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Displaying items by tag: water safety

#WATER SAFETY - Irish tourists headed to South Africa have been reminded of the dangers of the sea after a whale-watching vessel capsized near Cape Town at the weekend.

As BBC News reports, British tourist Peter Hyett and crewman John Roberts died when the catamaran Miroshga capsized off Hout Bay on the eastern side of the Cape Peninsula, near the popular seal colony of Duiker Island.

A number of the 39 passengers on board at the time were trapped in the vessel for almost four hours before they were freed by rescuers.

The seas off Hout Bay are a mecca for whale and seal watching, but are known to be rough, with hidden rocks below the surface. Great white sharks are also a regular sight in the waters, attracted by the seals.

But fellow skippers in the area reported fine weather and only slight swells at the time of the capsizing, according to iAfrica.com.

An investigation into the incident is being launched.

Published in Water Safety

#WATER SAFETY - The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) has published a Marine Notice addressed to all pleasure and recreational craft owners, masters and users to remind the public of the law in relation to being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs when operating or being on board a vessel in Irish waters.

The 2010 Annual Report of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) highlighted the dangers inherent in excessive alcohol consumption while on board or operating a vessel and emphasised the relevant legislation under the Pleasure Craft (Personal Flotation Devices and Operation) (Safety) Regulations.

While operating a pleasure craft, being towed or on board any floating vessel, it is against the law to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs or any combination of drugs or of drugs and alcohol to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the craft.

It is also against the law to consume alcohol or drugs in circumstances which could affect the safety of others on board or others using Irish waters, or create a disturbance on board or be a nuisance to others using Irish waters.

It is a requirement for the master or owner of a pleasure craft to take all reasonable steps to ensure that persons comply with the regulations.

The Maritime Safety Act 2005 also contains a range of provisions relating to the prohibition on operating a vessel in Irish waters while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the breaking of which can lead to fines of up to €5,000 and up to three months' imprisonment.

Full details are outlined in Marine Notice No 56 of 2012, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Water Safety

#CRUISE LINERS - The crew of the Costa Concordia that capsized off the coast of Italy earlier this year have won a prestigious award for their "courage and professionalism" in response to the disaster, as The Irish Times reports.

The Lloyd's List Seafarer of the Year award for 2012 went to the crew of the stricken cruise liner for their actions during the hazardous nighttime evacuation, in which they exhibited "true examples of courage and professionalism".

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, an Irish couple were among the thousands rescued from the ship after it ran around in shallow waters off the western Italian coast on Friday 13 January. At least 32 people were reported killed in the tragedy.

The ship's captain Francesco Schettino has been charged with multiple counts of manslaughter, as well as causing the incident and abandoning ship.

In the wake of the Costa Concordia sinking, cruise passengers will now be given extra safety briefings before leaving port under new mandates drawn up by the cruise industry.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Cruise Liners

#MARINE NOTICE - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) reminds vessel owners and all seafarers of the requirement to service their lifejackets, liferafts and other safety equipment.

All items that form part of a vessel's lifesaving appliances, from SOLAS and MED inflatable liferafts to inflated and rigid inflated rescue boats, inflated boats, inflated life jackets (including immersion suits complying with the requirements for lifejackets), hydrostatic release units (HRUs) and marine evacuation systems are required to be serviced at intervals not exceeding 12 months.

Annual servicing of inflatable liferafts, HRUs and marine escape systems must be carried out by an approved liferaft service station which has been formally appointed by the manufacturer of the approved equipment.

The names and contact details of the currently approved liferaft service stations in Ireland and which have been approved by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport are listed in the appendix on Marine Notice No 53 of 2012, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Annual servicing of inflated lifejackets (including immersion suits complying with the requirements for lifejackets), inflated boats, inflated and rigid inflated rescue boats must be carried out by a service station which has been formally appointed by the manufacturer of the approved equipment.

Emergency repairs to a vessel’s inflated and rigid inflated rescue boats and inflated boats may be carried out on board that vessel, but permanent repairs shall be effected at a service station ashore as soon as practicable. This notice supersedes Marine Notice No 19 of 2010.

Published in Water Safety

Since the start of 2007, there have been 22 work-related fatalities where the victim drowned according to Irish Water Safety.

