Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

BIM Brexit ready

Displaying items by tag: diving

#RESCUE - An Irish woman was rescued from rough Mediterranean seas while diving in Malta last week.

According to Gozo News, the 44-year-old got into difficulty on Tuesday evening while on a dive off Qbajjar on the Maltese island of Gozo.

Passers-by on shore notified local police who contacted the Armed Forces of Malta operations centre. Both a rescue helicopter and patrol boat were quickly dispatched to the location.

The woman was located by the helicopter and winched to safety with no reported injuries.

Published in Rescue
Tagged under

#NEWS UPDATE - The Irish Times reports that the body of a retired schoolteacher was recovered from the sea off Castletownbere in West Cork on Friday in the second tragedy the area has seen this week.

Sixty-six-year-old Pearse Lyne drowned after his fishing boat capsized in poor weather off the Beara Peninsula.

A search operation was launched around 1.30pm after a cliffwalker spotted the upturned vessel near the Dzogchen Buddhist retreat, and the body of the father of four and former national school principal was discovered some 90 minutes later in the water near Pulleen harbour.

The sad incident occurred just says after farmer and poet John O'Leary drowned off Cod's Head when the Enterprise sailing dinghy he was sailing with his teenage son Christopher capsized.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney paid tribute to O'Leary as well as Quilty fishermen Michael Galvin and Noel Dickinson, who drowned earlier this week off the Clare coast.

Meanwhile, in Dongeal a diver was rescued after getting into difficulty in Lough Salt on Thursday evening, according to the Donegal Democrat.

The Donegal native was one of two divers in the lough at the time, and is believed to have experienced buoyancy issues while some 50m below the surface.

He was taken to Letterkenny General Hospital and later transferred to Craigavon for treatment for decompression sickness. The man is now recovering.

His diving partner, an Italian national living in Ireland, made it to shore unharmed.

Published in News Update

#BOAT THEFT - A boat owned by the Garda Sub-Aqua Club worth €25,000 was last week stolen in broad daylight, as the Evening Herald reports.

Smooth criminals removed the Tornado RIB from its mooring at Coal Harbour in Dun Laoghaire and loaded onto a trailer on Friday afternoon.

The "brazen" theft went unnoticed till gardaí arrived at the mooring later that evening.

The top-of-the-range boat, used by the sub-aqua club for diving training, is fitted with VHF radios and specialist GPS equipment.

A source told the Herald that the thieves "were very calm and professional in how they removed the boat and left without being in any kind of panic."

The Evening Herald has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update

#DIVING - An Irish free diver has told the Irish Examiner how he plunged the equivalent of a 15-storey building beneath the surface of the Red Sea on a single held breath.

Fergus Callagy's breathtaking feat is a highlight of a radio documentary about his extraordinary pastime, Fire and Water, which is available to listen on the RTÉ Radio 1 website.

The Sligo man - who says he can hold his breath for more than five minutes at a time - also recounts how he stunned experts at Sligo General Hospital by slowing his heart rate to an incredible 25 beats per minute - less than half the normal resting heart rate.

"It has been described as the most relaxing extreme sport," says Callagy of free diving, of which he is a leading light in Ireland. "When I got into [it] I started to admire what the human body can do."

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Diving

#DIVING - The Sunday Independent recently highlighted a SCUBA cruise business in Kinsale that's going from strength to strength.

Scuba Addicts was set up by husband-and-wife team Graham and Anne Ferguson in the summer of 2009, initially on a whim after both lost their jobs when the credit crunch bit down hard.

Using their redundancy packages and a grant from the West Coast Development Partnership, they were able to purchase the boat they now use to take diving enthusiasts offshore.

And business is booming, with some 300 divers using their service in 2011 alone to explore coastal shipwrecks such as the infamous gun-running ship The Aud and the recently discovered German U-boat in Cork Harbour.

"We are making a big drive into Dutch, Belgian and German markets this year," says Anne. "There is huge potential for dive tourism from this area."

Published in Diving
Tagged under

#CORK HARBOUR NEWS - Two anchors were recovered recently from the wreck of the historic Easter Rising gun running vessel in Cork Harbour, as The Irish Times reports.

