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#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

#Angling - Inland Fisheries Ireland has recently added two new guides to its list of resources for anglers fishing in Ireland.

The West of Ireland Sea Angling Guide covers the region from Westport, in Clew Bay, south to the rocky headlands of North Clare, including Galway Bay, Connemara, Killary, Louisburgh, Clew Bay, and the offshore islands of Inisbofin, Inisturk and the Aran Islands.

The guide is in no way comprehensive, and the list of marks and venues is just a sample of what is available across the region's waterways. There are literally hundreds of shore marks in the region that have rarely, if ever, been fished, but the potential waiting to be explored is immense. Getting off the beaten path and trying a new mark may produce the fish of a lifetime.

In addition, the County Sligo Game Angling Guide covers the main game angling waters in the district. It contains information on the location of each fishery as well as details in relation to contacts, permitted angling methods, angling seasons, etc.

Meanwhile, IFI has received numerous submissions from individual anglers, angling organisations and angling tourist providers regarding restrictions on the use of prawn/shrimp as a salmon angling bait on the River Suir for the 2013 season.

IFI is interested to hear the views of other angling stakeholders or from those who wish to make further submissions.

Submissions can be made to IFI Clonmel by email at [email protected] or by post to Inland Fisheries Ireland, Anglesea Street, Clonmel, Co Tipperary.

The closing date for receipt of submissions is 28 February 2013.

Published in Angling

#ANGLING - Enniscorthy anglers have reached an agreement with Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) over the use of shrimp as bait to catch the Slaney's prized salmon, according to the Enniscorthy Guardian.

The Enniscorthy Local Anglers Association has also agreed with IFI officials not to overfish the river when levels are low.

New signage has now been installed along the river through the town reminding salmon anglers that no more than 15 rods will be allowed at any one time when the water is running low.

All fish must also be returned to the Slaney as per the agreement.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Wexford town's anglers had secured the support of the IFI board in their call to prevent the threatened ban on using shrimp as bait.

Members of the Enniscorthy Local Anglers group argued that shrimp is ideal bait for catching salmon downstream, and said they were "baffled" by the ban on its use by IFI officials.

Pickings have been slim so far this season, with only one fish caught since it began a month ago. But local angler Kris Murphy is "generally optimistic" about the river's salmon stocks.

The Enniscorthy Guardian has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

#COASTAL NOTES - Bantry Bay has reached its capacity for salmon farming, says the committee formed to oppose a proposed new facility at Shot Head.

Save Bantry Bay has called a public meeting for supporters tonight (24 March) at Eccles Hotel in Glengarrif, Co Cork, starting at 8.15pm - where chairman Kieran O'Shea will give a presentation on the group's "wide-ranging objections", as The Fish Site reports.

Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney is currently considering the licence application for Marine Harvet's proposed salmon farm at Shot Head in Adrigole.

Concerns among the committee's members include the potential spoiling of the area's natural beauty having a knock-on effect on tourism, and the environmental consequences of algae blooms from nitrogen and phosphorous waste.

Local fisherman fear that a fish farm of more than 100 acres would see the closing off of part of an "important ground for shrimp and prawn".

Possible infection of wild salmon in local river systems by sea lice from farmed salmon is also an issue, with the Environmental Impact Statement for Shot Head highlighting an outbreak of lice at Marine Harvest's facility in Roancarrig two years ago.

The Fish Site has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#ANGLING - Enniscorthy anglers have secured the support of the board of Inland Fisheries Ireland in their call to lift the ban on using shrimp as bait.

As the Enniscorthy Guardian reports, members of the Enniscorthy Local Anglers group argue that shrimp is ideal bait for catching salmon downstream, and are "baffled" by the ban on its use by IFI officials.

In a letter to the IFI they wrote: "'We see this ban as putting a direct stop to salmon fishing for 99% of our towns' salmon anglers as this is the only safe method of fishing that suits the stretch of river available to the people of Enniscorthy."

MInister of State Fergus O'Dowd is set to decide on the matter shortly, and anglers hope he will find in their favour in time for the opening of the River Slaney on St Patrick's Day.

The Enniscorthy Guardian has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

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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