Tag Archives: Ireland

Ireland: Seals depleting salmon stocks?

The potentially detrimental effect seals are having on salmon stocks has been raised at Donegal County Council’s Fisheries committee. Cllr McDermott said the seal population had quadrupled and he did not think any investigations had been carried out into the amount of salmon being eaten by seals. He added: “The effect on the salmon stock caused by seals is not being taken into consideration at all. The fishermen have grave concerns. It seems to be okay for the seals to deplete salmon stocks but it is not okay for the fisherman who is trying to make a living.” >click to read< 16:30

Donegal Sinn Féin TDS call for urgent intervention in Killybegs fishing debacle

Speaking today, Deputy Pearse Doherty said:  “The Taoiseach promotes the ‘Shared Island’ brand, aiming to provide public money to break down the borders and barriers to trade on this island. How then can he stand over the situation in Killybegs? “The SFPA (Sea Fisheries Protection Authority) have punished the fishing community there by removing in-factory weighing permits because landings happened to take place in Derry and, according to them, ‘outside of Ireland’? “This obviously comes after a series of vessels have been turned away from Killybegs harbour over the last number of weeks which had already caused widespread outrage. >click to read< 14:19

Another blow for Killybegs fish processors in weighing debacle

Two Killybegs fish processors have had their in-factory weighing permits suspended by the SFPA amid the weighing debacle. The action was taken by the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) after it reportedly refused to recognise Derry as part of Ireland. Earlier this month, a Norwegian vessel was prevented from landing its catch of blue whiting in Killybegs due to the approach which has been taken by the SPFA in regard to the weighing of fish. The weighing system would have rendered the fish unfit for human consumption. >click to read< 12:55

Fishermen say weighing system rendered catch unfit

More than 1,000 tonnes of high-quality blue whiting were rendered unfit for human consumption in Killybegs, Co Donegal last weekend because of the weighing system used by the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, according to the Irish Fish Processers and Exporters Association. The IFPEA said the ‘MFV Lauren’ returned after her maiden voyage to her home port of Killybegs and was subjected to a “full monitor” or control weighing by the SFPA. The ongoing row over the weighing regime has seen a number of vessels leave Killybegs with their catch rather than comply with the weighing system, which skippers and processors say would damage their catch. >click to read< 14:54

Killybegs Fishermen’s Organization calls for Immediate Action on Russian Trawlers

A fleet of Russian midwater freezer trawlers are currently operating in a zone shared between the UK and the Faroe islands – having been issued licences by the Faroes. CFO boss Sean O’Donoghue has slammed the move. He said “What is most galling about this is that the Faroese are not just facilitating the access of the Russian boats, but they are also using their excessive blue whiting quota as a trade-off to ‘print currency’ or purchase cod quota from Russia. “It appears that the Faroese are swapping the fish in an area they share with the UK for cod quota in Russian waters,” said Mr O’Donoghue. >click to read< 10:17

Charging electronic device likely the cause of fire that sank trawler

An unattended electronic device being charged has been cited as the potential cause of fire that sank a fishing vessel off the Cork coast last year. The FV Horizon, an Irish-registered fishing trawler, sank about 20 nautical miles off the Old Head of Kinsale on the morning of Thursday, May 14, 2021. According to the incident report from the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB), the boat’s skipper noticed a significant amount of smoke around the accommodation cabin door in the galley area at about 1.30am on the night in question. Grabbing a fire extinguisher, he descended down into the galley area,,, >click to read< 13:05

Brady hits out at Ministers for ‘passing buck’ as Arklow fisherman flounders in debt

The criticism by the Wicklow TD addresses the failure of both Ministers to take leadership with “neither prepared to do the decent thing and deal with the issue” that has seen Mr Gaffney lose his fishing boat and license and wrack up debts of more than €1million. “What we have witnessed is a case of ‘passing the buck’ between government departments, as they work to avoid taking responsibility for the matter,” said Mr Brady. Explaining his current situation, Mr Gaffney said: “I have no life anymore. Every week there is costs, and every week is like a knife cut. >click to read< 08:50

Galway Hooker Lit in Ukrainian Colours

One of Galway’s fleet of traditional craft has been lit in Ukrainian national colours in support of the people of Ukraine The Naomh Cronán is decked out in yellow and blue on Galway’s Claddagh basin each evening after sunset. The 40 foot Naomh Cronán was built to the design of the traditional craft once used for fishing and turf-carrying along the Atlantic coast. “We were preparing lights for our fleet for St Patrick’s day on March 17th, and decided to light one of the vessels for Ukraine,” Peter Connolly of Bádóirí an Chladaigh, the Claddagh Boatbuilders, said. >click to read< 08:52