Divers led by Eoin McGarry from Dungarvan and archaeologist Laurence Dunne from Tralee retrieved the anchors from the wreck of the Aud some 36 metres below the surface on Tuesday 19 June, in an operation that was two years in the planning.

The Aud was carrying 20,000 rifles and millions of rounds of ammunition in a shipment from the German military, arranged by Roger Casement, when the British navy uncovered the plan and took the vessel as it approached Tralee Bay.

But the vessel was scuttled by its Captain Karl Spindler as the ship was being taken to Cork Harbour. The wreck has rested at the bottom of the harbour near Daunt's Rock ever since.

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht says the anchors will be undergoing conservation work over the next three years and will eventually be displayed in various locations provided by Cobh Town Council and Tralee and Fenit Harbour Commissioners.

RTÉ News has video footage of the dive team's discoveries, while The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Cork Harbour

#TITANIC - To mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, JOE.ie sat down with the first Irishman to dive the historic wreckage.

In 2000, Rory Golden descended two-and-a-half miles beneath the surface of the Atlantic to witness the Titanic's watery gravesite.

“When I first cast my eyes on the wreck," he says, "for me it was just an incredibly exciting and equally humbling and incredibly poignant moment and you have all these emotions all at once because you are looking at something very few people in the world have seen.”

Amazingly, the self-avowed Titanic expert wasn't originally a part of the dive team for the expedition.

"My role at the time was to be the dive safety supervisor, but that whole role changed over the course of the expedition," he says. “There was no guarantee of me going down there because I was very low in the pecking order."

But a memorial plaque he brought with him from Cobh ended up being Golden's ticket to the TItanic, joining the crew aboard an 18-tonne Russian submarine.

And he came back with more than memories, too, as a glint in the corner of his eye turned out to be the remains of the ship's wheel.

"I was the first person to touch the wheel of the ship since it went down in 1912 and probably the last person to hold it before it went down was Captain Smith.”

JOE.ie has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Titanic

#DIVING - BBC News reports that a man suspected to be suffering from 'the bends' after a dive in Galway was treated in Northern Ireland at the weekend.

The diver was airlifted to the decompression chamber in Craigavon by Irish Coast Guard helicopter as there was no medical team available at the closest facility in Galway.

Decompression sickness - commonly known as 'the bends' - was suspected after the man's rapid ascent from a 22-metres dive in Killary Harbour on Sunday.

Published in Diving

#DIVING - Deep sea diver Sean McGahern is currently attempting the world record for cold water open sea diving in Malta.

The Times of Malta reports that McGahern - who was born in England but raised in Ireland before moving to Malta 17 years ago - entered the water at the Starfish Diving School before midnight last night, hoping to break the standing record of 11 hours and 46 minutes.

His previous attempt at the record was ended little more than an hour short of the record due to bad weather, but today's clear forecast has buoyed his confidence.

McGahern plans to pass the time by cleaning the seabed, assisted by a team of 16 safety divers, but he also intended to catch some sleep below the depths.

“I’ve slept underwater before," he said. "it’s not as difficult as you might think.”

McGahern, who previously held the warm water open sea dive record, is undertaking the challenge for Dar tal-Providenza, a home for the disabled on the Mediterranean island.

Published in Diving
13th February 2012

Dive Ireland Expo Returns

#DIVING - Dive Ireland 2012, Ireland's only dedicated dive expo, promises to be bigger, better and feature more speakers, exhibits and workshops - everything for the dive professional as well as the complete beginner.

The 21st Annual International Dive Show, hosted by the Irish Underwater Council (CFT), will take place at the City North Hotel in Dublin on the weekend of 3-4 March.

This year's show will feature top SCUBA professionals including keynote speaker Rory Golden, who in 2000 became the first Irish diver to visit the wreck site of the Titanic, returning for a second visit in 2005.

Golden will be giving a series of talks on his experiences to mark the centenary of the ill-fated ship's sinking in the north Atlantic.

Dive Ireland 2012 will also feature a huge array of Irish SCUBA companies, free seminars and practical workshops that will cater to a wide range of diver interests, along with a host of in-show features guaranteeing a great day out for divers and non-divers alike.

Visit the Dive Ireland 2012 website for more details on tickets or booking a stand.

Published in Diving
Page 9 of 12

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

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton dob
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

quantum sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating