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Displaying items by tag: Fishing

#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

#Fishing - New Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed hosted his first meeting of the National Inshore Fisheries Forum (NIFF) yesterday, Wednesday 22 June.

The minister met with the chairs and vice-chairs representing the six Regional Inshore Fisheries Forums (RIFFs) to hear their proposals for the future development of the inshore fisheries sector.

The inshore sector – comprising fishing boats of less than 12m in overall length – make up more than 80% of the fishing fleet and are predominately active within six nautical miles of the Irish shore.

“I am pleased that there was a focus in today’s discussions on priorities to ensure a positive longterm future for this sector," said Minister Creed. "This Government has committed to the development of the inshore sector. To deliver this, it is essential to hear the views of the stakeholders themselves through the NIFF.

"With EMFF funding now available, there are opportunities to secure sustainable inshore fisheries and enhance incomes in rural, coastal communities.” Among the range of issues discussed at yesterday’s meeting were access to herring stocks, and proposals to develop national conservation measures for velvet crab.

This was the seventh meeting of the NIFF (not to be confused with the National Inland Fisheries Forum), which was established in 2014 to facilitate the development of a coherent inshore sector 'voice' by encouraging inshore fishermen to discuss their fishing issues and generate commonly-supported initiatives.

A network of six Regional Inshore Fisheries Forums (RIFFs) around the Irish coast have nominated delegates to bring forward regional proposals to the NIFF for wider industry discussion.

These RIFF members include inshore fishermen, environmental interests, marine leisure, marine tourism and other marine stakeholders.

The structures also provide opportunities for collaboration between the inshore fishing sector and their communities on sustainable strategies to optimise the income opportunities afforded by the coastal resource.

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The Courtmacsherry RNLI All Weather Lifeboat was called out at 2pm today Sat to go to the aid of a 36 foot Fishing Vessel that had got into difficulty just 300 meters off the rocks at Dunworley Point in West Cork.
The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat under Second Coxswain Mark Gannon and a crew of six launched immediately and reached the stricken vessel at 2.28pm and succeeded in quickly getting a tow rope on board the Casuality, which had got into difficulty while fishing and was in danger of going on the nearby dangerous rocks.
With a crew of two on board, the Causality has immediately been taken under tow by the Lifeboat and is expected to arrive back to Courtmacsherry Pier at 3.40pm.
The fishing vessel sent out a Mayday distress call for immediate assistance just as Ireland kicked off the Euro battle with Belgium and the Lifeboat crew were quickly at the Lifeboat station to put to sea.
Conditions at sea today are windy with a difficult swell. Local Angling boat the Lady Louise also assisted in the rescue.

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#Coastguard - Shannon's Irish Coast Guard helicopter was launched yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 14 June) to evacuate an injured crewmember from an Irish fishing vessel off the Kerry coast.

Top cover was provided by a second coastguard helicopter as Rescue 115 flew to the boat 120 miles west of the Blasket Islands to recover the injured party for treatment.

In another incident, coastguard volunteers recovered the body of a man from the base of the Cliffs of Moher last night, as reports.

Units from Doolin and Kilkee responded when the alarm was raised around 5pm yesterday, eventually lifting the body to the cliff top four hours later. Gardaí are investigating.

Published in Coastguard

#Brexit - Britain's exit from the EU could create an opportunity for north Atlantic coastal countries to form their own economic group, according to a leading Irish fishing industry figure.

Speaking to The Irish Times, Irish Fish Producers Organisation (IFPO) CEO Francis O’Donnell said there was sympathy within the industry for Brexit due to the impact of Common Fisheries Policy quotas on their livelihoods.

New markets in South America, Asia and the Middle East could also replace any loss of access to the crucial EU common market, O'Donnell suggested, if Ireland were to "become a global player" and band together with the UK, Iceland and Norway.

Such sentiment within Ireland's fishing communities runs against the current of the majority of Ireland's farming sector, with the IFA urging Irish in the UK to vote to remain in the EU.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

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#Fishing - Marine Minister Michael Creed today (Wednesday 1 June) met with the leaders of Irelands’ fish producer and exporting organisations to discuss various issues including the commitment under the Programme for Government to dealing with the issue of penalty points for serious infringements of the Common Fisheries Policy.

Minister Creed said that the meeting was “a very positive engagement and that he looked forward to working closely with all of the organisations on both the challenges and the opportunities for Ireland’s fisheries sector over the coming years.”

The minister discussed a wide range of issues with industry representatives and, in particular, their concerns in relation to the implementation of the CFP penalty points system.

On this matter, he confirmed that upon taking office he requested that the Attorney General consider whether there is a way that the assignment of EU points for licence holders can await the completion of the prosecution process, while at the same time ensuring that Ireland is fully in compliance with its obligations under EU law.

"Further to the Programme for Government commitment pertaining to the assignment of penalty points, I quickly sought advice from the Attorney General as prescribed in the document," he said. "Having now received this advice, I am satisfied to move on the introduction of a system for the sequential application of EU points in conjunction with the prosecution process, thus fulfilling the ambition outlined in the Partnership Programme."

