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Displaying items by tag: Killybegs

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has been advised by TechWorks Marine that the lantern on the monitoring buoy in Killybegs Harbour has stopped working.

The buoy is part of environmental oceanographic monitoring for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in a project that began last September, and can be found at 54° 37.03' N, 008° 26.40' W.

The buoy is deployed on a dual mooring. Two small marker buoys indicate the locations of each of the buoy’s moorings. Vessel traffic will need to avoid this area.

The lantern will be repaired as soon as possible on the next viable tide and weather window. For further information contact TechWorks Marine at 01 236 5990.

Published in Marine Warning

Dredging and quay construction works will be underway at Smooth Point, Killybegs Fishery Harbour Centre from late October 2019 until July 2020.

Plant on site shall include the Capall Mara Backhoe Dredger (Callsign: MBSF3), modular pontoon dredgers, split hopper barges, tugs and other smaller vessels. Appendix 1 provides details of the location in which these works are to take place.

The works will also entail the disposal of dredge sediments at a permitted dumpsite in Donegal Bay.

For safety reasons, mariners are requested to stay clear of these sites for the duration of the works in the harbour and are requested to proceed with caution in the area of the new pier and the vicinity of the dumpsite when disposal operations are on-going. Wave wash from vessels should be avoided.

For further information, please contact Killybegs Harbour Master’s Office on +353 (0)74 9731032.

Published in Coastal Notes
Tagged under

Both the Irish Naval Service and Air Corps, reports The Irish Times, are being primed to protect Irish sea fishing areas and vessels in a no-deal Brexit amid industry fears of tensions between EU and non-EU trawlers.

The UK crashing out of the EU without a deal would shut off British fishing waters to Irish trawlers and deprive the domestic fleet of access to lucrative fishing grounds that account for a third of the Irish catch.

The exclusion of fishing fleets from other EU member states from British waters would in turn increase the number of French, Spanish and Belgian trawlers in Irish fishing waters.

Sean O’Donoghue, chief executive of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation, one of the country’s biggest fishing industry groups, warned that there would be “flashpoints” in the Irish Sea and waters off the north-west and south-west Irish coasts if no arrangements are put in place in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The newspaper has more here on the story.

Published in Fishing

As part of Project Ireland 2040, The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, announced the signing of a €14.7 million capital works contract to deliver a 120m long quay development and associated works at Smooth Point, Killybegs Fishery Harbour Centre, Co. Donegal.

Welcoming the signing of the contract with contractor ABCO/Fugro JV, the Minister said “This is a very significant investment for the North West coast of Ireland which will be a big boost to Killybegs and Donegal in general. The Project will add a further 120 metres of workable quay space in the harbour and, as a result, will improve safety conditions in the harbour by alleviating congestion during the peak fishing season at this major port.”

This is the second phase of the Smooth Point project, the first phase involved the removal and disposal of contaminated sediments and cost in the region of €6.6m. This final phase which involves the removal of the remaining uncontaminated sediments and construction of the additional 120m quay wall was subject of a public tendering process. It is expected that works will commence in September and that the project will be substantially completed within 9 months.

The Minister went on to say that “In approving this development, I have taken account of the unprecedented success of the previous major harbour development in 2004 in increasing fish landings, driving on the development of the onshore downstream industries and attracting other commercial marine traffic in Killybegs. That success has resulted in the need for a further major expansion to manage current activity levels and future proof the harbour. This major quay wall extension will provide long-term berthing for approximately 10 large pelagic fishing trawlers and will facilitate safe stern-on berthing for the largest vessels in the Atlantic fleet.”

