Tag Archives: Ireland

Fisherman asks court to quash licence to investigate offshore wind farm sites

A fisherman is asking the High Court to quash a licence allowing a renewable energy firm to investigate sites off the coast of Dublin and Wicklow in connection with a proposed €1.5 billion offshore wind farm. On Friday, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys gave permission for Ivan Toole, of Ashford, Co Wicklow, and his company, Golden Venture Fishing Limited, of the same address, to bring their action against the Minister of State with responsibility for planning and local government over his granting of the foreshore licence to RWE last January. RWE proposes to undertake geotechnical and geophysical site investigations, including drilling boreholes, and to monitor wind and waves to refine its design of the Dublin Array offshore wind farm, says Mr Toole. >click to read< 10:05

Irish trawler owners asked to install cameras for EU fishing regulations project

Irish trawler owners are being asked to voluntarily install remote onboard monitoring cameras that will one day be used to record potential breaches of EU law. The request has been made by the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA), which wants to see how remote CCTV systems work on trawlers as part a Remote Electronic Monitoring (REM) pilot project the fishing industry watchdog is launching. However, the scheme has been compared by a leading fishing industry representative to asking “turkeys to vote in favour of Christmas.” Irish South and West Fish Producer Organisation CEO Patrick Murphy also said: >click to read< 08:51

Pelagic Sisters from Killybegs Yard

Killybegs shipyard Mooney Boats has completed its largest builds to date, sister vessels Eilean Croine built for Eric Murphy and Sparkling Star for Donal O’Neil. Built to the same Vestværftet design, the two pelagic trawlers are an example of international co-operation and innovative local ingenuity. According to the yard’s managing director Lee Mooney, there are close links with designer Ove Kristensen at Vestværft in Hvide Sande, which has built a number of vessels over the years for Irish  owners, while several companies within the Killybegs Marine Cluster also provided essential support to ensure that these vessels were completed to the highest standards. ‘We’re thrilled to have completed these two impressive vessels, and we are grateful to the O’Neil and Murphy families for entrusting us with their project, from the design through to the construction stage,’ Lee Mooney said. >click to read< 12:26

Only three owners out of 57 paid in full months after fishing boat decommissioning scheme starts

Eight of the 57 fishing boats accepted for decommissioning have been scrapped but just three of their owners have received their money in full from the State. According to Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), which administers the government scheme, another six boat owners are still waiting for 50% of the monies they are due. As the decommissioned boats have to be destroyed, there is now a waiting list for the country’s two specialist recyclers, in New Ross and Limerick. As of May 2, BIM says there were 11 boats waiting to be destroyed under the decommissioning scheme, which was set up to cut the size of the national fishing fleet because of reduced quotas in the wake of Brexit. >click to read< 10:16

‘Losing my fishing boat is like losing a limb, or my identity’

Caitlín Uí Aodha doesn’t cry easily but tears aren’t far from her eyes when she talks about Dearbhla. While this is the name of her youngest daughter, it was also the name of her 25-metre trawler. “It hurts, it really hurts,” she says through stifled sobs when she talks about it. She is upset because late last year, she closed a door on a proud fishing tradition that has been in her family for more than 150 years. She did what she never thought she would do: she applied to decommission the boat.  >click to read< 09:34

Our fishing industry is sustainable, so why are we intent on trashing it?

Irelands decision to join the EU 50 years ago was, from a fishing industry perspective, a poisoned chalice. Half a century later, Britain’s decision to leave that very same institution, and the resultant decommissioning deal for fishers, will mean a further loss of quotas, as well as widespread job losses on land and sea, too. The latest ‘deal’, according to John Nolan, chairman of the Castletownbere Fishermen’s Co-operative, will cost more than money. ‘It could,’ he said, ‘mean the loss of our soul.’ With the approval deadline for decommissioning in its final throes, John described the latest quota cutbacks, and scrappage deal, as something that is ‘eating away at our hearts and taking away our hope.’ Photos, >click to read< 13:53

