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Displaying items by tag: Fishing

#Brexit - Brexit has revived a dormant territorial dispute between Britain and the Republic of Ireland over the ownership of Lough Foyle, as the Belfast Telegraph reports.

Leinster House has rejected a claim by Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire that the UK includes the whole of the estuary between Counties Donegal and Derry, which has been under the auspices of the cross-border Loughs Agency since the Good Friday Agreement.

Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough, between Counties Louth and Down, are both matters of dispute between Dublin and London which have only intensified with the uncertainly over fishing rights as the UK prepares to leave the EU and the Common Fisheries Policy.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
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#Missing - The search was set to resume this morning for a fisherman missing after going overboard from a three-man fishing vessel off the Wicklow-Wexford border yesterday morning (Wednesday 16 November).

As The Irish Times reports, RNLI lifeboats from Rosslare and Wicklow were tasked along with the Waterford-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 and later Rescue 116 from Dublin Airport to the incident some 6km east of Kilmichael Point in Co Wexford.

It's understood that the missing man is in his late 40s or eary 50s, according to BreakingNews.ie.

Published in News Update

#RNLI - RNLI lifeboats from Wicklow and Courtmacsherry have responded to two separate calls from fishing boats in difficulty around the Irish coast in recent days.

A trawler with three fishermen onboard was towed to safety by Wicklow RNLI yesterday morning (Thursday 10 November) after it lost all power 10 miles offshore.

The all-weather lifeboat, under the command of coxswain Nick Keogh and a volunteer crew, launched shortly after 10am and were alongside the stricken fishing vessel 40 minutes later.

The skipper had dropped an anchor, but it had dragged and the vessel had drifted a short distance south with the tide. Conditions in the area had a slight sea state, with northwesterly winds of Force 2-3 and good visibility.

The Naval Service patrol vessel LÉ Orla and the work vessel Wildcat 2 also stood by the trawler as the lifeboat crew established a towline.

The trawler, with three crew on board, was then towed back to Wicklow and brought safely alongside the South Quay at 12.15pm.

The previous evening (Wednesday 9 November), Courtmacsherry RNLI's all-weather lifeboat was called out at 10.15pm to aid a 65ft fishing vessel in difficulty 25 miles south of the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.

The lifeboat, under coxswain Sean O'Farrell and a crew of six, launched immediately and located the casualty at 11.25pm. Conditions at sea were reasonable, with winds in the area blowing 26 knots.

The fishing boat, with three people on board had encountered trouble with its power while trawling in the area and required assistance.

On scene, the lifeboat quickly assessed the difficulties and for the next two hours, the lifeboat and stricken vessel proceeded back at low speed to Kinsale, where the boat was safely berthed at 1.45am.

The crew on board Wednesday night’s callout with O'Farrell were mechanic Stewart Russell, Ken Cashman, Donal Young, Ciaran Hurley, Denis Murphy and Conor Tyndall.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Fishing - Authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of an Egyptian crewman on a fishing trawler off the Co Clare coast on Tuesday night (8 November).

According to The Irish Times, the 53-year-old deckhand was injured in an incident on the trawler Endurance while hauling prawn nets off the Porcupine Bank.

Guard are treating the death as an accident, and an investigator from the Marine Casualty and Investigation Board has been assigned to the inquiry.

Published in Fishing
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#MarineNotice - The Marine Institute advises that the annual Irish Groundfish Survey (IGFS2016) will be carried out off the South and West coasts of Ireland between Monday 14 November and Sunday 18 December in fulfilment of Ireland’s Common Fisheries Policy obligations.

The IGFS is a demersal trawl survey consisting of a minimum of 125 fishing hauls of 30 minutes duration each. Fishing in 2016 will take place within a 2nm radius of the positions indicated in Marine Notice 44 of 2016, available to read or download HERE.

The survey will be conducted by the RV Celtic Explorer (Callsign EIGB), which will display all appropriate lights and signals during the survey and will also be listening on VHF Channel 16. The vessel will be towing a high headline GOV 36/47 demersal trawl during fishing operations.

The Marine Institute requests that commercial fishing and other marine operators keep a 2nm area around the tow points clear of any gear or apparatus during the survey period.

While there is no statutory provision for the loss of gear at sea, the Marine Institute will make every effort to avoid gear adequately marked according to legislation that may be encountered in the notified areas.

In the event that an operator has static gear or other obstructions within 2nm of the points listed above it is the responsibility of the owner to notify the survey managers or vessel directly. This should be communicated by identifying specifically which ‘Prime Station’ is of concern using the appendix and contact details provided in the Marine Notice. It is not required to provide positional details of commercial operations beyond 3-4nm of the survey points provided.

Specifics of any fishing gear or other obstructions that are known and cannot be kept clear of these survey haul locations can be notified using the contact details provided in the Marine Notice.

Published in Fishing

#DredgingDalkey - Industrial mussel seed dredging will leave Ireland's coastal waters "full of jellyfish and little else", convervationists claim.

As the The Irish Independent writes, four industrial trawlers had worked in Dublin Bay over the three days beginning last Sunday (23 October). 

