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Displaying items by tag: Angelshark

The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) has issued a reminder to the public about a ban on catching angelsharks, after a sighting of the endangered species in Galway Bay.

“Angelsharks (Squatina squatina) are among Ireland’s rarest native (as opposed to migrant) fish,”the SFPA said in a statement.

“They are critically endangered worldwide. They have been reduced to a couple of areas in Irish waters – Tralee Bay being the most notable. Only between one and a few are seen in Irish waters in any year,”it said.

Film footage of an angelshark was recorded by two kayaking instructors Ronan Breathnach and Colm O’Loan off Rinville in south Galway Bay last weekend.

The Angelshark (squatina squatina) The Angelshark (squatina squatina) 

The Marine Institute, which confirmed the sighting, described it as “ a great day out for the group of 12 budding marine scientists of the future”

The SFPA says it wishes to remind the public that angelsharks are a “prohibited species” for all EU and third-country vessels.

“Any commercial fisher who encounters them must release them safely back into the sea as soon as possible, and they are strongly encouraged to record them as bycatch in their logsheet,”it said.

“Some commercial vessels have tagged them over the past decade. These details help with the assessment of the angelshark populations,” the SFPA added.

Fishermen, coastal farmers, walkers and “passionate individuals” are being asked to report new sightings or past records of the angelshark as part of a national research project which marine scientist Louise Overy recently spoke to Wavelengths about.

The aim is to develop an action plan which supports their recovery for future generations – a “community-led recovery”, Overy said in her interview here

Published in SFPA
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A group of young kayakers in Galway were treated to a scarce sight at the weekend when an angelshark surprised them for a brief swim-around.

Kayaking instructors Ronan Breathnach and Colm O’Loan from Galway Bay Sailing Club had the presence of mind to dip their camera into the water and capture footage of this rarely encountered fish in the waters off Rinville on Sunday (28 May).

“What a great day out for the group of 12 budding marine scientists of the future,” said the Marine Institute, who confirmed the sighting of one of the critically endangered marine wildlife species which is also one of the rarest sharks in Europe.

Angelsharks were once abundant over large areas of the Northeast Atlantic but pressure from commercial fishing—particularly bottom trawling—has been blamed for a significant decline in their numbers over the last century.

Published in Marine Wildlife

“Jaws” it ain’t – the Angelshark has more in common with the skate and ray but is now an endangered species.

The squat flat shark, appropriately named Squatina squatina, once lived in abundance on sandy and muddy seabed areas on the Irish coastline but is now confined to Tralee Bay, Co Kerry.

As Afloat reported previously, the critically endangered species is the focus of a research appeal.

Fishermen, coastal farmers, walkers and “passionate individuals” are being asked to report new sightings or past records of the Angelshark as part of a national research project which marine scientist Louise Overy spoke to Wavelengths about.

The aim is to develop an action plan which supports their recovery for future generations – a “community-led recovery”, Overy says.

A website is currently being developed, www.angelsharkproject.com and the Irish Elasmobranch Group can also be contacted on Facebook or by email at [email protected]

Published in Wavelength Podcast
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Fiddle-fish, Banjofish and Devilfish are all names given to a species of shark native to Ireland which is now as endangered as the Giant panda or Bengal tiger.

The Angelshark once lived in abundance on sandy and muddy seabed areas on the Irish coastline but is now confined to Tralee Bay, Co Kerry, while the Canary islands are one of their last “strongholds” in Europe.

Now fishers, coastal farmers, walkers and “passionate individuals” are being asked to report new sightings or report past records of the Angelshark - also known locally as monkfish and bearing the Latin name Squatina squatina - as part of a national research project.

Marine scientists Louise Overy and Dr Kevin Flannery of Mara Beo in Dingle, Co Kerry, explain that Irish waters are “home to a vast and incredible array” of marine life, including 80 different species of the elasmobranch sub-class of fish - sharks, skates and rays.

Marine scientist Louise Overy who is leading the Angelshark research project Marine scientist Louise Overy who is leading the Angelshark research project 

One-third are considered at risk of extinction, and the Angelshark is regarded as “critically endangered”.

The Angel Shark Project: Ireland is led by the Irish Elasmobranch Group, and is being run in partnership with Natural Resources Wales, Zoological Society of London, Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change and Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

Inland Fisheries Ireland, University College Dublin, the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Marine Institute and Mara Beo are also collaborating.

The project has been supported by the Shark Conservation Fund, Overy says.

Using historic records, the group hopes to identify important areas for Angelsharks across Ireland and gather vital information on their ecology and life history.

The aim is to develop an action plan which supports their recovery for future generations – a “community-led recovery”, Overy says.

A website is currently being developed, www.angelsharkproject.com, and the Irish Elasmobranch Group can also be contacted on Facebook or by email at angelsharksireland@gmail.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) in Ireland Information

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity to save lives at sea in the waters of UK and Ireland. Funded principally by legacies and donations, the RNLI operates a fleet of lifeboats, crewed by volunteers, based at a range of coastal and inland waters stations. Working closely with UK and Ireland Coastguards, RNLI crews are available to launch at short notice to assist people and vessels in difficulties.

RNLI was founded in 1824 and is based in Poole, Dorset. The organisation raised €210m in funds in 2019, spending €200m on lifesaving activities and water safety education. RNLI also provides a beach lifeguard service in the UK and has recently developed an International drowning prevention strategy, partnering with other organisations and governments to make drowning prevention a global priority.

Irish Lifeboat Stations

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland, with an operational base in Swords, Co Dublin. Irish RNLI crews are tasked through a paging system instigated by the Irish Coast Guard which can task a range of rescue resources depending on the nature of the emergency.

Famous Irish Lifeboat Rescues

Irish Lifeboats have participated in many rescues, perhaps the most famous of which was the rescue of the crew of the Daunt Rock lightship off Cork Harbour by the Ballycotton lifeboat in 1936. Spending almost 50 hours at sea, the lifeboat stood by the drifting lightship until the proximity to the Daunt Rock forced the coxswain to get alongside and successfully rescue the lightship's crew.

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895.

FAQs

While the number of callouts to lifeboat stations varies from year to year, Howth Lifeboat station has aggregated more 'shouts' in recent years than other stations, averaging just over 60 a year.

Stations with an offshore lifeboat have a full-time mechanic, while some have a full-time coxswain. However, most lifeboat crews are volunteers.

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895

In 2019, 8,941 lifeboat launches saved 342 lives across the RNLI fleet.

The Irish fleet is a mixture of inshore and all-weather (offshore) craft. The offshore lifeboats, which range from 17m to 12m in length are either moored afloat, launched down a slipway or are towed into the sea on a trailer and launched. The inshore boats are either rigid or non-rigid inflatables.

The Irish Coast Guard in the Republic of Ireland or the UK Coastguard in Northern Ireland task lifeboats when an emergency call is received, through any of the recognised systems. These include 999/112 phone calls, Mayday/PanPan calls on VHF, a signal from an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) or distress signals.

The Irish Coast Guard is the government agency responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue operations. To carry out their task the Coast Guard calls on their own resources – Coast Guard units manned by volunteers and contracted helicopters, as well as "declared resources" - RNLI lifeboats and crews. While lifeboats conduct the operation, the coordination is provided by the Coast Guard.

A lifeboat coxswain (pronounced cox'n) is the skipper or master of the lifeboat.

RNLI Lifeboat crews are required to follow a particular development plan that covers a pre-agreed range of skills necessary to complete particular tasks. These skills and tasks form part of the competence-based training that is delivered both locally and at the RNLI's Lifeboat College in Poole, Dorset

 

While the RNLI is dependent on donations and legacies for funding, they also need volunteer crew and fund-raisers.

© Afloat 2020