Cork boat owners urged to use caution around site of sunken trawler

The sinking is the latest chapter in the story of a boat that has been linked to tragedy in the past. Fisher Aidan Burke from Drishane Road, Millstreet, Co Cork, was washed overboard in November 2000 when the Sceptre trawler was fishing out of Union Hall in very heavy seas near the Seven Heads area, between the Old Head of Kinsale and Dunworley Bay. The trawler is understood to have been berthed in the harbour for around five or six years, and had not fished in that time. Photos, >click to read< 08:55

I’m facing a ‘life sentence’ of debt because I was sold a ‘defective’ trawler

A former fisherman has told how he’s been handed “a life sentence” after he was left €2 million in debt when he was sold a trawler, which he claims was defective. CJ Gaffney, from Arklow, Co Wicklow, bought the Mary Kate WD30 in Germany in 2009 and at the time the vessel was deemed safe by German authorities, who had stamped its EU papers. But when the boat almost capsized on two occasions with four crew on board, nearly 20 tonnes of steel was discovered when they carried out their own independent safety checks. He claims this extra weight made the 24m boat completely unstable and too dangerous for the water. >click to read< 08:18

Irish fishermen “absolutely thrilled” with Russian decision not to conduct naval exercises in Ireland’s EEZ

Simon Coveney this evening confirmed that he has received assurances from his Russian counterpart, confirming the controversial drills will not go ahead within Ireland’s exclusive economic zone, having been planned to take place approximately 240km off the Cork coast. “It was a shock at first, it took me a while to digest it to understand the enormity of what has been achieved here. “We are all just absolutely thrilled with the news today. I must say the only way I can describe it is we threw the pass to Simon Coveney, he caught the ball and scored the try,” Mr Murphy said. >click to read< 19:05

Cork fishermen reveal concerns over Russian submarines as they head off to sea

Kenny Oates, captain of the F/V Anders Nees, headed to sea last night with his six crew members for their first expedition of 2022 in search of hake, which swim close to the ocean floor. But Mr Oates admitted he is concerned that Russian subs could get caught in deep-sea fishing nets and pull down a trawler. He said: ‘We have seen it happen in Ireland, we have seen it happen in Scotland. It makes all fishermen very, very nervous.’ ‘You have all these international war games going on at sea and the fishermen are just trying to do their job, not knowing what is really going on,’ he said. >click to read< 09:09

Updated: “Absolute Guarantee” – Wait! There is no Guarantee!

Irish fishing industry meets Russian ambassador over planned naval exercises -Representatives of Ireland’s fishing industry have been issued with an “absolute guarantee” by Russia’s ambassador that their work will not be impacted by Russian naval exercises scheduled for next week. The Irish government confirmed on Sunday that Russia plans to conduct naval and air exercises 240 kilometres off the southwestern coast of Ireland in international waters that lie within Ireland’s exclusive economic zone. >click to read< 07:30

Russians deny fishermen’s claims on naval drills ‘buffer zone’ – In a statement on Friday morning, the Russian Embassy rejected reports based on the statements from the fishing representatives on Thursday that there had been “some kind of ‘agreement’ on some kind of ‘buffer zones’ in the area of the upcoming drills of the Russian Navy in the Atlantic.” >click to read< 08:28

Irish fishermen plan to ‘be there first’ after safety warning over Russian missile tests

The Department of Transport has released an official warning over “live fire” Russian navy exercises set to take place off the southwest Irish coast in February, with some fishermen indicating they intend to disregard the caution. In a marine notice to shipowners and all seafarers, the Department cautioned of “serious safety risks” posed by the exercises involving the launching of rockets. Fisherman have criticised the notice and indicated plans to disregard the warning, with the chief executive of the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation saying Irish fishermen “will be there first next week.” >click to read< 09:02

