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Displaying items by tag: conservation

#MarineWildlife - Basking sharks, stingrays and seaweeds are among nearly 50 species of marine flora and fauna faced with extinction in Ireland’s waters, according to a new report from the Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT).

Protecting Our Ocean Wealth outlines the current conservation status of 48 species considered most vulnerable due to a lack of comprehensive legislation to protect their habitats.

The IWT report proposes a number of measures that could assist in conversation, including new legal protections for certain species sought after in sport angling, and the closing of the crawfish fishery in Tralee Bay to help restore an “entire ecosystem”.

But as The Irish Times reports, it’s feared that a number of species, including halibut, wolf-fish and the common sturgeon, may already have vanished from Irish waters. More on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Angling - Sean Kyne, Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, gives statutory notice of his intention to make the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme (Amendment) Regulations, 2017 to provide for the management of the wild salmon and sea trout fishery by Inland Fisheries Ireland from 1 January 2018.

A copy of the draft regulations is open for public inspection at the offices of the department in Cavan and also at the offices of Inland Fisheries Ireland.

Any person may submit observations and.or objections to the draft regulations at any time during the period of 30 days concluding Thursday 14 December either by e-mail to [email protected] or to the following address:

Inland Fisheries Division
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment,
Elm House,
Earlsvale Road,
Cavan Town
H12 A8H7
Ireland
Tel (01) 6783071 / Lo-call 1890 449900 Ext 3071

Note that rates charged for the use of the 1890 number may vary between service providers.

All submissions received will be published on the department’s website following the conclusion of the consultation period.

Published in Angling

#Angling - Sean Kyne TD, Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, has given statutory notice of his intention to make the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme Regulations 2016 to provide for the management of the wild salmon and sea trout fishery by Inland Fisheries Ireland from 1 January 2017.

A copy of the draft regulations is available from the department website and and is also open for public inspection at the offices of the department in Cavan and at the offices of Inland Fisheries Ireland.

Any person may submit observations or objections to the draft regulations at any time during the period of 30 days concluding on 11 December 2016 either by e-mail to [email protected] or to the following address:

Inland Fisheries Division,
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment,
Elm House,
Earlsvale Road,
Cavan Town
H12 A8H7
Ireland
Tel: 01 6783071 / Lo-call 1890 449 900 Extension 3071

All submissions received will be published on the department's website following the conclusion of the consultation period.

Published in Angling

#Angling - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has issued an appeal to bass anglers preparing for the season ahead to get involved in collecting information on bass in Irish waters for the National Bass Programme (NBP).

The programme was established by IFI to collect data on bass to provide scientific advice to support management and conservation of Ireland’s bass resource.

Bass anglers, as citizen scientists, have been collecting information for the NBP since 2013, thereby supporting bass stock assessment and increased understanding of the biology and ecology of bass in Irish waters.

To date, over 750 bass have been tagged and 3,000 adult bass scale samples have been collected. Scales are used to determine the age and growth rate of bass, while tagging provides information on migrations and habitat use.

The likelihood of additional recaptures is increasing with greater numbers of tagged fish at sea. Tagging results so far have shown that bass were recaptured generally within a few kilometres of their original capture site but some have travelled up to 38km. Time at liberty has ranged from three to 298 days.

By checking all bass for tags and reporting recaptures, anglers will help to discover additional information regarding movements of Irish bass.

IFI head of research and development Dr Cathal Gallagher said: “Ireland has always been a pioneer in terms of bass conservation and is showing progressive thinking in bass management by using the expert knowledge of anglers to collect information that would otherwise not be obtainable. We call on anybody interested in promoting bass conservation to contact IFI for information on how to get involved. All support is much appreciated.

“If you catch a bass with a yellow tag, or a fouled tag, please don’t remove it from the fish. Simply clean the tag and note the tag code (eg B-00001). If possible take the length and weight of the fish, and five scales from behind the pectoral fin, before you release the fish alive.

"Please send us the details, along with the date and location and your name and phone number by email or call IFI on 01-8842600. Information on the original bass tagging location and date will be provided to everybody who reports details to the IFI.”

IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne added: “Bass is an extremely important and valuable marine sport angling species in Ireland. It is a particularly valuable national resource, contributing €71 million to the Irish economy annually and supporting over 1,200 jobs nationally.

"Bass is an angling-only species so it is important that anglers, as guardians and custodians of this iconic sportfish, contribute information to support conservation orientated management.

"Some anglers are using voluntary logbooks to provide information on catches, angling effort, fish sizes and methods used. Scale sampling packs and logbooks are available from IFI and feedback on scales received will be provided to individual anglers outlining fish age, the year it was spawned and its growth rate.”

IFI has a dedicated email address at [email protected] to enable members of the public to report details on caught bass or to request information on how to support the NBP.

For more information, visit www.fisheriesireland.ie or call IFI at 01 884 2600 during office hours.

Published in Angling

#Angling - The 2015 Salmon Conservation Fund (SCF) and Midland Fisheries Fund (MFF) are now open for applications, Minister Joe McHugh has announced yesterday (Wednesday 15 April).

In total, €240,000 is available to conserve and develop the inland fisheries resource from funds generated through the sale of salmon licences and Midland Fisheries Area permits.

The schemes administered by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IF) will facilitate clubs, fishery owners, commercial salmon fishers and other organisations to undertake works to improve habitat, stocks, access, invasive species management and angling, under the supervision and direction of IFI.

The works undertaken are important in maintaining and improving capacity within the inland fisheries resource, which is estimated to contribute €755 million annually to the Irish economy.

