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Displaying items by tag: clare river

Improving stocks of wild salmon and trout in the West of Ireland in the goal of a new initiative launched by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).

Derek Evans writes in The Irish Times about IFI’s partnership with Co Galway angling federation Cairde an Chláir to restore a near kilometre-long stretch of the Abbert River, a tributary of the River Clare.

Earlier this year the two groups signed a memorandum of understanding on the conservation and development of brown trout and salmon and their habitat, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

While the coronavirus pandemic slowed progress over the year, IFI says the project is now at the stage where work on the river can begin — while a similar scheme to restore 8km of nursery streams such as the River Nanny is already under way.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

Sean Canney, Minister of State with responsibility for the inland fisheries sector, has welcomed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) and Cairde na Chláir, representing four of its member angling clubs on the Clare River.

The MOU will enable both parties to collaborate on the conservation and development of brown trout and salmon and their habitat on the Clare River.

Commenting on the significance of the partnership, Minister Canney said: “I fully support the signing of this MOU which represents the formalisation of a long standing collaborative relationship between Inland Fisheries Ireland and the Cairde na Chláir.

“This partnership is significant not just for the two organisations but for the Western River Basin District and the MOU will act as the motivation to develop the five year plan but also to further incentivise future collaborations and projects”.

IFI says this MOU is a declaration of a commitment from both parties to the development of a five-year plan that is focused on the conservation and development of brown trout and salmon and their habitat on the Clare River in the Western River Basin District.

It will enable a closer working relationship between both parties and recognises that conservation of the species and its habitat as the core guiding principle of this relationship, the inland fisheries body added.

The MOU was signed by Richard Jordan on behalf of the Cairde na Chláir and co-signed by the participating angling clubs and Suzanne Campion, IFI’s head of business development.

Due to current public health measures, parties will commence work on meeting the objectives of the MOU via virtual meetings.

IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne said: “During a time when we see the changes to our natural environment from the impact of climate change, this partnership agreement will work to ensure a plan is formed to maximise sustainable benefit for the species.”

He added: “Both parties hold the value of conservation and development of fisheries at the core of their organisation. We look forward to working with the clubs that comprise the Cairde na Chláir, learning from one another and developing joint initiatives at a time when collaborative work is critical for the future of our fisheries resource.”

Richard Jordan, on behalf of the Cairde na Chláir, said: “We welcome the signing of this MOU between clubs of Cairde na Chlair and Inland Fisheries Ireland to begin the process of creating a five year plan for the conservation and development of our brown trout and salmon.

“The Cairde na Chláir clubs involved in this MOU are the Milltown Anglers, Cregmore Athenry Anglers, St Colmans Anglers and the Tuam Anglers Association. The formalisation of this MOU marks an important consolidation of our working relationship with Inland Fisheries Ireland.”

Published in Angling

#Angling - A landowner has been convicted of a breach to the Water Pollution Act in Glenamaddy, Co Galway that resulted in a major fish kill.

At a sitting of Tuam District Court, Michael Conneally of Boyounagh, Glenamaddy pleaded guilty to permitting silage effluent to enter the Yellow River, a tributary of the Clare River in Co Galway, on 15 June 2016.

David Harrington, senior fisheries environmental officer with Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), gave evidence of tracing the source of the fish kill back to a pipe originating from a silage pit on Conneally’s land.

The pollution incident resulted in damage to fish stock in the Yellow River, which is an important spawning tributary for salmon and trout with the absence of aquatic life noted for a considerable distance downstream, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Conneally fully co-operated with officers from IFI and sought to remedy the incident without delay. However, the polluting matter had already impacted the river.

Judge Mary Devins convicted Conneally and fined him €750 with three months to pay, as well as laboratory expenses of €464.94 and legal costs of €600.

IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne said: “We would appeal to farmers for continued vigilance to help protect our waterways from agricultural pollution.

“At this time of year, silage is in full swing and silage effluent can be a highly toxic substance when it gets into rivers, starving the fish and invertebrate life of oxygen. This incident on the Clare River highlights the large impact one leak can have on our fisheries resource.”

The Clare River is the largest tributary of Lough Corrib, and sees thousands of salmon and trout run the river to spawn every year. It provides a valuable angling facility for local and tourist anglers in the West of Ireland.

There are six different angling clubs along the river who have made significant investment in recent years to help improve the spawning and nursery habitat for salmon and trout. The clubs rely on the responsible environmental stewardship of local farmers to maintain the Clare River as a key angling resource.

Angling in Ireland currently contributes €836 million to the Irish economy annually, supporting upwards of 11,000 jobs.

Published in Angling
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Inland Fisheries Ireland is currently investigating a major fish kill on the Yellow River, a tributary of the Sinking River near Dunmore, Co. Galway, which flows into the Clare River. The stream in question is an important spawning and nursery habitat for young trout and salmon.

Staff were notified of the fish kill late last week and an immediate inspection revealed large numbers of dead fish in the river over almost one kilometre downstream. Dead crayfish were also found. Staff traced the source of the pollution to silage effluent leaking from a silage pit on a nearby farm. Samples and photographs were taken, and a prosecution will be taken in light of the severe nature of the pollution.

Inland Fisheries Ireland is again appealing to farmers to exercise vigilance when harvesting and making silage at this time of year. Water levels are low in many rivers, so any pollution has a much greater impact. It is vital to prevent any leakage from silage pits, and to ensure slurry is only spread in suitable conditions and well away from streams and drains.

Commenting on the incident, Dr Ciaran Byrne, CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland said “Protection of fish stocks is vital to maintaining an extremely valuable natural resource for the benefit of local and tourist anglers alike.

“Recreational angling in Ireland is worth over €836 million to the economy and supports over 11,000 jobs. Salmon and trout, in particular, depend on good water quality to survive, and IFI is committed to protecting water quality in our rivers and lakes. Members of the public can assist fisheries staff by reporting all instances of illegal fishing or pollution to IFI’s confidential 24 Hour hotline number at 1890 347 424".

Published in Inland Waterways
Tagged under

The Irish Coast Guard

The Irish Coast Guard is Ireland's fourth 'Blue Light' service (along with An Garda Síochána, the Ambulance Service and the Fire Service). It provides a nationwide maritime emergency organisation as well as a variety of services to shipping and other government agencies.

The purpose of the Irish Coast Guard is to promote safety and security standards, and by doing so, prevent as far as possible, the loss of life at sea, and on inland waters, mountains and caves, and to provide effective emergency response services and to safeguard the quality of the marine environment.

The Irish Coast Guard has responsibility for Ireland's system of marine communications, surveillance and emergency management in Ireland's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and certain inland waterways.

It is responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue and counter-pollution and ship casualty operations. It also has responsibility for vessel traffic monitoring.

Operations in respect of maritime security, illegal drug trafficking, illegal migration and fisheries enforcement are co-ordinated by other bodies within the Irish Government.

On average, each year, the Irish Coast Guard is expected to:

  • handle 3,000 marine emergencies
  • assist 4,500 people and save about 200 lives
  • task Coast Guard helicopters on missions

The Coast Guard has been around in some form in Ireland since 1908.

Coast Guard helicopters

The Irish Coast Guard has contracted five medium-lift Sikorsky Search and Rescue helicopters deployed at bases in Dublin, Waterford, Shannon and Sligo.

The helicopters are designated wheels up from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours and 45 minutes at night. One aircraft is fitted and its crew trained for under slung cargo operations up to 3000kgs and is available on short notice based at Waterford.

These aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains of Ireland (32 counties).

They can also be used for assistance in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and aerial surveillance during daylight hours, lifting and passenger operations and other operations as authorised by the Coast Guard within appropriate regulations.

Irish Coastguard FAQs

The Irish Coast Guard provides nationwide maritime emergency response, while also promoting safety and security standards. It aims to prevent the loss of life at sea, on inland waters, on mountains and in caves; and to safeguard the quality of the marine environment.

The main role of the Irish Coast Guard is to rescue people from danger at sea or on land, to organise immediate medical transport and to assist boats and ships within the country's jurisdiction. It has three marine rescue centres in Dublin, Malin Head, Co Donegal, and Valentia Island, Co Kerry. The Dublin National Maritime Operations centre provides marine search and rescue responses and coordinates the response to marine casualty incidents with the Irish exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Yes, effectively, it is the fourth "blue light" service. The Marine Rescue Sub-Centre (MRSC) Valentia is the contact point for the coastal area between Ballycotton, Co Cork and Clifden, Co Galway. At the same time, the MRSC Malin Head covers the area between Clifden and Lough Foyle. Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) Dublin covers Carlingford Lough, Co Louth to Ballycotton, Co Cork. Each MRCC/MRSC also broadcasts maritime safety information on VHF and MF radio, including navigational and gale warnings, shipping forecasts, local inshore forecasts, strong wind warnings and small craft warnings.

The Irish Coast Guard handles about 3,000 marine emergencies annually, and assists 4,500 people - saving an estimated 200 lives, according to the Department of Transport. In 2016, Irish Coast Guard helicopters completed 1,000 missions in a single year for the first time.

Yes, Irish Coast Guard helicopters evacuate medical patients from offshore islands to hospital on average about 100 times a year. In September 2017, the Department of Health announced that search and rescue pilots who work 24-hour duties would not be expected to perform any inter-hospital patient transfers. The Air Corps flies the Emergency Aeromedical Service, established in 2012 and using an AW139 twin-engine helicopter. Known by its call sign "Air Corps 112", it airlifted its 3,000th patient in autumn 2020.

The Irish Coast Guard works closely with the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which is responsible for the Northern Irish coast.

The Irish Coast Guard is a State-funded service, with both paid management personnel and volunteers, and is under the auspices of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. It is allocated approximately 74 million euro annually in funding, some 85 per cent of which pays for a helicopter contract that costs 60 million euro annually. The overall funding figure is "variable", an Oireachtas committee was told in 2019. Other significant expenditure items include volunteer training exercises, equipment, maintenance, renewal, and information technology.

The Irish Coast Guard has four search and rescue helicopter bases at Dublin, Waterford, Shannon and Sligo, run on a contract worth 50 million euro annually with an additional 10 million euro in costs by CHC Ireland. It provides five medium-lift Sikorsky S-92 helicopters and trained crew. The 44 Irish Coast Guard coastal units with 1,000 volunteers are classed as onshore search units, with 23 of the 44 units having rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) and 17 units having cliff rescue capability. The Irish Coast Guard has 60 buildings in total around the coast, and units have search vehicles fitted with blue lights, all-terrain vehicles or quads, first aid equipment, generators and area lighting, search equipment, marine radios, pyrotechnics and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Community Rescue Boats Ireland also provide lifeboats and crews to assist in search and rescue. The Irish Coast Guard works closely with the Garda Siochána, National Ambulance Service, Naval Service and Air Corps, Civil Defence, while fishing vessels, ships and other craft at sea offer assistance in search operations.

The helicopters are designated as airborne from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours, and 45 minutes at night. The aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, on inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains and cover the 32 counties. They can also assist in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and can transport offshore firefighters and ambulance teams. The Irish Coast Guard volunteers units are expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time of departing from the station house in ten minutes from notification during daylight and 20 minutes at night. They are also expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time to the scene of the incident in less than 60 minutes from notification by day and 75 minutes at night, subject to geographical limitations.

Units are managed by an officer-in-charge (three stripes on the uniform) and a deputy officer in charge (two stripes). Each team is trained in search skills, first aid, setting up helicopter landing sites and a range of maritime skills, while certain units are also trained in cliff rescue.

Volunteers receive an allowance for time spent on exercises and call-outs. What is the difference between the Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI? The RNLI is a registered charity which has been saving lives at sea since 1824, and runs a 24/7 volunteer lifeboat service around the British and Irish coasts. It is a declared asset of the British Maritime and Coast Guard Agency and the Irish Coast Guard. Community Rescue Boats Ireland is a community rescue network of volunteers under the auspices of Water Safety Ireland.

No, it does not charge for rescue and nor do the RNLI or Community Rescue Boats Ireland.

The marine rescue centres maintain 19 VHF voice and DSC radio sites around the Irish coastline and a digital paging system. There are two VHF repeater test sites, four MF radio sites and two NAVTEX transmitter sites. Does Ireland have a national search and rescue plan? The first national search and rescue plan was published in July, 2019. It establishes the national framework for the overall development, deployment and improvement of search and rescue services within the Irish Search and Rescue Region and to meet domestic and international commitments. The purpose of the national search and rescue plan is to promote a planned and nationally coordinated search and rescue response to persons in distress at sea, in the air or on land.

Yes, the Irish Coast Guard is responsible for responding to spills of oil and other hazardous substances with the Irish pollution responsibility zone, along with providing an effective response to marine casualties and monitoring or intervening in marine salvage operations. It provides and maintains a 24-hour marine pollution notification at the three marine rescue centres. It coordinates exercises and tests of national and local pollution response plans.

The first Irish Coast Guard volunteer to die on duty was Caitriona Lucas, a highly trained member of the Doolin Coast Guard unit, while assisting in a search for a missing man by the Kilkee unit in September 2016. Six months later, four Irish Coast Guard helicopter crew – Dara Fitzpatrick, Mark Duffy, Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith -died when their Sikorsky S-92 struck Blackrock island off the Mayo coast on March 14, 2017. The Dublin-based Rescue 116 crew were providing "top cover" or communications for a medical emergency off the west coast and had been approaching Blacksod to refuel. Up until the five fatalities, the Irish Coast Guard recorded that more than a million "man hours" had been spent on more than 30,000 rescue missions since 1991.

Several investigations were initiated into each incident. The Marine Casualty Investigation Board was critical of the Irish Coast Guard in its final report into the death of Caitriona Lucas, while a separate Health and Safety Authority investigation has been completed, but not published. The Air Accident Investigation Unit final report into the Rescue 116 helicopter crash has not yet been published.

The Irish Coast Guard in its present form dates back to 1991, when the Irish Marine Emergency Service was formed after a campaign initiated by Dr Joan McGinley to improve air/sea rescue services on the west Irish coast. Before Irish independence, the British Admiralty was responsible for a Coast Guard (formerly the Water Guard or Preventative Boat Service) dating back to 1809. The West Coast Search and Rescue Action Committee was initiated with a public meeting in Killybegs, Co Donegal, in 1988 and the group was so effective that a Government report was commissioned, which recommended setting up a new division of the Department of the Marine to run the Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (MRCC), then based at Shannon, along with the existing coast radio service, and coast and cliff rescue. A medium-range helicopter base was established at Shannon within two years. Initially, the base was served by the Air Corps.

The first director of what was then IMES was Capt Liam Kirwan, who had spent 20 years at sea and latterly worked with the Marine Survey Office. Capt Kirwan transformed a poorly funded voluntary coast and cliff rescue service into a trained network of cliff and sea rescue units – largely voluntary, but with paid management. The MRCC was relocated from Shannon to an IMES headquarters at the then Department of the Marine (now Department of Transport) in Leeson Lane, Dublin. The coast radio stations at Valentia, Co Kerry, and Malin Head, Co Donegal, became marine rescue-sub-centres.

The current director is Chris Reynolds, who has been in place since August 2007 and was formerly with the Naval Service. He has been seconded to the head of mission with the EUCAP Somalia - which has a mandate to enhance Somalia's maritime civilian law enforcement capacity – since January 2019.

  • Achill, Co. Mayo
  • Ardmore, Co. Waterford
  • Arklow, Co. Wicklow
  • Ballybunion, Co. Kerry
  • Ballycotton, Co. Cork
  • Ballyglass, Co. Mayo
  • Bonmahon, Co. Waterford
  • Bunbeg, Co. Donegal
  • Carnsore, Co. Wexford
  • Castlefreake, Co. Cork
  • Castletownbere, Co. Cork
  • Cleggan, Co. Galway
  • Clogherhead, Co. Louth
  • Costelloe Bay, Co. Galway
  • Courtown, Co. Wexford
  • Crosshaven, Co. Cork
  • Curracloe, Co. Wexford
  • Dingle, Co. Kerry
  • Doolin, Co. Clare
  • Drogheda, Co. Louth
  • Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
  • Dunmore East, Co. Waterford
  • Fethard, Co. Wexford
  • Glandore, Co. Cork
  • Glenderry, Co. Kerry
  • Goleen, Co. Cork
  • Greencastle, Co. Donegal
  • Greenore, Co. Louth
  • Greystones, Co. Wicklow
  • Guileen, Co. Cork
  • Howth, Co. Dublin
  • Kilkee, Co. Clare
  • Killala, Co. Mayo
  • Killybegs, Co. Donegal
  • Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford
  • Knightstown, Co. Kerry
  • Mulroy, Co. Donegal
  • North Aran, Co. Galway
  • Old Head Of Kinsale, Co. Cork
  • Oysterhaven, Co. Cork
  • Rosslare, Co. Wexford
  • Seven Heads, Co. Cork
  • Skerries, Co. Dublin Summercove, Co. Cork
  • Toe Head, Co. Cork
  • Tory Island, Co. Donegal
  • Tramore, Co. Waterford
  • Waterville, Co. Kerry
  • Westport, Co. Mayo
  • Wicklow
  • Youghal, Co. Cork

Sources: Department of Transport © Afloat 2020

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