Independent Senator calls on Ryan to launch investigation into Mary Kate

CJ Gaffney and his family have received more backing in their fight for justice over the Irish Government’s handling of the case relating to the fishing vessel ‘Mary Kate’ WD 30, which they purchased from Germany in 2007. The Mary Kate was passed as safe at the time of her purchase. Little did CJ and his family know at that time, that in fact, they had been led into purchasing an iron coffin. Since this time, the Euro-cutter design, of which the Mary Kate is a model, has been condemned. CJ and his family tried everything in their power to correct the issues with the Mary Kate, but were blocked at every turn, and eventually were forced by the banks to sell their boat, leaving them heavily in debt. And so started a long-drawn-out fight for justice. >click to read< 19:05

Ireland: Coast Guard helicopter base in southeast to be retained

Search and rescue services will remain in place in the southeast following a confirmation from the Department of Transport that a minimum of four helicopter bases will be retained for future Coast Guard services. Initial copies of tendering documentation published by the Government in late 2021 detailed how a minimum of three helicopters were to be provided by the next contractor. This led to concerns expressed by politicians in the region that a base would be cut from the future plans, potentially in Waterford. >click to read< 12:04

Irish Fishermen plan to peacefully disrupt Russian drills

Irish fishing boats are planning to peacefully disrupt plans by the Russian navy to conduct military exercises off the coast of Cork next month. Patrick Murphy, chief executive of the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation said that the area was very important for fishing and that they wanted to protect biodiversity and marine life.,, Mr Coveney had said that the naval exercises were “not welcome”. Mr Filatov said that he had relayed the Minister’s concerns to Moscow. >click to read< 08:08

Wing and a prayer for future of Waterford Coast Guard rescue base

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan admitted in recent days that the potential loss of the Waterford search and rescue base is a “life or death” situation. The fear is that the base will be lost under a new contract worth hundreds of millions of euro for the renewal of aviation services for the Irish Coast Guard.,,  this has prompted fears that Waterford could lose its helicopter base, which would have ramifications for the south and south-east region. The R117 helicopter operates out of Waterford, and its crews had a busy year in 2021; typically it responds to around 700 calls a year but that increased to more than 900 last year. >click to read< 21:12

Work stoppage by Sea Fisheries Protection Authority officers to cause disruption

Barring last-minute efforts to resolve issues, the stoppage is expected to cause disruption in designated fishing harbours around the coast. Lack of consultation with staff over the implementation of a new strategy and organisational changes are among the key reasons cited for the industrial action. The union served notice last week of 24-hour work stoppage by all Fórsa members from midnight Wednesday, January 19 to midnight Thursday, January 20. This may be followed by a 48-hour work stoppage by all Fórsa members from midnight Tuesday,,, >click to read< 17:38

West Cork Fishermen celebrate 50th anniversary by buying respite house for local charity despite ‘tough times’

A group of fishermen in West Cork have bought and donated a house worth 250k to a local charity that works with over 750 adults and children with intellectual disabilities, even though they say the fishing industry is experiencing “extremely difficult times.” “We wanted to do something to mark our 50th anniversary that our founding members and every Castletownbere who has lost their lives at sea would be proud of, we’ve never been about glitz and glamour and we’d no interest in a big party, we’ve always been about community,” John Nolan, the General Manager of the co-op said. >click to read< 06:50

Crew of Cork trawler escaped a minute before vessel sank

The crew of a Cork-registered trawler had a lucky escape after their vessel sank off the Wexford coast earlier this year within one minute of abandoning ship after a 350kg weight punctured a large hole in its deck. A report by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board has revealed how the accident caused F/V Aztec to swiftly submerge off Duncannon, Co. Wexford, on January 11 last after taking in water. The fishing vessel with four crew on board had been engaged in pair trawling with another vessel, F/V Western Down. >click to read<11:26

Killybegs welcomes first of three sister ship

The Atlantic Dawn Group based in Killybegs has welcomed their new 64.65 metre pelagic trawler, ‘Leila’ to the local fishing fleet. “We took delivery of the new vessel last week and all went well for us. We’re now preparing for the new season and new quotas in January,” The vessel will fish with a crew of nine and will be skippered by Karl’s brother Kevin McHugh, who is also Director of Fishing Operations in the Atlantic Dawn Group. >click to read< 12:30

Ireland: Future of fish industry is very ‘bleak’ – ‘We ask for no more than equal rights,,,