Announcing the schemes, Minister McHugh said: “I am pleased to be able to support IFI in making these funds available to fisheries interests to allow for ground-up, managed sustainable development of the inland fisheries resources.

"Some wonderful projects have been supported since these funds have been established and I encourage all those interested in fisheries to investigate the possibilities under the various schemes to conserve, develop and promote their local fisheries.” 

The Salmon Conservation Scheme has been in existence for eight years and has allocated funding to 184 salmon projects all around Ireland. €200,000 is available for distribution under this scheme in 2015.

The Midland Fisheries Fund, which is now beginning its third year, has seen 17 projects undertaken in the midlands area developing angling resources, supporting scientific research and conserving fisheries habitat. A further €40,000 is available under this scheme for 2015.

Full details and application forms are available on the Midland Fisheries Fund HERE.

Published in Angling

#hyc – Howth Yacht Club's Pat Murphy presents the life of Asgard, this famous yacht in Irish history from her launch in 1905 to her current conservation in Collins Barracks Museum and the 100th commemoration in 2014. The venue for the special talk is Howth Yacht Club this Wednesday, 18th February at 20:00. The lecture is open to all inlcuding non–yacht club members.  

'Asgard's' 23 day voyage to collect the guns and ammunition for the Irish Volunteers and their landing in Howth in July 1914 is described in detail with unique photographs. Also covered will be the landing of Conor O'Brien's 'Kelpie' in Kilcoole.

Donations, no matter how small, will be welcomed on the night for the Howth 17s Heritage Fund.

Published in Howth YC

#Lobster - Ireland's Marine Minister "is displaying no scientific understanding, and leaving older lobsters in the sea to die" in his new measures to protect lobster stocks, according to an inshore fisheries leader.

As reported yesterday on Afloat.ie, Minister Simon Coveney signed into law new conservation measures that introduce a new maximum landing size of 127mm, in order to preserve larger lobsters and enhance the reproductive potential of the stock.

The move follows the introduction earlier this year of an enhanced 'V-notching' programme to mark lobsters that should not be re-caught. And the minister has allowed for a two-year transition for lobstermen to avail of financial assistance to V-notch oversize lobsters and return them alive.

But Eamon Dixon, chair of the North-West Regional Inshore Fisheries Forum, told The Irish Times that fishermen would be put out of business by the "crazy" new landing size limit, well above the 89mm previously proposed.

Dixon added that the changes "will do nothing to protect the stock, and will only anger fishermen who had asked [the minister] to defer any change until the new regional inshore fisheries forums were up in action."

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing

#lobster – The Minister for the Marine, Simon Coveney T.D., has signed into law, conservation measures as part of an integrated package to protect the long-term sustainability of lobster and shrimp stocks.

Lobster & Shrimp stocks are vital stocks for the important inshore fisheries sector and these stocks have been under increased fishing pressure requiring a number of conservation measures to ensure their sustainability.

In May, the Minister announced that the rate of financial assistance provided to fishermen for v-notching lobsters was increased to 75% of the market value. Figures from BIM, which administers the lobster v-notching programme, indicate that the number of lobsters v-notched in 2014 was more than double the numbers of recent years, with some €250,000 of funding supporting the return of more than 30,000 berried female lobsters to the sea this year.

As part of the Minister Coveney's announcement in May he also published the results of an extensive consultation process on lobster and shrimp management and announced that he had approved plans to revise conservation measures for these stocks. Following the success of the enhanced v notching programme for Lobsters and the completion of the consultation exercise the Minister is now enhancing the conservation measures further as part of an integrated approach. Under the new protection measures for lobster, a maximum landing size of 127mm is being introduced to support the reproductive potential of the stock. The retention of very large Lobsters in the Lobster stock are known scientifically to greatly enhance the reproductive potential of the stock and help to ensure its future sustainability.

Minister Coveney said, "I am greatly encouraged by the upsurge in v-notching conservation activity since my announcement in May. Lobsters are one of the most important species to the inshore sector and we need to work to ensure the long-term future of this valuable stock."

To ease the introduction of the new measure, during the first two years of this new measure's operation fishermen can avail of financial assistance for v-notching 'oversize' lobsters and returning them alive to the sea as a conservation measure. In the case of the shrimp fishery the new measures will see an earlier closing date of 15 March, instead of 1 May, commencing in 2015. This will improve stock protection during the critical shrimp spawning period.

Published in Fishing

#Turlough - TheJournal.ie reports that waste water from a whole town in Co Galway is being piped into a Special Area of Conservation.

According to an investigation by Ireland's national trust An Taisce, sewage from the town of Glenamaddy, home to some 700 residents in the north-east of the county, is being discharged in a local turlough - a lake that appears and disappears as the water table rises and falls - from which is has contaminated a nearby spring.

An Taisce described the town's present sewage unit as "primitive" and said: "It has been a subject of internal discussions within various public authorities for the best part of at least 20 years, yet the hazard continues to this day.”

TheJournal.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

#MaritimeBorder - Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore has signed a new agreement that establishes a fixed maritime boundary between the UK and Ireland's offshore areas, as The Irish Times reports.

Gilmore put pen to paper on the deal with British ambassador to Ireland Dominick Chilcott that finalises a single boundary between the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) and continental shelves of both countries.

The agreement is expected to ease development of offshore energy projects, as well as improve fisheries protection and marine conservation in the EEZ, which lies above the continental shelf between 12 and 200 nautical miles off the coast.

However, despite the new deal, Ireland and Britain's differing claims over Rockall in the North Atlantic remain.

The small rocky islet, 228 nautical miles northwest of Donegal, is also claimed by Denmark and Iceland.

Published in Coastal Notes
Page 2 of 6

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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