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Displaying items by tag: Wexford

#MarineWildlife - The Irish Seal Sanctuary has raised concerns after eight seals were found dead in Wexford and Waterford in recent days, as RTÉ News reports.

A shocking total of six carcasses were discovered near Fethard-on-Sea alone, while one apiece were found near Dunmore East and in Tramore - the latter reportedly decapitated.

The news comes just a few months after Johnny Woodlock of the Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary warned of a "swing of activity" in seal fatalities around Ireland earlier this year.

The most horrific of these incidents was the grisly scene of two baby seal heads nailed to a sign outside the Dingle wildlife sanctuary, accompanied by graffiti daubed in red paint reading 'RIP Cull' - presumed to be a reference to local fishermen's urging for a reduction of seal numbers in the area.

More recently, reports from Castlerock in Co Derry suggested that a dead seal found on the beach suffered a gunshot wound to the head.

All seals in Ireland are protected under national and EU law.

The Irish Seal Sanctuary is currently urging the National Parks and Wildlife Service to launch an investigation into these latest incidents, and is appealing to the public for information on these or other seal deaths.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#ANGLING - Bitterly cold weather and some hungry marine mammals kept the bass away from the inaugural Hook Bass Angling Festival in Wexford last weekend, as The Irish Times reports.

The angling went on regardless, however, with Mark Baker from Co Meath hooking a 1.5kg 'schoolie' of a flounder to take top prize of a five-day holiday at Grangecourt Holiday Homs and a day's fishing with Jim Foley.

All taking part enjoyed the weekend despite the absence of the titular fish, and promised to return next year - for which the dos and don'ts will be ironed out, according to Cathy Howlin of Hook Tourism.

Meanwhile, the weekend also featured an evening talk by Dr Ed Fahy who discussed the threat to Ireland's sea bass should the fishery be opened to commercial interests, and argued the case for bass angling tourism as a greater boon for the economy.

Published in Angling

#INLAND WATERWAYS - Ballygarrett National School in Co Wexford fended off competition from 125 other primaries nationwide to win the 'Something Fishy' education programme for 2012.

The school claimed the award and a cheque for €500 for their project ‘Fishylympics’, a quirky blend of the Olympics, The X Factor and well known public figures,

and today receive their award and cheque for €500 from Minister Fergus O Dowd at Wexford Education Centre, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford.

Presented on DVD, 'Fishylympics' is a dramatisation of the obstacles our native fish have to overcome to survive and win in the Fishylympics.

"I am convinced that wonderful learning experiences have been achieved and solid work produced on the basis of what I have seen, you have demonstrated imagination and an extensive level of understanding," said Minister Fergus O'Dowd, who presented the pupils with their prize at the Wexford Education Centre in Enniscorthy last Friday.

Four-time All-Ireland winner and Wexford camogie all-star Catherine O'Loughlin was also on hand to present each child with a goody bag.

She noted Wexford's two-in-a-row victory in the ‘Something Fishy’ competition – Donard National School took top place last year for their ecosystem-themed musical - and urged other schools in Wexford to take up the challenge set by Minister O'Dowd to go for a third.

Something Fishy is an educational resource originally designed and promoted by Inland Fisheries Ireland, in conjunction with the Blackrock Educational Centre, and is aimed at at fifth and sixth class pupils.

Originally based on the life cycle of salmon, it allows students to explore water, fish, fish stocks, angling, invasive species, conservation of rivers and lakes, and fish as part of the food chain.

Something Fishy now covers all fish species and invasive species. As well as class-based work, fisheries officers take students into the field to get hands-on experience of their work.

The competition has been run over the last seven years nationwide, and this year more than 120 schools took part, reaching over 5,000 individual students.

Published in Inland Waterways

#FISHING - Inland Fisheries Ireland has in the last week seized illegally caught bass off the Wexford coast and illegal fishing nets off the Waterford coast.

While the specifics of these cases are not being released for legal and operational reasons, IFI says that the successful seizures are the result of "the flexibility and dedication of IFI staff".

The national fisheries body said that these types of seizures are often initiated following significant covert, intelligence-led policing operations which are carried out during both day and night time.

