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Displaying items by tag: Mayo

The Irish Times reports that a 35-year-old man was airlifted to hospital with serious spinal injuries after a diving incident in Co Cork yesterday afternoon (Monday 1 June).

It’s understood that the man was diving from rocks near Nohoval Cove, between Kinsale and Crosshaven, when his foot caught and he landed on rocks.

Kinsale RNLI and gardaí attended the scene along with the Irish Coast Guard, which airlifted the casualty on board the Shannon-based Rescue 115 helicopter to Cork University Hospital.

Elsewhere, the search resumed this morning for a five-year-old boy believed to have fallen from a dinghy on Lough Mask.

RTÉ News reports that gardaí and the coastguard are searching the west side of the lough near Toormakeady in Co Mayo.

Published in Rescue

Mariners off the Mayo coast are advised to be on the lookout for two separate undersea operations from next week.

From Sunday 17 May, America Europe Connect 2 will be installing a subsea fibre optic cable in Irish waters to Oldhead, near Westport.

The works from the CS Responder involve a pre-lay grapnel run until Tuesday 19 May, followed by the cable installation from Wednesday 20 May to Tuesday 16 June, weather permitting.

Three other vessels will also be involved in these works, fun details of which are included in Marine Notice No 21 of 2020 attached below.

Meanwhile, Vermillion Ireland will begin a near shore inspection survey of the Corrib gas pipeline and umbilical from next Wednesday 20 May.

Details of the locations and vessels involved can be found in Marine Notice No 20 of 2020, also attached below.

Published in Marine Warning

The original owner of a mystery houseboat that washed up on the Mayo coast three years ago has been traced to western Canada, as RTÉ News reports.

The wooden vessel, which was fitted with solar panels, was recovered for restoration by locals with a view to becoming a tourist attraction for the North-West.

On an interior wall, it included a message from a ‘Rick Small’ offering it for free as a dwelling for homeless youth in Newfoundland.

It appeared that the houseboat was owned by the same Rick Small who gained some celebrity in Canada in 2014 for riding a solar-powered tricycle across the country.

And that’s since been confirmed by Canada’s CTV News, who traced Small (64) to his home in Victoria, British Columbia — and learned that he built the vessel himself for an intended voyage from Newfoundland around the Arctic.

CTV News has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
Tagged under

New Marine Notices from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) remind skippers and crew of small fishing vessels of the requirements set out in the relevant Code of Practice, following the official maritime reports into two fatal incidents off the West Coast last year.

Marine Notice No 38 of 2019 has been published in response to a fatal fishing boat capsize off Co Mayo in the spring of 2018, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

One man died and two others were recovered some 16 miles off Eagle Island after their vessel, the FV Aisling Patrick, overturned on the afternoon of 10 April last year.

The report from the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) clarifies that their vessel had begun to list to starboard and while that was being investigated, a wave struck from the port side and flooded the deck.

Before the skipper could complete a Mayday call, a second wave came from the port side that capsized the boat.

Only one of the three made it into the vessel’s liferaft, while the deceased “was in the water face down and did not make any attempt to swim or stay afloat”.

The upturned hull of the vessel drifted away but was reported off South Uist in Scotland some three weeks after the incident and later inspected.

While the MCIB report did not determine conclusively the cause of the capsize, it was noted that the vessel’s stability was affected due to water ingress — possibly from suboptimal pipe connections — and that the bilge alarm system did not give early warning to the skipper or crew.

Among other findings, it was noted that none of the three men on board was wearing a personal flotation device (PFD), and that the deceased — who had been returning to fishing after a number of years away — had not completed necessary training.

The Marine Notice reminds owners that any major repairs or modifications must comply with the Code of Practice (CoP), and that their vessel must be maintained and operated in accordance with its requirements.

A second Marine Notice, No 39 of 2019, pertains to the investigation into the sinking of a small boat while laying lobster pots off Connemara on 23 May 2018.

As reported here by Lorna Siggins earlier this month, the MCIB found that the boat’s owner, who died in the incident, had purchased a substantial amount of safety equipment — almost none of which was on board at the time.