The European Union’s Plan to Ban Bottom Fishing is Causing Widespread Outrage

The plan, which seeks to ban bottom trawling in protected areas, has caused widespread demonstrations, disruption of work in ports, and the launch of a protest movement by fishermen in France called “Blocked Ports”. Although the Commission’s proposals do not represent new legislation, and will not be implemented soon in a way that satisfies some environmental protection non-governmental organizations, they have been met with strong opposition from a number of member states. There was outrage in Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland and Denmark, who feared the plan would endanger the entire fishing industry. The “Marine Action Plan” for sustainable fishing was announced on February 12, and it includes initiatives to phase out deep-sea trawling in protected areas. >click to read<  08:51

Fishing Industry Cautious After Examining Norway – EU Deal

The IFPO and IFPEA has welcomed Norway’s exclusion from the Irish Box but says Ireland still lacks an equitable arrangement. “Norway have been allocated an extra 36,000MT of blue whiting in the Irish EEZ, compared to just 4,800MT extra blue whiting for Ireland,” says Aodh O Donnell, chief executive of the Irish Fish Producers Organisation (IFPO). O Donnell says fishing representatives took time to carefully consider the new deal, ironically struck on St Patrick’s Day, before responding. >click to read< 14:33

Norway ‘secure more out of fishing deal than Ireland’

Under the deal, Norwegian fishers can catch 224,000 metric tonnes of blue whiting in Irish waters this year, an increase of 110,000 metric tonnes on how much they were allowed to catch last year. In contrast, Irish fishermen and women are only allowed to catch 52,000 metric tonnes of blue whiting, up from the 28,000 tonnes they could catch last year. While unhappy with the lack of quota parity between the two countries, fishing representatives here say the deal has an upside to it. >click to read< 11:50

Windfall of €8m for family at heart of Atlantic Dawn fishing group

Atlantic Dawn, the Donegal-based international fishing group, has paid an €8m dividend to an entity controlled by the McHugh family who are behind the business. The dividend underscores how the group has continued to deliver a strong financial performance while keeping its turnover and profit details shielded from the public. Atlantic Dawn, headed by chief executive Karl McHugh, is one of Ireland’s largest fishing groups and estimated to control more than 7pc of the country’s entire fishing quota. >click to read< 17:40

Rathlin woman ditched her house and lives on a converted 80 year old trawler

Those in search of new homes are becoming more open to the concept of alternative living. Charlotte Bosanquet is an example of those who do just that, as she now lives on the water in her very own 80-year old trawler boat. It all began when Charlie visited Rathlin Island and was in immediate awe of the location. “There was no accommodation, so we looked at other ways of living and that’s when we found the boat. We put in an offer but didn’t expect for it to be accepted but in February 2016, we secured it. I was so excited for the first month I could hardly sleep. The boat is a 1932 wooden trawler, so it needed a lot of work done to it. It was leaking a little, the living space wasn’t so nice and it needed work. But the engine was in good shape”. Photos, >click to read< 09:25

Ban Mega Trawlers from Irish waters says Sinn Féin as F/V Margiris ploughs seas off Cork coast

It’s already been banned from Australian waters – now Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on fisheries says the FV Margiris and so called “super trawlers’ like her should not be allowed to fish off the Irish coast. The giant fishing vessel – which is less than 40 nautical miles off the Cork coast this afternoon – has been called the ‘Death Star of the Ocean” and can land up to 250 tonnes of fish a day, 14 times what a regular Irish trawler might take, while often leaving tonnes of unwanted ‘by-catch’, non-profitable marine life, dead in its wake. >click to read< 08:01

Ban on Trawling Inside Six Nautical Miles Declared Invalid by Court of Appeal

Two fishermen have won an appeal over a ban on trawling inside the Irish six-mile limit.  A judgment issued by the Court of Appeal has ruled that the Government policy directive introducing a ban on trawling inside the six nautical-mile limit is invalid and of no legal effect. The judgment by Mr. Justice Murray relates to an appeal taken by Dingle-based fisherman Tom Kennedy and Castletownbere-based fisherman Neil Minihane over a policy directive introduced by the then Minister for Marine Michael Creed on March 5th, 2019. The ban was temporarily reinstated in 2021 by the Court of Appeal, resulting in another round of legal action by the fishermen. >click to read< 08:09

