Displaying items by tag: Lobster
Irish lobster fishermen are warning that they face a “wipe-out” as a result of an EU-US trade deal negotiated by former Irish commissioner Phil Hogan.
As The Sunday Independent reports, the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine says Ireland is “still considering” the full implications of the “mini-deal”.
It has been welcomed as “mutually beneficial” by Mr Hogan and US President Donald Trump’s trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer.
The deal was concluded on August 21st – two days after Mr Hogan attended the Oireachtas Golf Society dinner in Clifden, Co Galway, which led to his resignation late this week.
Under the terms, the EU has agreed to eliminate tariffs on imports of US live and frozen lobster for five years, in return for halving of tariffs imposed by the US on certain EU products, including ready meals and crystal glassware,
. The US exported more than $111m worth of lobster to the EU in 2017, with much of that coming from the state of Maine which has been a battleground for Republicans and Democrats.
US President Donald Trump approved aid for US lobster skippers in June, and threatened to increase tariffs on European cars if the EU did not drop tariffs imposed on lobster imports.
The National Inshore Fishermen’s Association (NIFA) has condemned the deal, saying it will have a serious impact on prices for an Irish export-led fishery which has been the last mainstay of the inshore fleet.
Co Clare lobster fisherman Patsy Mullins, who is one of over 40 members of the Galway Bay Inshore Fisherman’s Association, said cheaper US imports would further force down the price of Ireland’s “blue lobsters”, exported mainly to France.
The French market for Irish-caught lobster is valued at 14 million -15 million euro annually, according to Bord Bia.
Fresh lobster can sell at a Christmas peak of around 32 euro a kilo to around 25 euro a kilo over Easter and a minimum of 14 euro a kilo.
However, prices fell to 12 euro a kilo after the COVID-19-related restrictions closed restaurants, upended supply chains and international markets for fresh seafood.
“Decent prices allow boats to fish less, and is better for stocks,” Mr Mullins explained.
“This deal flies in the face of our sustainable aims,” he said. “We have signed up to a V-notch programme for lobsters – a management measure designed to protect lobsters’ reproductive potential - since 1994,” he said.
“The 800 boats left in the inshore sector have been hard hit over the years, but lobster fishing has kept money coming into peripheral areas where there are few employment alternatives,” Mr Mullins said.
Bord Bia’s European seafood and French market manager Finnian O’Luasa said that the US - Canada lobster is “not the same species”, and the European lobster “is far more appreciated in the European market” and fetches a higher price.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine said it “continues to monitor the impact of Covid-19 on key destinations for Irish food exports and to work with all sectors, within the regulatory framework, to develop responsive measures”.
Read the Sunday Independent report here
Switzerland has banned the practice of boiling lobsters alive.
From March 1, as part of new animal protection reforms, it will be illegal for restaurants to throw live lobsters into the pot. Only an electric shock or the ‘mechanical destruction’ of the lobster’s brain will be allowed to render the creatures dead before cooking.
This has been welcomed by animal welfare organisations which claim crustaceans can feel pain, but criticised by many of the country’s chefs.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney T.D. has signed a statutory instrument to introduce management measures from the start of February for non-commercial pot fishing for crab and lobster. The introduction of the measures follows an extensive consultation process involving the National and Regional Inshore Fisheries Forums (RIFFs) and a public consultation facilitated both in writing and online.
Speaking about the introduction of the new measures the Minister said: “I believe these new measures balance the potential for continued enjoyment of pot-fishing for crab and lobster as a pastime with the need to manage the activity to deter illegal fishing and support efforts for sustainable stock management. Every marine user has a part to play in contributing to healthy marine ecosystems and sustainable fisheries so that we can all continue to enjoy the benefits Ireland’s marine resources afford us long into the future. I would like to thank the National Inshore Fisheries Forum and the six multi-stakeholder RIFFs for their support in developing these measures.”
Commercial sea-fishing is a highly regulated activity, and sea-fishermen must meet the requirements for a sea fishing licence, the requirement to fit out a safe and seaworthy vessel and the costs associated with both. A range of conservation measures apply to species fished by pots, including minimum landing sizes for crabs, minimum and maximum landing sizes for lobster and a prohibition on the sale of lobsters that have been v-notched.
The new management measures were developed following an examination of the current regulatory environment and consideration of a number of options for regulating non-commercial pot-fishing. Illegal, unregulated fishing by unregistered boats was a significant cause for concern in a number of areas as well as resource competition at certain times of the year.
The Minister also stressed that sustainable fisheries and sustainable seafood are a key focus of the new €240 million development programme for Ireland’s seafood sector:
“Last week I launched the initial tranche of schemes to provide Exchequer and EMFF funding to Irish fishing and seafood operators. The Programme has been designed to assist Ireland’s seafood sector and coastal communities to adapt to the significant reforms in the new Common Fisheries Policy and to build a successful, sustainable industry that delivers jobs and incomes. Further schemes will be launched in the coming weeks and months.”
#Lobster - Ireland's Marine Minister "is displaying no scientific understanding, and leaving older lobsters in the sea to die" in his new measures to protect lobster stocks, according to an inshore fisheries leader.
As reported yesterday on Afloat.ie, Minister Simon Coveney signed into law new conservation measures that introduce a new maximum landing size of 127mm, in order to preserve larger lobsters and enhance the reproductive potential of the stock.