The notice refers to the same CoP as well as to the advisory published this summer relating to the safety of small vessels engaged in pot fishing.

Published in MCIB

The Marine Institute’s research facility in Newport, Co Mayo will open its doors to primary school children this week and to the general public for an open day this Sunday 14 April from 11am to 4pm.

Primary pupils from Newport, Kilmeena, Carrowaholly, Glenhest, Knockroosky and Snugboro schools in Co Mayo will visit the Newport Catchment Facility on today and tomorrow (Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 April) to speak with marine scientists and view the freshwater hatchery and fish rearing facilities on site.

A number of PhD candidates will also be available to talk to students about their subject choices and potential careers in the marine sector.

Beavers and cubs from the Westport and Ballyhaunis Scout groups will have an opportunity to tour the facility this Saturday 13 April.

And the open day at Newport Catchment Facility thus Sunday offers an opportunity for visitors to view the facilities in the Burrishoole Valley and learn more about the research taking place at the site.

A range of cutting-edge research is undertaken at the Newport Catchment Facility including genetics work across several species of salmon, sea bass, pollock and bluefin tuna, as well as research on catchment ecosystems events, climate change, oceanography and aquaculture.

Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan said: “We welcome visitors to our Newport facility to see the work that is being undertaken by scientists and postdoctoral students that not only contributes to national research, but also has international relevance.

“Our open day is also an opportunity to engage the public and increase awareness of the value and opportunities of our marine resource, a goal of Ireland’s marine plan Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth.”

Published in Marine Science

#Angling - Seán Kyne, Minister of State with responsibility for the inland fisheries sector, has signed off three new angling bye-laws which affect the Corrib catchment in Galway and Mayo.

The bye-laws, which have been requested by local angling clubs, concern the Abbert and Grange Rivers, the Clare River and the Cong River and Canal, and reflect the support of the clubs for the conservation imperative and the sustainable management of the local fisheries resource.

The Abbert and Grange Rivers (Annual Close Season) Bye-Law extends the closed season for all angling on the Abbert and Grange Rivers by two months to cover the period from the 1st of September until the 31st of March annually.

This bye-law is being introduced at the request of the angling clubs on the Clare system and will act as a vital conservation measure.

Both rivers make a significant contribution to wild brown trout stocks in the Clare River system and Lough Corrib. The new bye-law will afford greater protection to spawning salmonids in these two very important tributaries of the Clare River.

The Western Fisheries Region River Clare (Revocation) Bye-Law permits all legal angling methods on the Clare River from Daly’s Bridge in the townland of Corrandrum to a point 300 metres upstream of the footbridge at Anbally in the townlands of Anbally and Turloughmartin, Co Galway.

This section of river was previously restricted to fly fishing only. However, this new bye-law will bring this short section of the river into line with the rest of the Clare River. This bye-law was introduced at the request of the local angling club.

The Upper and Lower Limits of Cong River and Cong Canal Bye-Law clearly defines the upstream boundary between Lough Mask and the Cong Canal and the downstream boundary between the Cong River and Lough Corrib.

The purpose of the bye-law is to enable the effective enforcement of legislation governing the open angling seasons for trout and salmon on the Cong Canal/River as these differ from the open seasons for these species on Loughs Corrib and Mask.

This bye-law will also remove any difficulty in identifying the correct angling season at the extremities of the Cong River/Canal and will afford greater protection to highly prized ferox trout which are known to spawn in the Cong River/Canal.

“We welcome the introduction of these bye-laws in Galway and Mayo which will help us to enforce relevant legislation and enhance the resource in the long term,” said Inland Fisheries Ireland chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne.

“The introductions of these bye-laws follow public consultations whereby stakeholders were invited to input their views and insights into the proposed new regulations. Inland Fisheries Ireland’s fisheries officers will now protect these rivers in line with the new laws in place.”

Anglers are requested to familiarise themselves with the details of the new bye-laws, which can be found on the website of the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment.

