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Displaying items by tag: oysters

The latest research and knowledge on oyster diseases was presented at a meeting on Pacific oyster health held recently by the Marine Institute’s Fish Health Unit.

The event attracted more than 80 participants from Ireland’s oyster farming industry, as well as representatives from Ireland’s seafood development agency Bord Iascaigh Mhara.

Presentations focused on mortality, disease management and current national and international research in oyster health.

Oyster mortalities in recent years in Ireland have been mainly associated with either Ostreid herpes virus-1 μVar (OsHV-1 μVar) infection or the bacterium Vibrio aestuarianus. Both diseases cause significant oyster mortality events and an economic loss to oyster farmers and producers.

Researchers from the Marine Institute and University College Cork presented the major findings from the REPOSUS project, funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s FIRM programme.

The three-year REPOSUS project focused on reducing the impact of pathogens associated with mortalities in Pacific oysters. This included results from sentinel trials in disease impacted bays, molecular and pathogenicity characterisation studies on isolates of OsHV-1 and rache and studies on environmental parameters which influence mortality.

French institute IFREMER also presented the latest results from the VIVALDI project (Preventing and Migrating Farmed Bivalve Diseases) funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

VIVALDI combines European research resources to better understand shellfish diseases and improve the sustainability and competitiveness of the European shellfish industry. The Marine Institute is one of 21 partners involved in this research project.

Industry representatives from Ireland also shared their experience of managing losses in shellfish production due to oyster disease and mortality on their sites.

This feedback, along with research presented, will be used to update the current best practice guide for disease control and management in Ireland's oyster industry.

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#Oysters - Unauthorised oysters farms have exploded in number on Lough Foyle amid a continued dispute over its ownership, as the Belfast Telegraph reports.

The estuary between the counties of Donegal and Derry remains a point of contention as Brexit looms, with both the UK and Irish governments claiming dominion over its waters.

As a result, there has been a proliferation of unregulated oyster farming that could be worth £20 million or €22.89 million each year, according to the Loughs Agency.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on this story HERE.

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On Tuesday 5th June 2018, a man was convicted by Judge Mary Fahy at Galway District Court for being in possession of 1,425 undersized native oysters (Ostrea edulis), contrary to Bye-Law 628 of 1982.

Patrick Cormican, with an address at Newline, Maree, County Galway, pleaded guilty to a single charge of being in possession of the undersize native oysters when apprehended by Fisheries Officers at approximately 1pm on 7th December 2017, at Blackweir, County Galway.

Solicitor Dioraí Ford, representing Inland Fisheries Ireland, outlined to the court that Fisheries Officers observed Mr. Cormican loading bags of oysters into a tractor-trailer at Blackweir on that date. The officers were aware that these bags contained undersized oysters. Mr. Cormican is a licenced oyster fisherman and on the day in question had approximately 5,000 oysters, of which 1,425 were undersized. Officers spent over an hour and a half measuring and counting the oysters.

The court heard that Mr. Cormican was co-operative on the day in question and had a previous conviction in relation to oysters dating from 1991. Judge Fahy commented on how serious a matter this was, particularly with the local connection with the world famous Clarinbrige Oyster. Mr Ford outlined that the Fisheries Officers involved in the case had never seen such an amount of undersized oysters before while carrying out an inspection of this type.

Judge Fahy convicted Mr. Cormican and imposed a fine of €750. Costs of €800 were also awarded against Mr. Cormican.

Oysters in Ireland

There are two species of oysters commonly eaten in Ireland – the native oyster (Ostrea edulis) and the non-native Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas). The native oyster grows wild and is typically caught by licensed dredging, while the Pacific oyster is most commonly farmed on trestles and harvested mechanically.

Native oyster stocks are under threat and sustainable fishing requires adherence to size limits, in order to allow oysters to grow large enough to breed before harvesting. The minimum legal size is 76mm. Inland Fisheries Ireland is charged with protection of oysters, and conducts regular inshore patrols to check for compliance. Sales outlets such as fishmongers and restaurants should be familiar with the legal requirements and refuse to accept undersize oysters.

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#Fishing - Fishermen wishing to apply for oyster dredge licences for the 2018 season must submit a completed official form to the relevant River Basin District Office before noon on Friday 24 November.

This process became necessary due to the fact that there are many Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Natura 2000 sites in Ireland that also contain oyster fisheries.

As the exploitation of these fisheries will require dredging, appropriate assessment of these fishing activities will have to be undertaken.

In the absence of appropriate assessments, against predetermined conservation objectives, it is necessary to ensure that no intensification of the fishing activity for oysters be permitted.

This has been further strengthened by the issuing of a direction from the minister in accordance with Section 278 (5)(a) of the Fisheries (Consolidation) Act 1959 as amended and the Habitats Directive as transposed by European Commission (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 (SI 477/ 2011).