The move follows the introduction earlier this year of an enhanced 'V-notching' programme to mark lobsters that should not be re-caught. And the minister has allowed for a two-year transition for lobstermen to avail of financial assistance to V-notch oversize lobsters and return them alive.
But Eamon Dixon, chair of the North-West Regional Inshore Fisheries Forum, told The Irish Times that fishermen would be put out of business by the "crazy" new landing size limit, well above the 89mm previously proposed.
Dixon added that the changes "will do nothing to protect the stock, and will only anger fishermen who had asked [the minister] to defer any change until the new regional inshore fisheries forums were up in action."
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.
#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.
Galway trawler Martins Marie brought home a massive lobster weighting almost 3kg with a carapace of more than 15cm.
But Rossaveal vessel Virtuous did one better on their trip to the Porcupine Bank by landing a giant monkfish that weighed in at 40kg even after gutting.
The Irish Times has more on this story HERE.
#lobster – Sea-Fisheries Protection Officers from the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) confiscated nine lobsters from a vessel's 'keep' cage in Kinsale, Co Cork this morning, Friday 12th October. Eight of the lobsters were v-notched, one was undersize and all were berried or egg-bearing. The officers embarked on an early morning sea patrol from Kinsale using an SFPA RIB patrol craft. All of the lobsters were taken and returned to the sea alive. The keep cage where the lobsters were found was identified as being associated with a local vessel and a case file will be prepared and forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Our lobster stocks are protected by a minimum landing size of 87mm. There is a strong network of fishermen's associations and Co-ops who contribute significant time and effort into conservation schemes and their good work ensures the continuation and availability of a viable lobster fishery. A key conservation element is the v-notch scheme where a small mark is cut into the tail of any female lobster found - once marked in this way, it is illegal to land, possess or sell such a lobster. A certain percentage of the population is therefore protected for breeding, thus boosting egg production and in turn recruitment to the stock.
The SFPA works consistently with the inshore sector to ensure compliance with fisheries regulations, for example, a "Guide to Compliance for the Irish Inshore Fleet" was developed between the SFPA in conjunction with key stakeholders in 2010 – this is a concise guide that summarises the principal requirements that apply to Irish fishing vessels under 15 meters operating in Irish inshore waters. The continuing provision of essential information supports the SFPA and industry in their work towards building a culture of compliance. This partnership approach benefits both the fishing industry and the SFPA and underpins the day-to-day efforts of fishermen to protect their livelihoods by complying with legislation that conserves fishing stocks for long-term sustainable exploitation. It is consistent with the SFPA's legal remit to promote compliance with and deter contraventions of sea-fisheries law and food safety law.
Micheal O'Mahony, Board Member of the SFPA said: "The responsible management of our lobster stocks by local cooperatives and fishermen has protected the fishery from depletion through over-exploitation. Lobster fishermen are protecting their livelihood for tomorrow by protecting the lobster resource today. It is important that the misbehaviours of a minority of lobster fishermen in terms of catching and keeping undersize and immature fish is stopped and the SFPA is committed to playing our part in supporting the excellent efforts being made by responsible fishermen by continuing to conduct these inshore sea patrols."
A rare blue lobster has become and unlikely tourist attraction in Co Clare, The Irish Times reports.
The lobster - its blue hue believed to be caused by a genetic trait similar to albinism in humans - avoided the cooking pot and now takes pride of place at Martina Sweeney's seafood shop in New Quay.
Her fisherman husband Gerry, who caught the crustacean, said: "I’ve been fishing for 30 years and have never seen anything like this."
It's believed that only one in three million lobsters is blue. Due to their bright colouring they are often prey for other sea creatures.
The Principal John Moore has discounted all prices by 20 to 30%. All 2009 sailors returned in 2010 and brought friends with them. The French network of the newly appointed Director of Sailing Hugues Traonmilin has brought French families to the island and the French sailors were mixed with the Irish and British children and adults with great success. In addition to a busy summer season, 60 students of a South East College came for the very first time to the Sailing School in March 2010 as part of the Transition Year programme. They were hosted with full board accommodation at the Sailing School Guest house.
Definitely the location of the Sailing School plays a big part in this success story. Heir Island is located in the middle of Roaring Water Bay half way between Schull and Baltimore. Whatever direction you sail from the Sailing School beach, you'll encounter wonderful maritime landscapes and crystal clear waters. The Topaz dinghy fleet may sail to 3 or 4 different sandy beaches on one sailing day. The 3 Dublin Bay Mermaids sailing in flotilla explore the surrounding islands of Castle Island, Sherkin Island, the 3 Calves Islands and of course the Carthy's Islands to visit the seals colony.
Such a fantastic location has orientated the programme of this Sailing School towards the "Adventure" courses of the Irish Sailing Association. The school offers Adventure 1 & 2 courses as their "speciality" course.
2011 perspectives are already very encouraging with a second college to be hosted in Spring for a 10 day transition programme meanwhile the first one is returning after excellent feedback of the 2010 students and teachers. Being a family run business makes this small company very flexible and the range of their activities covers young sailors from 8 years old to adults, groups and families, on dinghies or on a traditional Heir Island Lobster Boat, and on kayaks if you don't want to sail. Also as a qualified Yachtmaster Instructor, the director of sailing has facilitated individually tailored sail training for yacht owners aboard their own yacht, an option that has proven both practical and successful.
More information HERE.