The future of the fishing industry remains very bleak, with scientific advice not matching the reality of what fishers are witnessing, an abundance of fish in our Irish fishing grounds. That’s according to Patrick Murphy, head of the Irish South and West Fish Producers’ Organisation. Mr Murphy said there was ‘clear evidence’ showing many stocks in our zone could allow for far higher catches and sustainable quotas for Irish fishers ‘many of whom will be forced to leave the industry if the Common Fisheries Policy remains in favour of our visiting fleets.’ ‘We ask for no more than equal rights and equal opportunities for Irish fishermen in Irish waters,’,,, >click to read< 07:13

‘They saved my life’ – Cork fisherman and crewman save man from burning yacht

Fisherman Mick Hoey was tending to shrimp pods in nearby waters with his crewman Cian when he saw the yacht that had caught fire off the coast of Myrtleville, Co Cork. Mr Hoey has said he “made a beeline” for the yacht which was being captained by Alan Mulcahy. It had been a “relief” to see that Mr Mulcahy was “ready to rock and roll” when they approached the burning vessel, Mr Hoey said. Video, >click to read< 17:57

Scrapping fishing boats will ‘destroy industry and communities’

The State’s smaller fishing trawlers and the communities depending on them will become part of folklore under the Government’s plans to scrap some of the fleet, the Oireachtas has been warned. Under the plan from Minister for Agriculture and the Marine Charlie McConalogue, backed by European Union funds, 60 small and medium-sized trawlers would be permanently decommissioned. “We will see the complete destruction of our fishing industry resulting from [this], as it is requires the wiping out of a third of the 180 vessels operating in Ireland’s offshore demersal/whitefish fleet, leading to the ultimate destruction of our Irish demersal fishing fleet,” >click to read< 22:38

Financially Ruined: Arklow skipper CJ Gaffney launches petition calling for investigation into fishing vessel

Arklow skipper CJ Gaffney has launched an online petition calling for an official and impartial investigation into the three EU countries involved in the former Irish fishing boat “Mary Kate – WD30’’. Mr Gaffney has been left in debt after purchasing the trawler in 2007, only for it to be subsequently found to be unsafe. “We are now financially ruined. We have lost our boat, our fishing quota, our fishing license. We have lost our good name. We have lost respect within our fishing community. We have no credit worthiness with financial institutions. “We have lost a proud fishing heritage spanning 5 generations of my family. “Please sign our petition. Help us get justice and compensation for a damning error which has financially ruined us.” >click to read< 07:31 – IRISH FAMILY’S LAST S​.​O​.​S. IN THEIR FIGHT FOR JUSTICE- This is the link to the Petition >click to sign<

EU is getting tangled in a net of its own making with Killybegs row

Whatever else is happening in the fishing port of Killybegs, Co Donegal, openness and transparency is not part of the playbook. Killybegs may be a long way from Dublin, or Brussels for that matter, and fishing may be Ireland’s forgotten industry, but rules of fairness and justice should still apply. A huge row over the weighing of fish is threatening to make unviable an industry that is already facing huge challenges. On one side is the EU. In 2018 it identified what it claims were serious deficiencies in the Irish fisheries control system. >click to read< 22::30

Irish fishing fleet to be gutted by one third to make Brexit quota – “This is a very sad day.”

Sixty trawlers will be decommissioned and taken out of business by the end of next year leaving just 100 vessels left in the whole country. The Government is to pay out €63.5 million in compensation from EU funds to the fishermen who are leaving the industry. All of the country’s fishing groups agreed to the deal except the West and South Fish Producers Association. Precise details are expected to be given to the Dail in the next week or two. >click to read< 07:30

‘In the Eye of the Storm’: McConalogue Presents Memo on Seafood Task Force Report to Cabinet

The task force report, published in early October, is recommending just over €423 million be given to the Irish fishing industry to help weather the impact of Brexit. Highlights include awarding €66 million for a whitefish decommissioning scheme, €6 million to reduce the inshore fleet, and €3.7 million to remove inactive or off-register inshore vessels. It also recommends €90 million for seafood processors, and a series of short term measures, including a €12 million annual tie-up of polyvalent vessels over two years. >click to read< 09:55

MCIB Report into Death of Galway Fisherman Published

An investigation into the death of a Galway fisherman who became entangled in gear off Salthill last year, found the weather deteriorated “significantly” after the vessel which he fished with his father left the harbour. Tom Oliver, a relative of the Olivers who rescued two paddleboarders in Galway Bay in August 2020, died after he was dragged over the stern of the six-metre fishing vessel Myia on November 2nd 2020. His father Martin, who was almost 62, was found dead at home the following morning. >click to read< 11:21