Trawlers scrapped over quotas ‘end a lifetime of fishing’

Work on scrapping a number of Irish fishing vessels is under way in an effort to rebalance fish quotas following post-Brexit agreements. The Catherine R is among the first vessels to be decommissioned. She was a steel trawler built in 2005 and fishing from the port of Greencastle in Co Donegal. Her owner Cara Rawdon has been fishing for 46 years. He said that he chose to accept to decommission his fishing boat,,, On seeing his ship being ripped apart for the scrap heap, he said: “It’s like seeing your home being torn apart. I saved the money to buy her and make her safe for the crew. It was a very difficult decision because not only had I to decide my own future I also had to think of my crew. It’s a very hard decision to make to end a lifetime of fishing.” >click to read< 07:51

Trawler decommissioning scheme ‘needs to be better funded’

Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue needs to put additional funding into the State’s decommissioning scheme for fishing trawlers to make it viable, industry representatives have said. His comments follow the news that the owners of just 20 fishing boats had so far accepted State offers to decommission. The scheme was originally capped at €60m, before Mr McConalogue later increased that to €75m. However, Mr Murphy said the funding is inadequate. “Europe was originally told the scheme could cost €96m but he went for a smaller amount. The decommissioning scheme has proved unpopular as boat owners accepted for decommissioning will only get a proportion of the total value of their boats back. >click to read< 09: 47

Ireland: Only 20 fishing boat owners accept State’s decommissioning offer

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) has admitted the low uptake in a statement issued to mark the opening of today’s Skipper’s Expo trade show, which it sponsors. Although the statement centred around the publication of its two-year study on the fishing industry’s carbon footprint, it mentioned the controversial decommissioning scheme in passing. Of the take-up and the fact that less than half have gone for it, BIM simply said: “Some 57 letters of offer have been issued with total funding of €75m. To date 20 owners have accepted.” The current scheme and a number of tie-up schemes over the past two years were designed to help mitigate against the quota and financial losses Irish fishers sustained because of Brexit. >click to read< 10:16

The last fishermen of Castletownbere?: ‘We are in extinction mode’

“I suppose it was death by a thousand cuts,” Jason Sheehan says from his upstairs office on the harbour. Outside, it’s squally, leaden-skied, and the afternoon holds a children-still-at-school feel. He wears a grey hoodie and a small cut on his nose – a souvenir from a recent fishing trip in the Hebrides. He is one of the younger fishermen in the community. “Yeah. A hundred per cent. If I had my time back, there is no way on God’s earthly hour I’d have gone fishing. Now, I have great childhood and teenage memories but the way the job has gone… it is just horrible, like. Every day – and I mean every day – there is a drama. There is somebody on your case about something. Fuel hikes, quota counts, additional red tape, lack of young local men going fishing is a big one. And that boils down to the fact that the money is not in the job anymore. If you go back, the money at sea was probably five times what it was on shore. Now it is about even. There was a reward for the effort. >click to read< 08:24

Fundraising Appeal for Young Family of Fisherman Who Died off Donegal

A fundraising appeal has been issued for the family of the fisherman who died off the Donegal coast last weekend. Madis Lētsārs (37), from the Baltic States, lost his life after falling from the deck of a crab vessel north of the Donegal Island of Árainn Mhór last Saturday evening (Feb 4). His crewmates on the Séimí recovered him from the water and made efforts to revive him but he did not survive. The young crewman was the father of two children, and his cousin Janis Miklasovs has set up a GoFundMe page on behalf of Madis’s wife Liene. >click to read<, and please donate if you can. 20:04

Crab Fisherman Who Died Off Donegal Named

The fisherman who lost his life off the Donegal coast last weekend has been named. Madis Letsars (37), a father of two, went overboard the crab vessel, Séimí, while crab fishing about 70 miles north of Arranmore Island, Co Donegal, on February 4th. It is believed he may have got caught in a rope while the vessel was shooting pots. Originally from the Baltic States and living in Co Armagh, he was one of five on board the vessel at the time. Members of the crew of the Séimí are said to be devastated by the loss of the crewman who had been on four or five trips with the crab vessel. >click to read< 15:32

