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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

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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