The minister acknowledged that this move was subject to addressing some important legal and administrative issues in order to ensure compliance with EU law.

“I have today listened to the concerns of industry and intend to report back to the Oireachtas as soon as I have finalised a way forward in the context of dealing with legal and administrative matters that are arising," he added.

"However I am confident that these matters can be dealt with in a collaborative and constructive manner with all stakeholders.”

Among the other topics covered in today’s meeting were the potential impacts of ‘Brexit’ on the Irish fishing industry, the ongoing phasing in of the landing obligation or ‘discards ban’ under the new Common Fisheries Policy, the herring fishery off the North West coast, EU funding, decommissioning of fishing vessels, negotiations with Norway and the Faroe Islands, and the Killybegs Fisheries Harbour Centre.

“Today’s meeting was all about getting a deeper understanding of the issues facing the Irish fishing industry and I very much appreciated the positive engagement with industry leaders," the minister concluded.

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#Seafood - New Marine Minister Michael Creed yesterday (Friday 27 May) announced the award of €4.3 million in grants to 51 seafood enterprises under five schemes launched earlier this year under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Operational Programme for the seafood sector.

The grants are co-funded by the Exchequer and EMFF and subject to terms and conditions.

“The EMFF Seafood Development Operational Programme was only adopted in December 2015 and I am delighted that it has so quickly seen these significant investments in our seafood sector provided with the financial supports that will ensure that these critical investments can be implemented," said the minister.

"Collectively, these investments will deliver jobs to coastal communities, develop new value added seafood products, develop new markets and further sales for our seafood products, and develop knowledge and new processes in aquaculture production, disease management and animal husbandry.

"These investments will assist seafood enterprises to contribute to the ambitious growth targets we have set for our processing and aquaculture sectors. I expect to announce further grant offers under these schemes in the coming months."

The grant offers are made under five EMFF Schemes. For the processing sector, €3.4 million was awarded to 27 enterprises under the Seafood Capital Investment Scheme towards total investment of €19.4 million. These investments are projected to create 316 jobs by 2019 and additional sales of €77 million by 2019.

In addition, €157,000 was awarded to four enterprises under the Seafood Scaling and New Market Development Scheme towards total investment of €335,000 and €164,000 was awarded to eight enterprises under the Seafood Innovation and Business Planning Scheme towards total investment of €328,000.

For the aquaculture sector, €199,000 was awarded to four enterprises under the Knowledge Gateway Scheme towards total investment of €305,000, while €382,000 was awarded to eight enterprises under the Sustainable Aquaculture Scheme towards total investment of in excess of €1 million.

Further details of the schemes concerned are available at the BIM website HERE.

Published in Fishing

#Fishing - Out-of-date safety equipment has seen a Cork trawler skipper and owner landed with €4,000 in fines, as RTÉ News reports.

Pat O'Mahony of Kinsale and the Crosshaven-based Labardie Fisher Ltd pled guilty at district court in a case taken on behalf of the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport.

The former was convicted of having expired distress signals and hydrostatic life raft releases on his fishing trawler on 5 October last year.

Meanwhile, the trawler owner was fined on a charge of arriving in port with expired distress signals, and for failing to send the port superintendent a signed crew manifest as of 28 May last year.

The court heard that both skipper and owner, who lost 12 days of fishing during the investigation, co-operated fully during the process.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing

#Fishing - The Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) has called on the deadline for applications for migrant fishing work permits to be extended as it has emerged that only 60 applications have been received.

Last November, then Marine Minister Simon Coveney announced that renewable work permits for non-EEC nationals in the Irish fishing industry would be limited to 500.

The move came in the wake of damning claims of widespread exploitation of migrant labour in the fishing fleet around Ireland, allegations that were later criticised by many in the industry.

But as The Irish Times reports, the new scheme to protect migrant workers from low pay and long hours has attracted only 60 applications as of last week.

And while the Department of Justice said it expected a late surge before the deadline yesterday (Sunday 15 May), the MRCI argues the current scheme is flawed as it is tied to employers and does not allow crew to apply as independent workers.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

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#Fishing - The UK's new voluntary Responsible Fishing Scheme (RFS) has received a boost as Marks & Spencer became the first retailer to sign up to its charter for sustainable fishing.

From next year all British fishing boats supplying M&S supermarkets will have to be certified by the RFS, confirming that any seafood they catch has been done so responsibly and that their crews have a safe working environment.

International fishing fleets have until 2021 to get certified under the scheme if they're to continue supplying M&S stores.

“We’re passionate about being a responsible retailer," M&S food director Andy Adcock told about the move, part of the retailer's Plan A sustainability programme.

"We only buy fish from the most sustainable sources, a commitment we’ve worked tirelessly on for almost 20 years, and this pledge means our customers can shop with us knowing we’ve done everything possible to protect the marine environment and those working in our fish supply chain.”

However, M&S is candid that it can't influence the fishing industry alone, with the company's Hannah Macintyre saying that more collaboration will be needed across the industry to ensure that the RFS "will do for fishing standards what the MSC has done for fish stocks". has more on the story HERE.

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