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Displaying items by tag: Waterways Ireland

Waterways Ireland advises masters of all craft that the public mooring jetty and slipway at Bellanaleck in Co Fermanagh will be closed from this Monday 30 November until the end of March next year.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, this closure is to facilitate the construction of a new 16-berth public mooring and slipway at the site on the River Erne south of Enniskillen.

Masters are requested to navigate the inland waterway with care around these works over the coming months, and heed instructions from safety stewards in the vicinity.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises users of the Royal Canal between Leixlip and Maynooth in Co Kildare that there will be no boat passages permitted from next Monday 23 November until the end of January 2021 due to deep gate replacement and associated works on Lock 13 at Deey Bridge.

Published in Inland Waterways

A working group has been established to develop a proposal for a Shannon Greenway connecting the city of Limerick with Lough Derg.

Waterways Ireland says it is working together with Clare County Council, Limerick City & County Council and others on the plans, which are still at an early concept stage.

However, it is understood that the working group has already been charged with examining possible route options and designs, as well as environmental considerations, costs and funding sources.

Also being considered is whether public lands between Limerick and Tuamgraney/Scarriff in Co Clare — especially the towpaths of the Park and Erinagh Canals and various ESB embankments — could be used for the project.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland says it is undertaking a “significant programme” of maintenance works on inland waterways in Northern Ireland over the winter period.

On the Lower Bann, which connects Lough Neagh to the sea north of Coleraine, works will focus on maintaining safe access to and navigability of the river channel.

Dredging has already been completed downstream of the Cutts Lock in Coleraine, with more than 1,000 cubic metres of material removed.

A similar dredging programme is taking place this month in Movanagher to remove 200 cubic metres of material, while the mouth of Toome Canal will be dredged in early 2021.

Dredging of river-deposited material ensures the locks gates can operate and the channel remains clear enough for boats to pass, Waterways Ireland says.

Elsewhere, new upstream lock gates will be installed at the Carnroe lock, which last had its gates replaced more than 50 years ago.

Next year, Waterways Ireland will begin work on a two-year project to repair the weir at Carnoe and install a fish pass after planning permission was granted.

Winter is also when the Waterways Ireland team undertakes the removal of fallen trees and trims bank foliage along the navigation. This work will take place from Carnoe to the Cutts and at Toome.

The Toome Canal Walk, which Waterways Ireland says has seen a significant increase in users this year, will also be resurfaced.

Regional manager Joe Gillespie said: “These maintenance works are essential to maintain the heritage assets of the Lower Bann and ensure they are accessible to the widest range of users.”

Bellanaleck in Co Fermanagh on the River Erne (Photo: Waterways Ireland)Bellanaleck in Co Fermanagh on the River Erne | Photo: Waterways Ireland

Meanwhile, this month Waterways Ireland will also commence an extensive works programme to improve Bellanaleck Quay on the River Erne.

The works, planned to be completed in time for the new boating season next March, are being undertaken to improve access and increase year-round mooring capacity near Bellanaleck village in Co Fermanagh.

Waterways Ireland’s design team will work with contractors on a plan to widen the existing slipway and construct a new quay wall with one fixed mooring as well as a 16-berth floating mooring.

“Waterways Ireland continues to invest in increasing access to Lough Erne for recreational and tourism activity,” says director of technical services Joe McMahon.

“Bellanaleck is a key lakeside location with a range of services which visitors enjoy and improved access will increase the duration and spend of visitors in the local area.”

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 is responsible for the management, maintenance, development, restoration and promotion of the inland navigable waterway system throughout the island, principally for recreational and tourism purposes. It has responsibility for approximately 1,000km of navigable waterways. With a staff of 300, it operates the Dublin Canal system, the Shannon and Barrow navigation, the Shannon Erne Waterway, the Erne system, the Lower Bann system and is responsible too for the redevelopment of the Ulster Canal amenity.

The Chief Executive of Waterways will be required to implement a very challenging work programme over the course of this four-year appointment, ensuring that Waterways Ireland fulfils its statutory function of managing, maintaining, developing, restoring and promoting Ireland's inland navigations, principally for recreational purposes.

The successful candidate will have:

  • A track record of achievement in posts of significant responsibility within the public, private, voluntary or community sectors, or in professional practice;
  • Experience of managing budgets of a significant size and scale;
  • Personal experience of executing and delivering change in a multi-disciplinary and complex environment;
  • Well developed and proven high-level management skills, in the exercise of general administrative duties and in personnel, financial and resource management;
  • Excellent communications skills and the ability to work effectively with all stakeholders; and
  • Sound judgement, strong leadership qualities, interpersonal skills and an ability to motivate staff in a multi-disciplinary and complex environment.

The closing date for receipt of completed applications is 3 pm on Thursday 12th November 2020.

For more information and how to apply, visit: http://bit.ly/Afloat_Ad_ChiefEOfficer

If you feel you would benefit from a confidential discussion about this role, please contact Catherine Dobbins at [email protected]

We are committed to a policy of equal opportunity and encourage applications under all nine grounds of the Employment Equality Act.

Published in Jobs
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Waterways Ireland has temporarily closed service blocks across its all-island network of inland waters as of today, Thursday 22 October.

The move is in line with the latest coronavirus control measures announced by both the Northern Ireland Executive and the Irish Government.

Pump-out facilities remain available for use but owners must ensure that travel to these facilities is done in a responsible manner, minimising the amount of essential movement out on the water.

In the Republic of Ireland, all service blocks, locks and bridges are closed for at least the next six weeks.

Waterways users on both sides of the border are advised that no unnecessary travel should be undertaken at this time.

Boaters in the Republic of Ireland are additionally reminded that essential travel and exercise is only permitted up to 5km from home.

Travel further than 5km to check on vessels moored on the navigation is expressly prohibited until further notice.

The five-day mooring rule suspension on the Shannon Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway has been extended to 31 October with no additional cost.

Towpath users are also reminded of the need to observe social distancing and other Level 5 restrictions.

Waterways Ireland’s message to all waterways users continues to be ‘please stay at home’.

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

Owners of boats without permits on the Barrow Line of the Grand Canal and the Barrow Navigation face the removal of their vessels by Waterways Ireland later this month.

They are among the boats in contravention of bye-laws that will be taken from these inland waterways from Monday 26 October.

Others include vessels that appear abandoned, are double moored and/or causing obstruction (sunk) or are deemed to be or likely to cause a hazard to navigation, as per the Canal Act 1986 (Bye-Laws) 1988.

Owners of boats on the Royal Canal have been similarly advised of plans to remove non-permitted, abandoned or obstructing vessels from Monday 9 November.

Similar to last month’s planned boat removal on the Grand Canal, affected vessels have been stickered with warning notices, given suitable access, and owners — where known — have been contacted, Waterways Ireland says.

This story was updated on Wednesday 14 November with additional details about Royal Canal boat removals.

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
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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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