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Displaying items by tag: Shannon Navigation

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels that essential diving operations will take place on behalf of Leitrim County Council at Carrick-on-Shannon tomorrow, Monday 11 January, from 11am to 2pm.

Following on from dives scheduled for last month, locations of the diving operations are along the quay wall some 30 metres downstream and upstream of the bridge, and along the quay wall near the boat club.

Masters of vessels on the Shannon Navigation and all inland waterways users are requested to proceed with additional caution in the vicinity of these diving operations.

Published in Diving

Waterways Ireland has announced the closure of the walkway at Meelick Weir on the Shannon Navigation in Co Galway from today, Saturday 2 January until further notice.

The closure of the walkway is at the request of An Garda Siochana due to what is claimed are issues with compliance with social distancing protocols on and near the walkway along the inland waterway.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland is notifying all masters of vessels that diving operations will take place at Carrick-on-Shannon on Friday 18 December.

The locations of the diving operations are 1 along the quay wall some 30 metres downstream and upstream of the bridge, and along the quay wall near the boat club.

Masters of vessels and all inland waterways users are requested to proceed with additional caution in the vicinity of the diving operations.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises the following reopening of facilities will occur on Thursday 03 December 2020.

Navigational Use

  • Shannon Navigation - Locks and Bridges will be open on Winter Hours. Times are available on the Waterways Ireland website. There continues to be no charge for Lock passage.
  • Shannon Navigation - Vessels can avail of the Winter Moorings facility by applying online.
  • Shannon Erne Waterway - Locks will be open, operating Hours - 09:00hrs to 16:00hrs daily.
  • Shannon Navigation & Shannon- Erne Waterway - Waterways Ireland service blocks will re-open (only those that operate all year round)
  • Grand Canal / Royal Canal / Barrow Line & Navigation – Normal winter arrangements will apply.

General Navigation Guidelines

Navigation remains open within your home county until 18 December. From 18th Dec to 6th Jan 2021 the navigation is open outside of your home county.

When on jetties please be aware of other users. Wait or move aside to allow others to pass at a safe distance.

Observe social distancing protocols - keep a distance of at least 2m (6 feet) away from other people;

Be mindful of others and act always with consideration and with respect and observe the leave no trace principles and protect our environment;

Observe all health etiquettes when on the towpaths.

In all instances, social distancing must be maintained keeping your distance from both other people and moored boats. Please refer to your relevant representative body for guidance on the most appropriate health and safety precautions and advice.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland reminds masters on the Shannon Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway that the winter mooring period for public harbours will commence this Sunday 1 November and continue until 31 March 2021.

Masters wishing to avail of winter mooring on these inland waterways are required to pay the €63.50 fee online before this Sunday. Registration is available at the Waterways Ireland website HERE.

To register, for winter mooring, go by the following steps:

  1. Apply for mooring at a specific harbour
  2. Receive email approval/rejection/alternative location of application
  3. Follow link on approval email when received to pay winter mooring fee online

Masters are reminded that Bye-law 17 — the ‘five consecutive days/seven days in one month rule’ — will continue to apply for masters not availing of winter mooring when the Covid-19 Level 5 restrictions are eased.

Waterways Ireland will be disconnecting its electricity supply points and water supply at public moorings for the winter period. Both services will be reinstated prior to the 2021 boating season.

Owners are urged to note that vessels berthed in public harbours are at the owners’ risk at all times and may be directed to other harbours as required by Waterways Ireland.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises that essential maintenance works at Dromod Harbour on the Shannon Navigation in Co Leitrim are due to commence this Thursday 15 October and run until Friday 27 November.

All on-site services, including water and pump-out facility, will be disconnected for the duration of these works.

Pedestrian access around the marina will also be restricted.

Vessel access to the old harbour will not be effected, though pedestrian access from it will be restricted at times.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland has suspended the five-day mooring rule until late October in the wake of the country’s move to Level 3 coronavirus restrictions.

As of this past Wednesday 7 October, the rule — which prohibits vessels from mooring in one spot for more than five days — has been suspended across Ireland's inland waterways for a three-week period until Tuesday 27 October, at which point restrictions will be reviewed.

Shortly after this, the winter mooring period commences on Sunday 1 November and owners of vessels can apply for permits at the Waterways Ireland website.

All locks, bridges and facilities on the Shannon Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway remain open at the scheduled times with the exception of Portora Lock in Enniskillen, which will be temporary closed to boat traffic from 9am to 5pm next Wednesday 14 October for essential maintenance.

Masters of vessels and waterways users in the Republic are also reminded that in accordance with Level 3 restrictions, non-essential travel outside your home county is not allowed at present.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters and owners of vessels that low water levels exist on the upstream approaches to Meelick and Victoria Lock on the Shannon Navigation.

Water levels are currently up to 39cm below summer levels in these areas due to a draw-down from the open sluices at Meelick Weir, similar to the advisory from July of this year.

Masters of vessels, particularly those with deep drafts, are advised to navigate with additional caution and to remain within the navigation at all times.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels and water users on Lough Derg to proceed with caution moving in or out of Mountshannon as the green navigation marker for the western side of Cribby Island is currently off station.

Lough Derg has seen a rise in rescue callouts to cruisers in distress over recent weeks amid a boom in the Shannon cruiser hire industry driven by late summer ‘staycations’ on the waterways, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Cruising

Instream works to install floating jetties downstream of Roosky Bridge on the Shannon Navigation have begun this week and will continue until Wednesday 30 September.

Waterways Ireland advises that delays to bridge lifts and lock operations on the inland waterway are to be expected during the six weeks of works.

Published in Inland Waterways
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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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