As yet, no appropriate assessment of the potential impact of the wild oyster fishery has been completed for most locations within SACs and, in the absence of the necessary advice, Inland Fisheries Ireland must ensure that no intensification of the oyster fishery takes place.

As a consequence, IFI must continue to limit the number of licences that can be issued for 2017.

The official procedure and application form are available for download at the IFI website HERE.

Applicants must complete the application form in full and ensure that any relevant information that will assist IFI in assessing their application is submitted with the application.

The relevant licence fee for 2018 is €89 and this must also accompany the application. Unsuccessful applicants will have their fee refunded in full. Further information on the process is available with the application form.

Application forms are also available from Inland Fisheries Ireland, Teach Breac, Earl’s Island, Galway, H91 K6D2 (Tel 091 563118), from any Inland Fisheries Ireland District Office, or from Inland Fisheries Ireland head office, 3044 Lake Drive, Citywest Business Campus, Dublin 24, D24 Y265.

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#Fishing - Fishermen wishing to apply for oyster dredging licences for the 2017 season must apply with the official form via the relevant River Basin District Office before 12 noon on Friday 25 November.

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) say this process became necessary due to the many Special Areas of Conservation and Natura 2000 sites in Ireland that also contain oyster fisheries.

As the exploitation of these fisheries will requires dredging, appropriate assessment of these fishing activities will have to be undertaken.

In the absence of appropriate assessments, against predetermined conservation objectives, it is necessary to ensure that no intensification of the fishing activity for oysters be permitted.

This has been further strengthened by the issuing of a direction from the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine in accordance with Section 278 (5)(a) of the Fisheries (Consolidation) Act 1959 as amended and the Habitats Directive as transposed by European Commission (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 (SI 477/ 2011).

For further information on the official application procedure, visit the IFI website HERE.

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#MaritimeFestivals - The 2016 Carlingford Oyster Festival kicks off this evening (Thursday 4 August) on the shores of Carlingford Lough with the official opening of the event that runs till Monday 8 August.

This Saturday (6 August) is when the festivities really under way, with local restaurants offering samples of their finest seafood dishes.

Visitors will have an opportunity to try some of the Co Louth town's renowned local oysters at the Festival Oyster Tent.

There will also be guided tours of what's one of Ireland's few remaining Medieval walled towns, to coincide with Irish Walled Towns Day on Sunday 7 August.

For more on the weekend's festivities see HERE.

Published in Maritime Festivals

#Missing - RTÉ News reports that a body was found yesterday morning (Sunday 19 April) in the search for a missing fisherman off the Clare coast.

The search and rescue operation began in the early hours of yesterday morning after four people working with tractors in the oyster beds at Poulnaserry Bay got into difficulty when the tide came in.

Three of the fishermen were rescued by a local boat. RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

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#Seafood - Donegal's oyster industry has been hit by an import ban in Hong Kong over an outbreak of food poisoning.

According to The Irish Times, food safety investigators in the Chinese territory were notified by Irish authorities two weeks ago that the presence of norovirus was confirmed at a raw oyster processing plant in the north-eastern county that services the crucial Asian market.

Hong Kong subsequently banned the import of raw oysters from Donegal "for the sake of prudence". More HERE.

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#Fishing - Fishermen wishing to apply for oyster dredge licences for the 2015 season must apply on the official form to the relevant River Basin District Office before 12 noon on Monday 17 November 2014.

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) says this process became necessary due to the fact that there are many SACs and Natura 2000 sites in Ireland that also contain oyster fisheries.

As the exploitation of these fisheries will requires dredging, appropriate assessment of these fishing activities will have to be undertaken.

In the absence of appropriate assessments, against predetermined conservation objectives, it is necessary to ensure that no intensification of the fishing activity for oysters be permitted.

This has been further strengthened by the issuing of a direction from the Minister in accordance with Section 278 (5)(a) of the Fisheries (Consolidation) Act 1959 as amended and the Habitats Directive as transposed by European Commission (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 (SI 477/ 2011).

For further information, details on the official application procedure and the application form, visit the IFI website HERE.

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#Oysters - Fishermen wishing to apply for oyster dredge licences for the 2014 season must apply on the official form to the relevant River Basin District Office before 12 noon on Monday 18 November 2013.

This new process has become necessary due to the fact that there are many Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Natura 2000 sites in Ireland that also contain oyster fisheries.

As the exploitation of these fisheries will requires dredging, appropriate assessment of these fishing activities will have to be undertaken. In the absence of appropriate assessments, against predetermined conservation objectives, it is necessary to ensure that no intensification of the fishing activity for oysters be permitted.

This has been further strengthened by the issuing of a direction from the Minister in accordance with Section 278 (5)(a) of the Fisheries (Consolidation) Act 1959 as amended and the Habitats Directive as transposed by European Commission (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 (SI 477/ 2011).

Further information as well as the official application procedure and application form are available HERE.

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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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