The Breakdown by sector (excluding those under current investigation):

2 in Agriculture

17 in Fishing

1 in Quarrying

1 in Construction

1 in Freight transportation over water

Published in Water Safety
Tagged under

#WATER SAFETY - Irish Water Safety is warning members of the public that Portuguese Man-of-Wars have landed on beaches in Waterford and Cork, with reports of sightings in Tramore, Ardmore, Inchydoney and Schull so far – and may land on other shores, particularly Kerry

With another sunny weekend expected, surfers and families enjoying the beach are at a high risk of encountering them and their stings, which usually cause severe pain to humans.

The Portuguese Man-of-War is an invertebrate and carnivore with tentacles that can reach up to 50 metres in length. Despite being commonly thought to be a jellyfish, it is actually a different form of marine wildlife known as a siphonophore: an animal made up of a colony of organisms working together.

Man-of-wars are sometimes found in groups of 1,000 or more, floating in warm waters throughout the world's oceans. They have no independent means of propulsion and either drift on the currents or catch the wind with their gas-filled floats. To avoid threats on the surface, they can deflate their air bags and briefly submerge.

They are most commonly found in the tropical and subtropical regions of the Pacific and Indian oceans and in the northern Atlantic Gulf Stream.

The stinging, venom-filled nematocysts in their tentacles are used to paralyse small fish and other prey. Stings leave whip-like, red welts on the skin that normally last two or three days after the initial sting, though the pain should subside after about an hour.

However, the venom can sometimes travel to the lymph nodes and may cause a more intense pain. A sting can also lead to an allergic reaction and other serious effects, including fever, shock, and interference with heart and lung function. Stings in some cases have been known to cause death, although this is extremely rare.

Medical attention may be necessary, especially if pain persists or is intense, there is an extreme reaction, the rash worsens, a feeling of overall illness develops, a red streak develops between swollen lymph nodes and the sting, or either area becomes red, warm and tender.

Even detached tentacles and dead specimens (including those that wash up on shore) can sting just as painfully as the live creature in the water and may remain potent for hours or even days after the death of the creature or the detachment of the tentacle, so should always be avoided.

The best treatment for a Portuguese Man-of-War sting is to avoid any further contact with the creature, carefully remove any remnants of it from the skin (taking care not to touch them directly with fingers or any other part of the skin to avoid secondary stinging), Apply salt water to the affected area (not fresh water, which tends to make the affected area worse) then follow up with the application of hot water (around 45 degrees C) to the affected area, which eases the pain of a sting by denaturing the toxins.

If eyes have been affected, to irrigate with copious amounts of room temperature tap water for at least 15 minutes, and if vision blurs or the eyes continue to tear, hurt, swell, or show light sensitivity after irrigating, or there is any concern, to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Vinegar is not recommended for treating stings, as it can increase toxin delivery and worsens symptoms of stings from this species. Vinegar has also been confirmed to provoke hemorrhaging when used on the less severe stings of nematocysts of smaller species.

For more details from Irish Water Safety on dealing with jellyfish stings, click HERE.

Published in Water Safety

#WATER SAFETY - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) addresses the legal requirements for all recreational craft owners, masters and users in relation to the wearing and carrying of personal flotation devices (PFDs).

The notice discusses the different types of PFDs - lifejackets and buoyancy aids - and their performance standards, as well as highlighting the importance of their use, proper care and servicing for safe activities on the water.

The law makes clear that there must be suitable PFDs for everyone on board any pleasure craft, and that PFDs must be worn by anyone the deck of any craft or on board any open craft that is under seven metres in lengh - or for people under the age of 16, any craft regardless of length.

Also detailed are recommendations for the storage of PFDs, and guidance for their correct usage.

The use of lifejackets and buoyancy aids is particularly important in light of the recent Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) recommendations on a number of incidents where their availability could have saved lives.

Full details are included in Marine Notice No 45 of 2012, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Water Safety

#TALL SHIPS - A 15-year-old boy was rescued from the water at Dublin's Grand Canal Dock yesterday after getting into difficulty while swimming.

According to RTÉ News, the teenager from Blanchardstown was swimming with a number of friends at Hanover Quay amid preparations for the Tall Ships Races Festival when he went missing around lunchtime yesterday.

Fire officers reportedly retrieved the boy from the water and gave him CPR on the quayside before he was transferred to St Vincent's Hospital in Merrion.

