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Displaying items by tag: crab

Marine specialist Dr Kevin Flannery has called on Minister for Marine Michael Creed to show “leadership” on managing the brown crab fishery before the stock collapses writes Lorna Siggins

“Inaction” by Mr Creed will result in many small vessels going to the wall unless a management plan is introduced, Flannery warns.

Brown or edible crab (cancer pagurus) and lobster are not covered by EU total allowable catch provisions, and landings are primarily managed through minimum landing size restrictions.

The rising price fetched for crab has resulted in a substantial increase in effort, particularly off the south-west, according to Flannery, who is a member of Ireland’s south-west regional inshore fisheries forum.

“You have up to 75 per cent of the Irish fleet now potting, and yet we have no patrol vessel that can haul a pot,” he says.

Figures from Bord Bia, show that the total crab exports to China in 2018 reached a value of €16.4 million. The average unit price per tonne was €7.9k, an increase of 32% on 2017.

"75 per cent of the Irish fleet are now potting yet we have no patrol vessel that can haul a pot"

“The price of brown crab has gone from 1.20 euro a kilo to 5 euro a kilo, but this has led to a bonanza which is not good for the stock – or for those who have invested in pots when there is no adequate management,”Dr Flannery says.

Earlier this month, a south-west Irish seafood company confirmed it had secured a 500,000 euro deal with supermarket chain Lidl to supply 800 of its Spanish and Portugal outlets with brown crab.

Shellfish Ireland in Castletownbere, Co Cork, which says it processes 1.5 million kilos of crab annually, employs about 150 people in the west Cork fishing port.

National lnshore Fisheries Forum (NIFF) vice-chairman Eamon Dixon said that the issue was complex, and one which might require co-operation with Britain and France as brown crab is a shared stock.

Mr Dixon said good work had been done in managing a biologically sensitive area extending from Clifden, Co Galway, to Co Waterford, but a full stock assessment was required to come up with a management plan.

Earlier this year, Mr Creed introduced a minimum conservation reference size for brown crab landings, increasing the minimum size to 140mm to allow more time for stock to reproduce.

Mr Creed closed the crab fishery for three months from January to March this year, on foot of an Irish quota management advisory committee recommendation, his department points out.

His department said that the NIFF was holding a series of meetings to come up with a management recommendation.

However, Dr Flannery said it was unfair to expect stakeholders to come up with a management regime without department leadership and a “rapid solution”.

The Marine Institute says that the minimum size increase to 140mm enabled better spawning levels, as maturity is on average 120mm.

However, it said that “no analytical assessments are undertaken” and “methods for assessment of poor stocks continue to be explored”.

Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs has recently initiated a consultation on managing the brown crab.

The Northern Irish authority said this was in response to industry concerns about the health of the fishery, which recorded landings in ports worth over £1.239 million in 2017.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

RNLI Bangor Lifeboat launched at 1:20 pm on Monday 17th January to assist 1 person aboard a 21ft crab fishing boat which had experienced gearbox mechanical failure close to shore.

Within minutes of the rescue pagers being activated, volunteer crew had launched RNLI Bangor Lifeboat and quickly located the crab fishing boat close to shore near Ballymacormick Point which is 1 ½ nautical miles north east of Bangor Harbour.

Calm weather conditions had allowed the skipper of the fishing vessel to make emergency repairs to the gearbox.

RNLI Bangor Lifeboat escorted the fishing vessel to the safety of Bangor Harbour and assisted the skipper with docking manoeuvres.

This is the first rescue call for RNLI Bangor Lifeboat in 2011.

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats

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

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