Minister Creed explained that “Government Policy is to substantially increase the landings into Ireland from all vessels that fish in the waters around Ireland. We want to see Ireland become the hub for all the marine activities that can be generated by the sustainable harvesting of these renewable resources in our marine sphere. Developing our Fishery Harbour Centres , such as Killybegs, to facilitate our industry and be able to attract and handle these landings is a key step in achieving our ambitions in this area, in line with the Governments integrated marine development strategy “Harnessing our Ocean Wealth” ”

In summing up, the Minister said “I view this project as a testament not only to this Governments support for the Killybegs fishing industry and the ongoing development of the wider seafood sector, but also to our commitment to the social and economic development of rural coastal communities. When completed, the new facilities will be on a par with the best in Europe, and will significantly drive forward the fishing industry and local economy in Donegal and allow for a major expansion of the seafood support sector and other marine-related industries in the North West. Killybegs has seen a marked increase in the number of cruise ships and cargo vessels docking in the harbour over recent years and it has also become the port of choice for the importation of wind turbines. The expanded landing facilities and increased quay space will provide further opportunities for greater economic diversification.”

The project has been approved in principle for funding under Ireland’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Operational Programme, co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union.

The Minister concluded that “the Irish seafood industry faces ongoing challenges, such as the significant challenge of Brexit. By providing world-class landing facilities for our industry and for the many other EU vessels that we wish to operate out of Ireland , we are protecting our coastal communities and creating the opportunity for the seafood industry to continue to grow, prosper and facilitate a simultaneous growth of other ancillary marine industries.”

Published in Irish Harbours
Tagged under

#Lifeboats - Crosshaven RNLI launched to the aid of an injured fisherman off Graball Bay yesterday morning (Thursday 14 March).

The volunteer crew of the Crosshaven inshore lifeboat, John and Janet, were paged at 10.27am to assist a 10m fishing vessel with an injured crewman onboard.

With Aidan O’Connor in command and Norman Jackson, Georgia Keating and Molly Murphy onboard, the lifeboat met with the incoming casualty boat off Graball Bay some 12 minutes later.

Two of the lifeboat crew transferred to the fishing boat to administer casualty care to the injured man, who was in severe pain from a suspected broken arm and a head injury.

As it was deemed too dangerous due to the sea state, and too painful for the casualty, to be transferred back to the lifeboat, the fishing vessel continued to Crosshaven under escort before the injured man was handed into the care of paramedics for transfer to hospital.

Speaking following the callout, Crosshaven RNLI deputy launching authority Hugh Mokler said: “The volunteer crew responded quickly and made the casualty, who was in a great deal of pain as comfortable as possible until they were able to hand over to the ambulance service. Today, their casualty care training made a difference.”

Elsewhere, the body of a West Cork fisherman was recovered from the shoreline at Killybegs, shortly after he was reported missing yesterday afternoon.

As BreakingNews.ie reports, the man in his 50s had been working on a Cork-based boat that was docked in the Donegal fishery harbour.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#cruiseliners - Killybegs, Co. Donegal this summer will be visited by 12 cruise ships carrying 11,313 passengers.

The season DonegalNow reports will mark a first for the port town in that one of the cruise ships will berth overnight.

Barney McLaughlin who is Administrative Officer, Community and Development with Donegal Municipal District (MD) made the announcement at the January MD meeting.

He said that the overnight would take place on a Saturday and Sunday in June.

“There will be 1,300 passengers doing an overnight stay, the first we hope of many,” said Mr McLaughlin.

The ship will be carrying passengers from Germany and the USA.

Another ship will visit Killybegs on three separate occasions this year.

“This shows that Killybegs is becoming very popular,” said Mr McLaughlin.

To read more click here.

Published in Cruise Liners
Tagged under

#MarineNotice - The Marine Engineering Division of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is undertaking dredging works at Smooth Point in Killybegs Fishery Harbour Centre from this month till March 2018.

Plant on site shall include the backhoe dredger Capall Mara (Callsign IJFN2) as well as modular pontoon flat top dredge barges, tugs and other smaller vessels.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is also undertaking works at the east side of the Auction Hall/Landing Pier involving the installation of additional steel fendering along the face of the pier and the construction of mooring dolphins at the start of the pier.

These works shall involve the use of heavy civil engineering drilling and lifting plant. There will be a jack-up barge and a spud barge on-site during the works. Divers shall also be employed at the beginning and at the end of the project.