The Irish Times reports that the teen was in the area to volunteer with the Kings of Concrete urban sports display group as part of the Tall Ships Races events.

Organisers later confirmed that the boy was not preparing for his volunteer work at the time of the incident, which underlines the importance of water safety for all volunteers and visitors at the Docklands festival starting tomorrow.

Safety is also paramount aboard the tall ships fleet as they make their way to the capital, with damage inflicted on nearly all the more than 40 vessels in stormy conditions in the Bay of Biscay, according to the Irish Independent.

Ecuadorian naval ship the Guayas suffered eight ripped sails in the storm, but the worst damage was sustained by the Polish schooner Captain Borchardt, which arrived in Dublin with a broken mast.

However, master of the skip Janus Zbierajewski jokingly described the experience as "absolutely perfect weather".

The bad weather was enough to force at least once ship to abandon the final race leg, with Sail Training Association flagship STS Pogoria arriving in Dublin Port some days ahead of schedule.

Published in Tall Ships

Another attempt is being made by Coast Guard management in Dublin to close the coastal radio stations at Valentia and Malin Head and centralise operations in Dublin. That, the poor quality of television coverage of sailing at the Olympics, the future of the State's national fishing board and the launch of the national maritime plan, are amongst my topics on this week's THIS ISLAND NATION.

RESPECT FOR VALENTIA RADIO

Sailing the West Cork coastline last week Valentia Radio was a welcome companion. I listened to their regular sea area weather forecasts on VHF. They also provide the added service of message 'traffic' for vessels at sea, and advisory warnings about hazards, amongst their service. In addition to VHF Medium Frequency transmission covers a wider maritime area. The voices of the station staff become a familiar and welcome part of one's voyaging. You know they are there, a source of help and support if needed. During the week I heard them involved in search and rescue work, using their local knowledge.

On the North-Western coastline they are partnered by Malin Head Radio, providing a similar service. The staff of both have that vital component not available anywhere else, of local knowledge of their sea areas. The central base is in Dublin where staff can concentrate on the East Coast.

The service works well but high-level Coast Guard officials have been attempting for several years to centralise operations in Dublin and close Valentia and Malin. Previous attempts to do this were defeated when Coast Guard Management proposals were shown not to be in the best public interest.

I feel a sense of anger and annoyance that another attempt is being made to target the stations, emanating from the Department of Transport where a reliable source has given me details of a study on which Minister Leo Varadkar has told officials to prepare proposals which will propose what are termed 'hard decisions' before the Cabinet in October. It appears to me that Coast Guard management want one station, in Dublin, to control all output and, I am told, have repeatedly sought the adjustment of consultant reports to achieve this end. It could be done technically, but would exclude the vital aspect of local sea area knowledge which, in both Valentia and Malin has several times saved lives. It is an approach to safety which is not acceptable, with which there should be no compromise. When then Minister Noel Dempsey attempted to close the helicopter base at Waterford I raised the question – what is the value of one life? I do so again now.

 

NEW STATION EQUIPMENT

New equipment assigned to upgrade Valentia after the last controversy in 2009 is only due to be installed this month or next, a wait of three years!

New equipment is also being installed at present in Malin. One of the proposals by Coast Guard officials is that if a second station is needed to back-up and support the Dublin central base in case of any fault developing there and threatening a blacking-out coastal communications it should be in Blanchardstown, which just happens to be the Minister's constituency!

A new engine room, new boiler room, new security system, new generator, new operations room, an upgraded transmitter room and a helipad are due for installation in Valentia, so where is the justification for now considering closure – and at a time when other general Coast Guard stations, not radio stations, are and have been built around the country at considerable expense? Where is the logic in this?

 

THIRD LARGEST COASTAL STATION

Valentia is the third largest coastal marine station in Ireland and the UK. It covers the most turbulent seas in Western Europe and the roughest inland terrain in the country, where it also helps with search and rescue and deals with two-thirds of all 'Mayday' emergency calls around the coast of Ireland.

The station employs 16 people.

At present the Departmental-Coast Guard budget is putting money into a move away from the Eircom fixed line network to an independent contracted microwave network, configured to enable the coast to be covered effectively for marine radio, search and rescue, assistance information by three stations. If this was to be changed to any other configuration, if a one-centre option is chosen in Dublin, there would be an extra cost of around €10m. I have been told. Adding the €5m. already spent on the government decision to improve Valentia and Malin, I wonder what the point of all of this is? Why is Coast Guard management opposed to the costal-based marine radio stations, at the same time as building other Coast Guard bases around the coast. There seems a lack of logic in this approach.

