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#Rowing: Enniskillen’s girls’ and boys’ eights both shone at the Schools’ Head of the River in London today. Strong, gusting winds made conditions difficult – the numbers allowed to compete were cut because of this – but the Enniskillen RBC girls’ championship eight took fourth, while the boys’ championship eight were sixth. The boys’ crew placed sixth overall, 32.8 seconds behind the winners, Shiplake College.  

Schools’ Head of the River, London (Irish interest)

Boys – Overall: 1 Shiplake College A Boys’ Championship Eight 16 min 36.6 seconds; 6 Enniskillen RBC Championship Eight 17:09.4.

Girls – Championship Eight: 1 Henley RC 18:44.2; 4 Enniskillen RBC 18:57.9.

Published in Rowing

#Speedboat - A man has been sentenced to six years in prison for the manslaughter of a woman who died after his speedboat crashed in London three years agp.

According to The Guardian, Jack Shepherd (31) was absent from sentencing at the Old Bailey after skipping bail, and police currently have a warrant out for his arrest.

The jurors heard that in December 2015, Shepherd took his date Charlotte Brown (24) to his speedboat on the River Thames while both were under the influence of alcohol, and allowed her to drive the vessel at “full throttle”.

The boat crashed into a submerged log before capsizing and throwing both Shepherd and Brown into the river.

Brown showed symptoms of hypothermia and cardiac arrest when she was recovered from the water, and was pronounced dead later.

Neither Brown nor Shepherd was wearing a lifejacket, and Shepherd — who had previously been pulled over a number of times for speeding on the river — admitted in a police interview that he did not inform Brown, who had no boating experience, about the safety devices on board.

Police also said the speedboat itself had a number of defects, including a ‘wobble’ in its steering.

Mail Online has video recorded by Brown on her phone of part of the pair’s speedboat trip, in which she can be heard commenting that Shepherd was “going so fast”.

Judge Richard Marks QC, in his sentencing remarks, said Shepherd had a “totally cavalier attitude to safety”. The Guardian has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update
Tagged under

#Rowing: Enniskillen RBC had two outstanding results at the Schools’ Head of the River in London. The girls’ eight won their category, the First Eights, and were fifth overall. The boys’ eight finished second in the equivalent category behind Bedford. When the revised results were published this placed them 10th overall, the best placing by an Irish crew at the event since 2010, when Bann Rowing Club finished ninth and 2011 when Portora (now Enniskillen) matched this. Enniskillen finished seventh in an event shortened due to weather in 2017.

Schools’ Head of the River, London (Selected Results; Irish interest; REVISED)

Men, Schools First Eight: 1 Bedford 17 min 15.1 sec; 2 Enniskillen Royal Boat Club (S Balcombe, R Mills, M McBrien, P Murphy, O Donaghy, J McDade, J Kennedy, N Timoney; cox: R Farragher) 17:18.4; 16 Methodist, Belfast A 19:10.2

First Junior 16 Eight: 9 Methody 19:44.4. 

Sculling, Quadruple – Championship: 17 Methody 19:15.6.

Women, Schools First Eight: 1 Enniskillen RBC (T McComb, A Corry, V Wilson, C Leonard, Z McCutcheon, M Donnelly, J Long; C Fee; cox: S Dolan) 19:01.3; 13 Methody 21:49.7.

 

Published in Rowing

There's been a big shout out for the Irish Marine Federation (IMF) stand at this week's London Boat Show from UK boaters who have been 'surprised to learn' of the range of sailing club and marina facilities available around the Irish coastline. But there have also been expressions of thanks from Irish visitors to the International Show at Excel who are delighted to see Ireland showcased as a maritime destination.

According to stand executive Ciara Dowling, the biggest surprise among some UK boaters visiting the stand (F046) has been the map of Ireland showing over 60 marina locations. Many visitors, she says, simply had not known of the existence of many Irish marina, jetty and pontoon locations, a situation the Irish Marina Federation are keen to rectify.

UK boater feed back from the show so far indicates the close proximity of Wales to Dublin and Ireland's attractive berthing rates compared with the current high value of  Sterling against the Euro could be a factor to entice UK boaters to cruise Ireland and even moor boats here in the longer term.

Irish marine federation london

Gerry Salmon of MGM Boats and Paal Janson of Dun Laoghaire on the first ever IMF stand at this week's London Boat Show in Excel.

Published in Irish Marinas

#TowerBridge - BBC News reports of nine people injured after a sightseeing boat crashed into Tower Bridge on the River Thames in central London yesterday morning (Wednesday 4 June).

Five were hospitalised after the included, including a 64-year-old woman believed to have suffered head and pelvic injuries when she fell down steel steps in the collision.

Two more were checked on scene by paramedics and given the all clear, while two others made their own way to get treatment.

The vessel in question, the Millennium Diamond, continued after the crash with only minor damage sustained to St Katharine Docks just east of Tower Bridge, where emergency crews took the injured ashore.

Mail Online has more on the story including images from the scene HERE.