For safety reasons mariners are requested to stay clear of these sites during the works in the harbour and are requested to proceed with caution in the area of the new pier and the Auction Hall/Landing Pier. Wave wash from vessels should be avoided.

Further details of these works are included in Marine Notice No 58 of 2017, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

#MarineNotice - TechWorks Marine advises that it is planning to deploy a marine monitoring buoy in Killybegs Bay that will be in place from this month till March 2018.

Part of the oceanographic monitoring for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the buoy will be deployed on a dual mooring from the vessel Sinbad (Callsign EI7799).

The buoy will remain on site for a period of up to five months, after which it will be retrieved by a chartered vessel and the retrieval team.

A Sealight installed on the buoy which will give out five yellow flashes every 20 seconds. The light is visible for up to three nautical miles.

The buoy has a Special Mark as well as a small marker buoy indicating the location of each of the buoy’s moorings.

During the extent of deployment, vessel traffic will need to avoid the area. For both deployment and recovery the VHF channels monitored will be Channel 14 (Killybegs Harbour working channel) and Channel 16.

Details of the deployment are included in Marine Notice No 52 of 2017, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#MarineNotice - Piling and pontoon installation works were set to commence yesterday (Tuesday 8 August) at Killybegs Fishery Harbour Centre in Co Donegal.

The works, scheduled to be completed by Monday 16 October are being carried out by an 18m x 18m jack-up barge and a 22m x 10m spud barge, and involve use of heavy civil engineering drilling and lifting plant. Divers will also be employed.

For safety reasons, mariners are requested to stay clear of the jack-up barge and spud barge during these construction works, and are requested to proceed slowly and with caution in the area of the Black Rock Pier, Town Pier, slipway and the small craft harbour. Wave wash from vessels should be avoided. See Marine Notice No 33 of 2017 for more details.

Elsewhere, Wind Cable Recovery is working on the recovery of two out-of-service communication cables (TAT 1 North Cable & TAT 1 South Cable) using vessels MV Layla (Callsign V2YX9) and the MV Lida (Callsign V2YF4). 

The recovery of these cables in the Atlantic north-west of Ireland to be completed by 10 September 2017.

These vessels will be restricted in their ability to manoeuvre. All other vessels are requested to give this operation a wide berth.

The project vessel will be listening on VHF Channel 16 throughout the project. Further details are included in Marine Notice No 32 of 2017.

Published in News Update
Tagged under

#MCIB - Two fishing crew died after exposure to toxic gases that were not detected within their trawler's refrigeration system, according to the official findings on the incident in Killybegs a year ago.

The new report from the Maritime Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) also recommends the issue of a Marine Notice warning fishing crews of the hazards of toxic gases within closed spaces on board their vessels.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the tragedy occurred when the two men were cleaning refrigeration tanks on the fishing vessel Oileán an Óir in Killybegs Harbour on Monday 24 August 2015.

When one man was overcome by fumes upon entering the port-side tank, his colleague was similarly overcome when going to his aid. Both were rescued from the tank and removed to hospital for treatment, but later died as a result of the inhalation of lethal levels of hydrogen sulphide gas.

The MCIB report determined that the gas, a common byproduct from the breakdown of organic matter such as fish, was held in solution within water that had not been fully flushed out of the trawler's refrigeration system after the end of the pelagic fishing season five months prior.

When the two crew members ran harbour water through the system to flush out the tanks, the gases released remained in the confined spaces.

The report highlights that while the trawler's refrigeration system lacked gauges or sensors to detect toxic fumes, it was also standard practice for the crew to enter the tanks for various purposes, such that the first crew member "would not have perceived the danger that this action posed to him or the repercussions to the safety" of his crewmate.

"Fatalities due to enclosed space entry is an issue of considerable concern" within the merchant shipping sector, the report adds, despite the hazards of toxic gases in such spaces being "well known in the broader marine industry".

The full MCIB report on the Oileán an Óir incident is available to download below.

Published in MCIB
Page 1 of 4

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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