Afloat.ie adds the dredging activity was understood to be for mussel seed fishing by the four trawlers dragging cage nets across the seabed of Dalkey Sound. On the final day of dredging, Tuesday, the last vessels to operate, the near 50m long Emerald Gratia (photo above) and 40m Rona, departed for Lough Foyle. The pair arrived last Wednesday at Carrickarory Pier, south of Moville.

The Irish Independent also in its coverage wrote, the Government permits industrial dredging for young mussels but last Thursday the Supreme Court ruled that the contents of the seabed inside our six-mile territorial limit are State "assets" and should be protected.

Two of the trawlers operating in Dublin Bay last week are understood to have been collecting seed mussel for "finishing" grounds in Welsh waters. 

Two others, registered in the Republic, are believed to have been dredging for mussel farms on the west coast of Ireland.

The sea area being dredged, like much of the coastal area of Ireland, has seen major declines in many types of sea life, with anglers and small commercial fishing operations reporting falls in catches year after year. And this summer, as in other recent years, beaches and bathing places around Irish inshore waters have been closed due to swarms of stinging jellyfish.

The few people still earning a living from inshore fishing said that the dredging was causing huge and long-term damage to our fisheries. "The damage caused by the dredgers is absolutely enormous," said Dalkey lobster fisherwoman and boat-hire operator Dolores Smith

"There are stretches of seabed just over there that have been obliterated. The Dublin Bay prawn is extinct now. There are none in the bay any more. People may call prawns Dublin Bay but they're from somewhere else because there are none left here."

Ms Smith also said there was a foul smell around Dalkey Sound and the other dredged areas."It smelt like rotting corpses; it was horrible out there," she added.

She pointed out that Dalkey Sound is officially designated a "specially protected area", yet this has not prevented the trawling of the seabed.

For more including a response from The Irish Wildlife Trust, the newspaper reports here. 

Published in Fishing

#Angling - Northern Ireland’s new online fishing permit application system has “transformed” the industry, as the Belfast Telegraph reports.

The new NI government web portal, designed by Belfast firm Kainos with BT, enables anglers and commercial fishermen to apply for a range of permits and licences with the Inland Fisheries Group via a single channel.

Underpinning the service is a “shared management information system” that means less paperwork and increased efficiency for users and local permit providers alike.

Earlier this year, all paper-based angling permits in Northern Ireland were replaced by electronic records, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Angling

#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.

Published in Fishing

#MCIB - Small fishing craft used for non-commercial potting must comply with the code of practice for recreational craft, investigators have warned in their report on the death of a fisherman in an incident off the Mayo coast last year.

Daniel Doherty went missing after his fishing boat Cara Rose sustained significant structural damage while hauling pots, and beached at Benwee Head north-east of Belmullet on 11 September 2015.

The 23-year-old’s body was recovered two weeks later some eight nautical miles off Downpatrick Head.

The report into the incident by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) found that the vessel suffered structural failure caused by the improper fitting of a hydraulic pot hauler by Doherty, who purchased the boat in 2014 but did not obtain any safety certification.

It was also found that Doherty, who may not have been wearing a personal flotation device (PFD), regularly sailed from Rinroe Pier to bait and haul pots in Broadhaven Bay with only occasional mobile phone contact with a relative on land — contact that would have been unavailable while operating in the shadow area where the boat was found.

While there was a VHF radio operational on the vessel, it did not have the required licence or call sign.

The MCIB report concluded that had Doherty been wearing a PFD and been carrying a personal locator beacon, it’s likely he would have been visible to search teams who began their operation within minutes of the alarm being raised.

Also highlighted by investigators was the lack of clarity over non-commercial fishing allowed in the Recreational Code of Practice, which was last revised in 2008 and does not yet include new and relevant regulations introduced this year by statutory instrument.

The full MCIB report into the MV Cara Rose is available HERE.

Published in MCIB

#Fishing - A new website for the National Inshore Fisheries Forums (NIFF) was launched by Marine Minister Michael Creed yesterday (Tuesday 25 October).

“Getting inshore fishing communities involved in decision-making is the key aim of the forum initiative,” said the minister, who added that the website “is a vital tool both to make information available and also to foster interaction and discussion.

“I hope that it will become a regular port of call for all interested in developing a sustainable future for this sector.”

Minister Creed also thanked Bord Iascaigh Mhara and the forum delegates for their contributions to the website at www.inshoreforums.ie, launched at the eighth meeting of the NIFF since it was established in 2014.

Budget 2017’s introduction of the Fisher’s Tax Credit (based on the seafarer’s allowance model) and changes to the Fish Assist Scheme were highlighted as important income support mechanisms for inshore fishing communities.

The inshore sector — comprising fishing boats of less than 12 metres in overall length — makes up more than 80% of the fishing fleet, and is predominately active within six nautical miles of the Irish shore.

Minister Creed acknowledged the role of the NIFF and others in the fishing industry in advocating for income support.

“Maintaining jobs and attracting new entrants have been identified by our stakeholders as a key challenge for our fishing industry, including the inshore sector,” he said.

“This annual tax credit specifically for fishermen of €1,270, which mirrors the value of the Seafarer’s allowance, is important recognition for their contribution to Ireland’s Blue Economy.”

Yesterday’s NIFF meeting also tabled proposals to revise the conservation measures for lobster, and to introduce technical conservation measures for the velvet crab fishery.

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