Published in News Update
Tagged under

#RowingCourse: Deane Public Works from Fermanagh will be awarded the main construction contract for the new rowing course at Lough Rynn in County Leitrim. The specialist work of design, supply and installation of the lanes will sub-contracted to Polaritas, a company from Budapest in Hungary. According to Leitrim County Council, the company have worked on the rowing courses for the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games and will work on the installation of the rowing course for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

The design/build contract for Lough Rynn involves the design, supply and installation of an eight-lane Albano Rowing Course to meet FISA (Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Aviron) Standards. The course will also be adjustable to meet canoe sprint competition rules of the International Canoe Federation.

The course may be finished by the end of this year.

Published in Rowing

#sailforgold–Annalise Murphy believes she is on track for a top ten finish in her debut Olympics following a fine week at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta writes our special correspondent Paul Smith.

The Irish Laser Radial sailor picked up a win and a third place from her two races on day four in Weymouth, as the series entered the gold fleet stage.

Murphy, of Dublin, is now ranked fifth overall, with China's Lijia Xu in first and Britain's Alison Young second. Sari Mutala, of Finland, is third.

The National Yacht Club's Murphy is pleased with how her week has gone so far as she steps up her preparations for London 2012, and she is keen to illustrate her credentials.

"I've had a pretty consistent week, I had one bad race on Wednesday which is probably going to affect me overall in the end but I'm pretty happy," said the 22-year-old, who picked up a further first place on day three.

"I have had much more consistent results than usual so it is good.

"I came here and wanted to be in the top ten to get some medal experience, because every medal race here is important as it is like a step towards the Olympics.

"This will be my first Olympics so I am just going to try and get a good experience. I want to finish in the top ten and hopefully that will give me a good stepping stone towards 2016 but I don't know, anything can happen."

Providence Resources is the sponsor of the Irish Olympic Sailors

Investment specialist Skandia is the principal sponsor of the British sailing team 


Published in Olympics 2012

#sailforgold – Three Irish boats in the top ten of the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta marks a new high for the Irish Olympic sailing team with team efforts now focused on ensuring early advantages are maintained through consistent sailing as the competition edges closer to Saturday's medal race finals.

Although Peter O'Leary and David Burrows have lost their overall lead they have maintained a strong position in the top of the Star fleet. They had a seventh and a fiftth today which leaves them 3rd overall. Significantly it is the strongest competitors who have passed them out, Percy & Simpson (GBR) and Scheidt & Prada (BRA) who lead in first and second respectively.

The weather had improved slightly from Tuesday's inclement conditions, but it was still another tough day on the water. The moderate wind from the south-west peaked at around 19 knots, providing challenging sailing conditions in which only the best could thrive.

Belfast skiff pair Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern had their third race win of the championship in the 49er class. The duo move up three places to ninth overall following an additional ninth and third in their other two races of the day.

In the Laser Radial Annalise Murphy of Dun Laoghaire also had a race win, finishing first in her second race of the day. Combined with the 15th from her first race she is inside the top 10, now seventh overall.

Unfortunately Ger Owens & Scott Flanigan were disqualified from their first race of the day. They slip one position to 24th overall following their 9th place in the second race of the day.

Laser sailor James Espey finished 25th and 28th in his two races. He lies 52nd overall in the 95 boat fleet.

And in the Paralympic Sonar class, John Twomey, Ian Costello and Anthony Hegarty lie 12th overall.

Published in Olympics 2012
Tagged under

#CANOEING - The Irish Times reports that Eoin Rheinisch and Ciarán Heurteau have secured their canoe slalom qualification spots for London 2012 after last weekend's selection races in Lucan.

Three places were up for grabs in the men's K1, with the third yet to be confirmed after fourth-placed Patrick Hynes contested a touch on a gate by third-place finisher Sam Curtis.

Canoeing Ireland's recently appointed general manager Karl Dunne said the objection is currently being considered.

Meanwhile, in the women's K1, the qualifying spots went go Hannah Craig, Helen Barnes and Aisling Conlon.

The qualifiers will be part of the European Championships in Augusburg, Germany from 10-13 May, where Olympic spots are available for boats from two countries not already qualified.

Published in Canoeing

#OLYMPICS 2012 - The RNLI will play a "key role" during the Olympic torch relay ahead of the London games this summer, as Yachting and Boating World reports.

On 28 May the Olympic torch is set to visit Anglesey in north Wales, when it is taken along the Menai Strait on board the RNLI's Annette Mary Liddington.

The torch will again be carried by RNLI volunteers on 18 July when it is ferried to shore from a tall ship in Dover harbour aboard the all-weather lifeboat City of London II.

Dover RNLI's operations manager Roy Couzens said: “We are very much looking forward to being involved on the day – and believe me, when that torch is at sea in our lifeboat, it couldn’t be in safer hands!”

The Olympic torch relay begins in Plymouth on 19 May and finishes at the Olympic Stadium on 27 July. Its two-month-long journey will take it throughout Britain and Northern Ireland, and includes a visit to Dublin on Wednesday 6 June.

An interactive map of the complete torch relay route is available on the official London 2012 website HERE.

Published in Olympics 2012
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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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