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Displaying items by tag: Fishing

#RNLI - Lough Derg RNLI was requested to launch by Valentia Coast Guard yesterday evening (Sunday 4 September) to assist a fisherman whose boat was wedged inside a rocky shoal.

At 5.50pm, the inshore lifeboat launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, Liam Knight and Keith Brennan on board. Winds were east-southeasterly Force 2 and visibility was good.

The lifeboat located the vessel in Youghal Bay, and the fisherman on board was found safe and wearing his lifejacket.

He was taken onto the lifeboat and an RNLI volunteer transferred across to the lakeboat before it was taken off the shoal and towed to safe harbour in Youghal Bay.

Peter Kennedy, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI, advises boat users "to bring charts with you and know the areas close to shore marked as unnavigable."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Wicklow's all-weather lifeboat Annie Blaker launched at 7.30am yesterday morning (Saturday 3 September) to assist a fishing vessel four miles offshore.

The RNLI lifeboat, under the command of coxswain Nick Keogh, was alongside the stricken vessel 18 minutes after launching.

After a quick assessment, the 12m whelk trawler with three crew was found to have gearbox failure and unable to motor back to port.

Weather conditions in the area at the time saw a sea state slight with rain and fair visibility.

Once a towline was established, the trawler was taken back to Wicklow Harbour, where the volunteer crew secured the fishing vessel safely alongside the south quay by 8.40am.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#MCIB - Two fishing crew died after exposure to toxic gases that were not detected within their trawler's refrigeration system, according to the official findings on the incident in Killybegs a year ago.

The new report from the Maritime Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) also recommends the issue of a Marine Notice warning fishing crews of the hazards of toxic gases within closed spaces on board their vessels.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the tragedy occurred when the two men were cleaning refrigeration tanks on the fishing vessel Oileán an Óir in Killybegs Harbour on Monday 24 August 2015.

When one man was overcome by fumes upon entering the port-side tank, his colleague was similarly overcome when going to his aid. Both were rescued from the tank and removed to hospital for treatment, but later died as a result of the inhalation of lethal levels of hydrogen sulphide gas.

The MCIB report determined that the gas, a common byproduct from the breakdown of organic matter such as fish, was held in solution within water that had not been fully flushed out of the trawler's refrigeration system after the end of the pelagic fishing season five months prior.

When the two crew members ran harbour water through the system to flush out the tanks, the gases released remained in the confined spaces.

The report highlights that while the trawler's refrigeration system lacked gauges or sensors to detect toxic fumes, it was also standard practice for the crew to enter the tanks for various purposes, such that the first crew member "would not have perceived the danger that this action posed to him or the repercussions to the safety" of his crewmate.

"Fatalities due to enclosed space entry is an issue of considerable concern" within the merchant shipping sector, the report adds, despite the hazards of toxic gases in such spaces being "well known in the broader marine industry".

The full MCIB report on the Oileán an Óir incident is available to download below.

Published in MCIB

#Fishing - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport reminds fishing vessel operators to monitor their bilge spaces prior, during and after voyages.

It is also essential that bilge alarms are tested regularly, to determine that both the audible and visible alarms are working.

In addition, it is good practice to regularly inspect bilge suction strainers to ensure they are clean and ready for use.

The notice is prompted by the recommendation made in last year's report by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board into the sinking of the FV Napier off the Saltee Islands on 30 January 2014.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Kilmore Quay lifeboat launched to the rescue of two fishermen on board the small lobster boat as it sank off the Co Wexford islands.

The official MCIB report into the incident was unable to determine the exact cause of water flooding the boat's bilge and engine area as it was not recovered from the sea bed, though it is presumed to be a serious failure of the seawater cooling system.

The full report is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Fishing

#Seafood - France remains Ireland's largest export market for commercial fishing catches - but African countries now make up one-fifth of total export revenues.

Nigeria, Cameroon, Egypt and Ghana together accounted for 20% of Ireland's seafood export revenues in 2015, according to the Annual Review and Outlook for Agriculture, Food and the Marine launched today (Wednesday 20 July) by Marine Minister Michael Creed.

The report outlines that while there are challenges ahead – in particular the consequences of the UK vote last month to exit the EU, as well as ongoing commodity price volatility – global demand for sustainable agri-food is continuing to grow, and that Ireland, as a world leader in the sector, can look forward to long-term growth prospects.

