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Displaying items by tag: 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.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

#SubIncident - A submarine of the Royal Navy which towed a fishing trawler at speed through the Irish Sea endangered the lives of the crew, inspectors said.

As the Belfast Telegraph reports the Karen was trailed backwards at seven knots in April 2015 after the sub snagged in its nets 15 miles from Ardglass - one of Northern Ireland's main fishing ports in the south east.

Commanders were unaware of the collision until three hours later after they failed to realise they were passing beneath a fishing vessel with nets rather than a merchant cargo or passenger ship, the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) report said.

Steve Clinch, chief inspector of marine accidents, said: "Eighteen months ago, the actions of the command team of a Royal Navy submarine placed the lives of the crew of the trawler Karen in danger.

The newspaper has much more on the story by clicking here.

Published in Fishing

#Fishing - Two Cork fishing trawler owners have been charged with offences relating to trafficking and illegal employment of a Filipino fisherman, according to the Guardian.

Leonard Hyde and Pat O’Mahony, co-owners of the Labardie Fisher, are accused of knowingly facilitating Demi Omol’s entry into Ireland without proper documentation earlier this year, and of employing him without a work permit.

The news comes a week after Revenue and other State agencies launched a sting operation over undocumented workers at fishery ports in Dublin, West Cork and Louth.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

#Fishing - A small fishing vessel had a close call in West Cork this week when a much larger trawler powered past from Castletownbere with barely any room to spare.

According to the Irish Examiner, the crew of the Celtic Dawn were hailing pots offshore when the Spanish boat approached at speed, and appeared to be taking no evasive action.

Maritime law dictates that vessels such as the Celtic Dawn that are hauling static gear have the right of way, as The Irish Times reports.

And the captain of the smaller boat was not pleased about the situation.

“If it had been foggy, we would have been in trouble,” said Kieran Sullivan.

See video of the near collision below:

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

#Fishing - Fishing ports in Howth and Castletownbere were raided by gardaí and State agencies yesterday (Wednesday 5 October) in a sting operation focused on undocumented workers, as The Irish Times reports.

The raids come after revelations last November in the Guardian newspaper alleging exploitation of migrant workers in the Irish fishing industry.

In the wake of that story, then Marine Minister Simon Coveney announced a cap on work permits in the fishing industry to 500 across the fleet, a scheme that was launched this past February but has seen few applicants.

Raids have also been reported in Co Louth as part of an ongoing investigation into illegal practices within the industry, which is estimated to employ around 1,000 foreign workers.

That’s according to the International Transport Workers Federation, which says it has sent inspectors to ports around the country since January to gather evidence.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing

#NewHarbour - The newly constructed Killybegs Small Craft Harbour which Afloat reported on during the summer was officially opened last week. 

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD launched the official opening for the new marine project. ABCO Marine IRL had recently completed Phase 3 of the project, the works consisted of the provision and installation of steel tubular piles and floating breakwater pontoons.

Minister Creed said at the launch that, "The new harbour, fully funded by the state, is a first class facility capable of accommodating 63 boats ranging up to 15metres in length with one berth capable of accommodating larger vessels in excess of 20 metres long. This is a great development for Killybegs Harbour and will complement the existing world class facilities in place for our large fishing vessels".

Published in Fishing
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