In both instances off-duty fisheries staff were quickly mobilised to execute the seizures.

The regional director at IFI praised the staff involved in the operation and described the seizures as very important in the protection of Ireland’s bass, salmon and sea trout resource.

It is widely held that illegal coastal fishing could have devastating consequences on the nation's valuable fishery resource.

Published in Fishing

#KITESURFING - WorldIrish has posted video highlights of the recent Irish National Kite Surfing Championships on Duncannon Beach as part of the annual Wexford Kite Surfing Festival.

Though the event was marred somewhat by a lack of strong winds which saw the cancellation of the men's competition, the women's and junior divisions made the best of the bad weather, with Tereza Siminova and 15-year-old James Hayden taking the top honours respectively.

Published in Kitesurfing

#KITESURFING - The annual Wexford Kite Surfing Festival on Duncannon Beach will once again play host to the Irish National Kite Surfing Championships this weekend 25-26 August.

Presented by the Irish Kitesurfing Association (ISKA) and Wexford-based start-up school Hooked Kitesurfing, the two-day content will present the best in junior, men's and women's kitesurfing in course racing and freestyle events.

As organiser Niall Roche tells Visit Wexford, the global field of competitors will for the first time be reflected with an international judging panel.

"It’s a real boost for the festival and indeed for kitesurfing in Ireland," he says. "This event will be the biggest kitesurfing event on the national calendar this year, we are expecting over 50 kitesurfers to compete."

And aside from the action on the water, the festival weekend includes fun for all the family from water zorbing to archery, face painting, power kite lessons for kids and a beach party with barbecue. Details of events and competition times are available HERE.

Published in Kitesurfing

#ANGLING - Enniscorthy anglers have reached an agreement with Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) over the use of shrimp as bait to catch the Slaney's prized salmon, according to the Enniscorthy Guardian.

The Enniscorthy Local Anglers Association has also agreed with IFI officials not to overfish the river when levels are low.

New signage has now been installed along the river through the town reminding salmon anglers that no more than 15 rods will be allowed at any one time when the water is running low.

All fish must also be returned to the Slaney as per the agreement.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Wexford town's anglers had secured the support of the IFI board in their call to prevent the threatened ban on using shrimp as bait.

Members of the Enniscorthy Local Anglers group argued that shrimp is ideal bait for catching salmon downstream, and said they were "baffled" by the ban on its use by IFI officials.

Pickings have been slim so far this season, with only one fish caught since it began a month ago. But local angler Kris Murphy is "generally optimistic" about the river's salmon stocks.

The Enniscorthy Guardian has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

#ANGLING - Ireland's south coast will play host to the first Irish Bass Festival this July.

Created and organised by Absolute Fishing, the lure angling event is open to all shore anglers at various venues between Tramore and Dungarvan in Co Waterford, which provide some of the best bass fishing in Europe.

The Irish Bass Festival will operate on catch-and-release rules, with anglers having to photograph their fish, using their own measuring board combined with a unique ID card provided by the organisers.

Competing anglers are also free to roam and fish anywhere along the coastline from Wexford to Cork - provided they're back in time to register their fish!

Details on requirements, reception and fishing times are available on the Irish Bass Festival website HERE.

Published in Angling

#MARINE WILDLIFE - Ireland's first humpback whale of the year has been spotted off the Wexford coast.

The sighting was made yesterday by whale-watchers among a pod of fin whales some three miles south of Hook Head, according to TheJournal.ie.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has also confirmed that the humpback is a new sighting in Irish waters, and has been designated the reference HBIRL18.

RTÉ News has images of the humpback whale HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#ANGLING - Strongs winds and heavy seas weren't enough to dampen the spirits of the anglers taking part in the Courtown Sea Anglers RNLI fundraising event last Sunday, the Gorey Guardian reports.

Top winner on the day in the shore angling competition at Kilgorman beach was James Ryan from New Ross, who hooked an impressive 24 fish - all of which went back in the water under catch-and-release rules.

Anglers from Galway, Belfast, Clare, Wicklow, Dublin, Waterford and across Wexford took part. It is hoped that more than €4,200 was raised to support the Courtown lifeboat.

Published in Angling
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