 

WHAT IS THE VALUE OF A LIFE ?

In safety-at-sea terms the present maritime coastal radio station configuration of Valentia and Malin will always be required, as long-range Medium Frequency communications will stay there, used in addition to VHF to cover wider areas of reception. So even if a one-centre manned set up was followed, with an unmanned centre duplicate in case of Dublin breakdown, there would be two additional unmanned sites at Valentia and Malin to be maintained for long-range communications with attendant costs.

Dublin operates three 8-hour watches while Malin and Valentia have operated a 12-hour shift pattern with the effective saving of 2 staff positions without the requirement for overtime.

Coast Guard officials and the Minister for Transport should back away from proposals to do anything which would reduce the effectiveness of safety at sea.

They would be well advised to do so.

 

THE FUTURE OF BORD IASCAIGH MHARA

The Chief Executive of the national fisheries board, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, has told me that: "If you look at where the economy is at now, the need for a standalone agency dealing with seafood development makes sense more than at any time in our economic development. The case is stronger today than it has been for many a long time."

Jason Whooley was speaking to me about suggestions that BIM should be abolished and its functions absorbed elsewhere:

"I hope and would expect the review of BIM will come to the conclusion that it is vital to the seafood sector, to the fishing industry, to maintain BIM, but equally it is up to us as an organisation to constantly review ourselves and our services and deliver for the industry. People may see us as a State agency, cushioned from the wider economy and that an organisation needs a jolt. Perhaps that keeps us on our toes, because we are looking at ourselves constantly to improve our services, so I do think BIM has a strong future."

Closing BIM would, in my view, indicate disregard for the role of the marine sphere in government. The opinions of economic consultants are too easily accepted without challenging the damage they could do to the nation's future.

 

NATIONAL MARINE PLAN

in marineplan

"For too long we have turned our backs on the sea. It's time now to look to our ocean as a national asset, to harness the opportunities for economic recovery. We need to treasure what we have and protect it for future generations. We also need to build on the potential of our ocean wealth and what it can give back to its people. 'Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth,' the title of this plan, puts a structure in place to make that happen".

That was the opinion expressed by Marine Minister Simon Coveney when he launched the national maritime development plan with the Taoiseach in Galway. It proposes that the value of Ireland's ocean wealth could be doubled to 2.4% of GDP and the turnover from our ocean economy be increased to more than €6.4bn by 2020.

It is a long-term outlook, but one to focus on, for seafood, fishing, marine tourism, shipping, oil and gas, renewable ocean energy and new applications for health, medicine and technology. It sets out goals to achieve a thriving maritime economy, healthy ecosystems and to increase the nation's engagement with the sea, focussing on the State creating the right conditions to promote investment and enable growth.

 

POOR OLYMPIC COVERAGE

I have had quite a few calls and Emails complaining about television coverage of sailing at the Olympics. It has been poor. TV coverage for the Games is provided by t Olympic Broadcast Services (OBS), an agency of the International Olympic Committee and prevents other broadcasters from covering the events. In sailing coverage has not been satisfactory and at times is done on a single camera which is not acceptable at this level of the sport. The IOC has treated sailing badly in television coverage. For a link to all the latest Irish Olympic sailing news click here.

• Email comments, opinions, information to: [email protected]

Follow more marine news and comment on Twitter: @TomMacSweeney

• And on Facebook – THIS ISLAND NATION

Published in Island Nation

#WATER SAFETY - The Belfast Telegraph reports that an 11-year-old girl has died in an accident at the seaside near Portballintrae in Co Antrim.

The young girl, who has not yet been named, was taken to hospital in critical condition after getting into difficulties while body-boarding with her family at Bushfoot Strand yesterday afternoon.

Onlookers praised the efforts of the coastguard and bystanders in giving the youngster CPR before paramedics arrived.

However, a passer-by noted that the ambulance had some trouble in finding the access road to the beach - and added that the stretch is known by locals to be unsafe for bathing.

A spokesperson for the Belfast coastguard warned bathers to be wary of strong rip currents which are common on the north coast.

Published in Water Safety
Page 14 of 16

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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