radio sites including the new channels and a guide to transmissing VHF distress alerts are included in Marine Notice No 61 of 2020, which is available to download below

Published in Coastguard

The Irish Coast Guard’s Dublin-based helicopter was tasked to the rescue of a swimmer in difficulty off Greystones this afternoon, Wednesday 11 November.

TheJournal.ie reports that the middle-aged woman was one of a number of people swimming in the sea off the Co Wicklow town amid poor weather conditions, with a Status Yellow warning in place for heavy rain.

It’s understood a member of the public entered the water to reach the casualty with a flotation device, but they safely returned to land and the woman was subsequenty winched from the sea by the crew of Rescue 116.

TheJournal.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard

Cleggan Coast Guard in Connemara is long overdue a permanent base — and a local TD insists the village’s airstrip is the answer.

As the Connacht Tribune reports, Éamon Ó Cuív says it is unacceptable that the coastguard service for north Connemara has been seeking a fixed abode for so long.

A number of sites are being considered by the OPW — but Deputy Ó Cuív says none would be more suitable than the State-owned Cleggan Airstrip.

The Connacht Tribune has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard

Two people — one with an injured ankle — were rescued by the Irish Coast Guard after getting stuck on a cliff near the Baily Lighthouse on Howth Head yesterday afternoon (Sunday 11 October).

Howth Coast Guard’s cliff team reached the scene just as the Dublin-based helicopter Rescue 116 arrived, and it was decided the helicopter crew would recover the casualties to the cliff top.

The winchman was lowered with a double hoist lift both casualties, which TheJournal.ie reports were an adult and a teenager, to the top and into the care of the cliff team.

The younger of the pair had sustained an ankle injury that was not thought to be serious, but as a precaution they were stretched to the nearest road to meet an ambulance crew fro transfer to hospital.

“This was a lucky escape for the two casualties,” said a coastguard spokesperson.

“Due to the quick response by the public in calling 999 and giving an accurate location of the incident, rescue teams were able to quickly deploy.”

Published in Coastguard
Tagged under

The Irish Coast Guard is reminding mariners of its planned changes to the VHF working channels currently used for communications with the public.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, upgrades of radio equipment at a number of remote locations around the coast will be made over a 10-week period scheduled to begin tomorrow, Tuesday 6 October.

Notwithstanding the changes, which are also outlined in the previous report, Channel 16 will remain available at each site for distress, safety and calling.

Channel 67 is also available when required but may not be actively monitored at all times.

Updates as the work progresses will be made on the coastguard’s social media accounts in Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as well as on the gov.ie and Safety on the Water websites.

Published in Coastguard

The Irish Coast Guard saved 379 lives and assisted more than 3,500 people during the course of 2019.

The figures are included in the first annual report on Ireland’s National Search and Rescue Plan, which was published yesterday (Monday 21 September).

Also noted in the report, and is available to download below, the coastguard’s three rescue co-ordination centres managed a total of 2,500 incidents in 2019, broadly similar to figures for the previous two years.

And its fleet of Sikorsky S-92 rescue helicopters flew nearly 800 missions last year — the majority of these from its Sligo and Shannon bases on the West Coast.

“Given the additional challenges imposed this year by Covid-19, the report is a strong endorsement of the commitment and dedication of all those involved in search and rescue in Ireland,” said Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton, who published the report yesterday.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the new plan provided for a National SAR Committee which for the first time brings together all key stakeholders in maritime, land and aeronautical SAR under an independent chair.

Among the key lessons from its first year is that Ireland “already had a very well established SAR system in being” when the review began in 2018 “and the fundamental integrity of this system must be protected even while seeking improvements in effectiveness, oversight and safety”.

Its work for the coming year is, among other things, to identify and monitor the system’s key performance indicators.

“The new plan represents a step change in how we do and oversee search and rescue in Ireland,” Minister Naughton said.

“One year on, I am very pleased with the progress including continued strong working relations between the Irish Coast Guard, the Irish Aviation Authority and An Garda Síochána who provide these vital services.”

Published in Rescue

The Irish Coast Guard has revealed further details over an incident involving the activation of an emergency positioning beacon off West Cork last month.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Baltimore RNLI was called out to search or the EPIRB which activated two nautical miles west of the Calf Islands on the afternoon of Wednesday 19 August.

Despite an extensive operation which also involved Schull Coast Guard, a coastguard helicopter and the Naval Service vessel LÉ Samuel Beckett, nothing was found and the search was stood down by early evening.

‘…it is highly unusual to have detections of the type that was encountered on 19 August’

In response to further enquiries from Afloat.ie, the Irish Coast Guard said the EPIRB in question, which was last detected at Coosnagulling on the southwest of Long Island, “did not appear to be fully functional and the homing signal was not active.

“It was not registered in Ireland and registration details were not available. It was not of Irish origin.”

Confirming that the search was terminated with “no further action being deemed necessary”, the IRCG added: “Accidental activations of EPIRBs are not unusual but it is highly unusual to have detections of the type that was encountered on 19 August.

“Every effort was made to locate the device both inland and on the coast but as outlined above, the search proved to be unsuccessful given the operational gaps in the information that was available.”

Published in Water Safety

The Irish Coast Guard has proposed a series of changes to its VHF working channels later this year.

The move follows amendments to transmitting frequencies in order to harmonise the VHF maritime mobile band internationally, which also require the coastguard to upgrade its radio equipment at a number of sites.

These upgrades are expected to take place between Monday 5 October and mid December, with dates for the channel changeovers yet to be confirmed. The affected remote sites are listed below:

Site

Radio Call Sign

Current Channel

New Channel

Howth Hts

Dublin Coast Guard

CH 83

CH 03

Rosslare Hts

Rosslare Coast Guard

CH 23

CH 05

Mine Hd Hts

Mine Head Coast Guard

CH 83

CH 03

Cork Hts

Cork Coast Guard

CH 26

CH 02

Bantry Hts

Bantry Coast Guard

CH 23

CH 05

Valentia Hts

Valentia Coast Guard

CH 24

CH 62

Shannon Hts

Shannon Coast Guard

CH 28

CH 64

Belmullet Hts

Belmullet Coast Guard

CH 83

CH 63

Clifden Hts

Clifden Coast Guard

CH 26

CH 03

Malin Hd Hts

Malin Head Coast Guard

CH 23

CH 05

Scalp Mountain

Malin Head Coast Guard

CH 85

CH 01

Glen Hd Hts

Glen Head Coast Guard

CH 24

CH 03

 

The remaining sites of Carlingford, Wicklow, Mizen Head, Galway, Clew Bay, Donegal Bay, Galley Head, Lough Ree and Lough Derg will retain their currently assigned channel.

Channel 16 will remain available at each remote site for distress, safety and calling and will not be affected by these changes. Channel 67is also available when required but may not be actively monitored at all times.

As the upgrade work progresses, the Irish Coast Guard will inform the public that a channel has changed by the following means:

  • By broadcasting on the channel that will be changing in the days leading up to the switchover
  • The Irish Coast Guard’s social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
  • Updated information on the gov.ie website and the Safety on the Water website.

Further queries are directed to the coastguard at [email protected]

Published in Coastguard

On Saturday morning (29 August) the Irish Coast Guard was called on short notice to carry out the high-priority transport of a child to the UK for urgent medical treatment.

The Waterford-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 117 was scrambled for the important mission, with the crew flying the little boy to RAF Northolt in north-west London.

From there the young patient was transferred to the city’s King’s College Hospital for a lifesaving organ transplant.

“This multi-agency operation saw many people and agencies involved,” the Irish Coast Guard said. “Well done to all those involved.”

Published in Coastguard
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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