The full report PDF can be read or downloaded from the department's website HERE.

Published in Fishing
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#MarineWildlife - Three dead dolphins have washed up on Kerry's shores in recent days – and one Irish fishery expert believes so-called 'supertrawlers' in the area might be responsible.

According to The Irish Times, former Sea Fisheries Protection Authority inspector Kevin Flannery says one of the three common dolphins found between Dingle and Smerwick Harbour since last weekend had a rope around its tail, presumably discarded from a fishing vessel.

He added that while there is no proof of precisely what became of the dolphins, it was "no coincidence" that the incidents occurred while a fleet of mainly Dutch factory fishing ships was spotted off the Blasket Islands.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#KillybegsProject - A marine piling project is underway in Killybegs, Co Donegal on phase 3 of the small craft harbour.

The contract to ABCO Marine at the Killybegs Fishery Harbour Centre that began late last month, is on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).

The works will include the provision and installation of stell tubular piles and floating breakwater pontoons, associated connections and ancillaries. Additional works are also required to integrate phase 3 installation with the previous phase 1 and 2 pontoon arrangements.

ABCO's marine plant involves the C57 Red Squirrel jack-up barge, a transfer barge, support work boats to support the piling operations.

The works according to ABCO are progressing to programme, with the piling to be completed this month, in advance of the new floating pontoon installation.

Published in Fishing

#BrexitImpact - Ireland's fishing industry will not lose out to agriculture in the wake of Brexit, the new Marine Minister assured stakeholders at this year's SeaFest in Galway.

Speaking to The Irish Times, Minister Michael Creed said "I am not going to shop one in favour of the other" amid concerns in the marine sector of a repeat of Ireland's concessions in favour of farming in negotiations to join the then EEC in the early 1970s.

As for what measures the Government will take to address the impact of Brexit, the minister said that "until Britain triggers the exit mechanism and lays its cards on the table, we can’t react".

Recently it was suggested that Britain's exit from the EU could create an opportunity for north Atlantic coastal countries – including Ireland and non-EU member Norway – to form their own economic group and take greater control of the region's fisheries.

The impact of Brexit is already resonating in the marine sector, as major Irish Sea ferry operator Stena Line, based in Sweden, confirmed it is "considering the implications for all of [its] UK interests".

Published in Fishing

#Fishing - Marine Minister Micheal Creed yesterday (Tuesday 28 June) met with EU Fisheries Commissioner Karmenu Vella at the Fisheries Ministers Council in Luxembourg.

This was the first formal meeting between the two men since Minster Creed's appointment.

The minister described the meeting as "very useful and cordial and it gave me the opportunity to outline some of Ireland’s key fisheries concerns to Commissioner Vella, who has a very good understanding of Ireland's interests and issues”.

Minister Creed and Commissioner Vella exchanged views on a range of current topical fisheries issues and in particular the discussions around fishing opportunities for 2017.

“I wanted to take the opportunity today to impress upon the commissioner the need for a sensible approach towards the implementation of the policy of maximum sustainable yield," said the minister.

"I made the point that, in some cases, it may be necessary to delay reaching that target by a year or two. This will be vital for some of our important whitefish fisheries off the south coast.”

Minister Creed was attending the Agriculture & Fisheries Ministerial Council in Luxembourg where the main fisheries item on the agenda was the Commissions Communication of Fishing Opportunities for 2017.

This is the first step in the process of negotiation that will establish Ireland's fishing quotas for next year.

Published in Fishing
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#Fishing - 'Money for old rope' is the pitch for a new initiative that aims to recycle old fishing nets that often end up littering the seas, as the Irish Examiner reports.

A number of Irish companies have been invited to Norway later this year to explore the possibility of collecting abandoned fishing nets and other ocean waste for repurposing in various industries – such as using the rope fibres in reinforced concrete.

They will be led by Macroom E, a company started by Cork County Council to help small and medium businesses make the most of recycling initiatives.

Macroom E is a partner with Circular Ocean, a Europe-wide project hosting a showcase this September on its work to remove waste from the ocean – where plastic and 'ghost nets' remain a hazard to marine wildlife – and turn it into a useful, and profitable, resource.

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
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