Published in Angling

#RNLI - Ballyglass RNLI’s lifeboat crew had an unusual callout on Monday evening (14 May) when they were launched to recover a runaway barge that had drifted to the Mayo coast across the Atlantic from Canada more than 3,000km away.

The large floating barge had broken from its moorings in Labrador in north-east Canada last November, and after six months at sea was spotted and reported by a passing fishing vessel earlier on Monday.

Ballyglass RNLI received the call to launch last night at 7.20pm. On arriving on scene, the lifeboat crew found a steel barge measuring 26 metres by 16 metres, which was unsecured and floating.

The lifeboat crew established a tow and brought the barge back to Ballyglass Harbour.

However, with no room to berth such a large barge safely, it was put on the lifeboat mooring before a more permanent solution could be found. The crew were not stood down until 2am this morning.

All in all, it took the lifeboat crew seven hours to secure the barge and and bring it safely to Ballyglass.

Commenting on the shout, Ballyglass RNLI lifeboat operations manager Padraic Sheeran said: “We were not expecting this type of callout at all. You do hear of vessels and craft breaking free of moorings but it’s unusual to have one drift thousands of kilometres and have to be rescued by lifeboat.

“On a serious note though, it represented a major navigational danger to any vessel that it collided with and it was a relief to have it safely recovered.”

The callout will remind Afloat.ie readers of the houseboat that drifted from Newfoundland to the Mayo coast in November 2016.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Irish Mirror reports that a man has died after a fishing boat capsized off the Mayo coast yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 10 April).

It’s understood that the deceased was a man in his 50s from North Mayo. He was one of three men recovered from a life raft some 16 miles off Eagle Island after their vessel sank.

Ballyglass RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard’s Sligo-based helicopter Rescue 118 were immediately tasked to search the area when a Mayday broadcast was picked up shortly after 12.30pm.

Rescue 118 spotted flares less than an hour later and proceeded to airlift the casualties for transfer to Sligo University Hospital.

Published in News Update

The Marine Institute’s Research Facility in Furnace, Newport, Co Mayo will open its doors on Saturday 14 April from 11am to 4pm.

The open day is for all, and visitors will have the opportunity to view the facility for studying migratory fish, located in the Burrishoole Valley

Visitors will be able to learn more about the history of the facility and the marine science projects taking place at the site. 

They will also have the opportunity to speak with researchers, scientists and staff at the Newport facility. A number of PhD candidates will be available to talk to students about their subject choices and potential careers in the marine sector.

Visitors can look through microscopes to see freshwater invertebrates, view fish species up-close in the aquarium displays and learn how to read a salmon scale. 

There’s also the chance to visit the manual climate station and see the instruments used to collect daily data for Met Éireann.

The Marine Institute describes its facility in Newport as “a unique research centre” where a range of research is undertaken, including genetics work across several species of salmon, sea bass, pollock and bluefin tuna, as well as studies on catchment ecosystems events, climate change, oceanography and aquaculture.

The facility, which has been in operation since 1955, includes laboratories, a freshwater hatchery, fish rearing facilities, fish census trapping stations, a salmonid angling fishery and a monitored freshwater lake and river catchment.

Published in Marine Science

#ClegganBay - The Irish Times writes on Saturday’s (28 October) memorial service for lives lost in the Cleggan Bay Disaster 90 years ago.

Forty-five men, many of them from Connemara, died after a sudden and severe storm hit a small fleet fishing for herring off the Mayo coast in October 1927.

Descendants of some of those whose lives were taken in the tragedy gathered at a memorial at Lacken pier on Saturday which also paid tribute to diver Michael Heffernan, who was lost in a cave rescue in the region in October 1997.

Masses were also held in Claddaghduff and on Inishbofin, which was home to many of those lost in the incident.

The commemoration had an additional resonance with the loss of five Irish Coast Guard personnel in recent months — the crew of Rescue 116 and volunteer Caitriona Lucas, who was posthumously awarded the State’s highest honour earlier this month.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
Page 1 of 6

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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