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Displaying items by tag: Rossnowlagh

Seven northern bottlenose whales have died in what’s been described as the largest mass stranding of its kind in Ireland.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) confirmed the deaths to RTÉ News after the incident was reported on Rossnowlagh beach yesterday, Wednesday 19 August.

However, it was hoped that the eighth whale, which refloated in the shallows after the tide came in, would make it back to deeper waters of its own accord.

The IWDG urged the public to keep their distance from the whales after “upsetting news” that crowds had formed to take selfies next to the distressed marine wildlife.

“We know very little about them, but they are prone to mass strandings,” IWDG chief executive Simon Berrow told TheJournal.ie. “This is the largest mass stranding of this species ever in Ireland.”

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Surfing - Fifty years of Irish surfing will be celebrated in Rossnowlagh this month, as the Donegal Democrat reports.

A gala dinner during the Rossnowlagh Intercounties next weekend (15-16 October) will mark five decades since the formation of what was then the Surf Club of Ireland by Kevin Cavey, who was influenced by images of surfing in a Reader’s Digest magazine.

Cavey himself inspired the legendary Britton clan in Rossnowlagh, and the family’s Sandhouse Hotel soon became a focal point for Irish wave-riding.

Fast-forward to today and Ireland, and the North West in particular, is among the world’s stop surfing destinations, producing world-class talent such as women’s surf pioneer Easkey Britton.

But the Irish Surfing Association’s golden jubilee dinner at the Sandhouse next Saturday 15 October is an opportunity to look back fondly at memories and happenings from Irish surfing’s earliest days. Irish Surfing has more HERE.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - A Donegal surfing school has raised €20,000 for its expansion via peer-to-peer lending, as Donegal Now reports.

Fin McCool Surf School in Rossnowlagh aims to complete renovations of its new base in the town thanks to funds raised via Irish 'crowdlending' providers Linked Finance.

"Growing demand means it’s now time for us to invest further into our facilities and we’re delighted to be partnering with Linked Finance to refurbish our new premises," said owner Neil Britton, cousin of Irish women's surfing pioneer Easkey Britton.

Donegal Now has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing
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#SURFING - Landlocked Laois may not be the known for its surfing prowess, but the Midlands county's waveriders have a busy winter season ahead of them, as the Leinster Express reports.

Laois Surf Club members regularly frequent the popular surfing spots of Ireland's west coast, and this autumn and winter is no exception.

First up was last weekend's Lahinch Longboard Contest organised by the West Coast Surf Club, to be followed by the annual inter-counties competition in Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal on 13-14 October.

“Being landlocked in Laois is a disadvantage but not a deterrent for those of us who enjoy and love surfing, it’s such good fun, healthy and you always feel great after a two-hour stint in the water,” said club chairman Steve Kidd.

The Leinster Express has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing

#SURFING - The Irish Independent reports that the cream of Ireland's lifeguards comepeted at the National Surf Lifesaving Championships at Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal at the weekend.

Some 140 top lifesavers took part in events featuring a combination of surfing, surf-skiing and beach sprinting on the sun-and-surf-splashed strand - part of the preparations for November's World Lifesaving Championships in Australia.

Teams from Co Clare took the men's and over-30s titles - following the county's success at the European Lifesaving Championships in Sweden last month - while the women's top spot went to locals Donegal.

"Surf lifeguards have vital skills and every part of their training was on display," event organiser Seamus O'Neill of Irish Water Safety told the Independent.

Published in Surfing
The final line-up has been confirmed for Ireland's team at the European Surfing Championships in Bundoran later this week.
Rossnowlagh's John Britton joins his cousin Easkey Britton in the strong squad aiming for Eurosurf gold.
The rest of the team includes two-time Irish national champ Shane Meehan; former Irish Open Champion Stephen Kilfeather; and multiple-time women's body board champion Ashleigh Smith.
Also in the squad are Cain Kilcullen from Enniscrone; open surfer Oliver O’Flaherty; 2008 WSCS Longboard Champion Stephen Kelleher; Irish Student Champion Ronan Oertzen; Bundoran's Shauna Ward; body boarder Darragh McCarter; and Irish team veterans John McCurry and Richie Fitzgerald.
The action kicks off in Bundoran on 23 September with the competition running till 2 October.

The final line-up has been confirmed for Ireland's team at the European Surfing Championships in Bundoran later this week.

Rossnowlagh's John Britton joins his cousin Easkey Britton in the strong squad aiming for Eurosurf gold.

The rest of the team includes two-time Irish national champ Shane Meehan; former Irish Open Champion Stephen Kilfeather; and multiple-time women's body board champion Ashleigh Smith.

Also in the squad are Cain Kilcullen from Enniscrone; open surfer Oliver O’Flaherty; 2008 WSCS Longboard Champion Stephen Kelleher; Irish Student Champion Ronan Oertzen; Bundoran's Shauna Ward; body boarder Darragh McCarter; and Irish team veterans John McCurry and Richie Fitzgerald.

The action kicks off in Bundoran on 23 September with the competition running till 2 October.

Published in Surfing
Donegal will be represented by five surfers on the Irish team selected for the Eurosurf European Surfing Championships in Bundoran later this year.
Donegal Daily reports that Bundoran residents Ronan Oertzen (20), Shauna Ward (24), Darragh McCarter (25) and Richie Fitzgerald (36) will join 25-year-old Easkey Britton from Rossnowlagh on the team, after qualifying in a series of selection events.
One position on the team remains to be filled, and will be decided in a 'surf-off' between Rossnowlagh's John Britton and Keith O'Brien from Tramore at the Sea Sessions festival in Bundoran from 24-26 June.
The Irish Surf team will be coachedby Pascal Devine and managed by Stevie Burns, who have 40 years of surfing experience between them.
Donegal Daily has more on the story HERE.

Donegal will be represented by five surfers on the Irish team selected for the Eurosurf European Surfing Championships in Bundoran later this year.

Donegal Daily reports that Bundoran residents Ronan Oertzen (20), Shauna Ward (24), Darragh McCarter (25) and Richie Fitzgerald (36) will join 25-year-old Easkey Britton from Rossnowlagh on the team, after qualifying in a series of selection events.

One position on the team remains to be filled, and will be decided in a 'surf-off' between Rossnowlagh's John Britton and Keith O'Brien from Tramore at the Sea Sessions festival in Bundoran from 24-26 June.

The Irish Surf team will be coachedby Pascal Devine and managed by Stevie Burns, who have 40 years of surfing experience between them.

Donegal Daily has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing

Irish Fishing industry 

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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