‘People must know how serious fishing offences are’

A Spanish-owned trawler was allowed to leave Castletownbere this week after its owners paid a bond of €245,000 into court. Juan Pablo Docal Rubido (55), master of the German-registered Pesorsa Dos, was brought before a special sitting of Bandon District Court at the weekend following the detention of his vessel by the LE George Bernard Shaw for alleged fishing offences in Irish waters. Mr Rubido, with an address at Ciudad de Lugo 5, Third Floor, Coruna, Spain, was charged with 12 fishing offences on various dates between January 5th and January 24th while fishing within the exclusive fishing limits of the State. >click to read< 07:50

Catch of a lifetime: Rare blue lobster landed in Belfast Lough

Stuart Brown 28, from Bangor, Co Down, said he could not believe his eyes when he pulled one of his lobster pots up onto the deck of his boat, the Huntress, last Friday. Some marine biologists have estimated the odds of catching a blue lobster at around two million to one. “We were sitting in about 50 to 60 feet of water and the fourth pot came up,” he recalled. “I sort of saw it, but I think I thought, ‘it’s just a lobster’. You could hear the tail going. “I slid the pot down to the crew man who lifted it out and he made a comment: ‘That’s very blue.’ >click to read< 08:21

Man dies after going overboard while fishing off Donegal coast

A man in his late 20s has died after he went overboard while fishing for crabs off the coast of Donegal last night. Malin Head Coast Guard said it responded to a distress call from a fishing vessel 70 miles north of Árainn Mhór last night which had several people on board at the time. The alert was made at around 8.30pm and rescue helicopter 118 and Arranmore Lifeboat were dispatched to the area. The operation was stood down after crew members on board the vessel managed to take their colleague from the water. >click to read< 10:01

Fears Brexit will cause 1,200 job losses in Irish mackerel sector

Ireland’s mackerel sector will lose more than 1,200 jobs by 2030 because of Brexit, according to fishing industry representatives. The economic cost to the industry in lost revenue and impact on the local economy is also estimated to be more than €800m. This is according to an analysis of the impact of Brexit on the sector which predominantly centres around mackerel, blue whiting, and herring catches. In three years, from 2021 to the end of 2023, pelagic fishers will, for example, have lost a total of 37,508 tonnes of their mackerel quota, the amount the EU says they can catch. >click to read< 20:20

Skipper in court on 12 fishing regulation charges

The skipper of a Spanish-owned fishing vessel which was detained by the Irish naval authorities has appeared in court in relation to 12 alleged breaches of fishing regulations. The appearance in court by 55-year-old Juan Pablo Docal Rubido, from Coruna in Spain, followed the detention last Monday of the German-registered, Spanish-owned, Pesorsa Dos in Irish fishing waters. The vessel was detained by the LE George Bernard Shaw off the southwest coast and escorted to port at Castletownbere in west Cork, where it remains at the moment. >click to read< 08:04

Killybegs-Based Fishing Reps say Norway is Holding EU Fishing Deals to Ransom

Irish fishing representatives have accused Norway of stalling EU quota talks because they failed to secure privileged access to blue whiting in Ireland’s EEZ (European Economic Zone) waters. “Norway has a track record of overfishing blue whiting and mackerel ,” says Aodh O Donnell of the Irish Fish Producers Organisation (IFPO). “So, they should not be rewarded with new and additional access to Ireland’s waters to catch their blue whiting quota.” “They already have an inflated 25% of the total catch for blue whiting, compared to just 3% for Ireland. The Irish Box (a key part of our fishing zone) has some of the richest blue whiting grounds – worth around €160m. This is why Norway is targeting our waters. They are still not offering any meaningful reciprocal deal to Ireland in return for our blue whiting.” >click to read< 10:36

Naval service detains Spanish trawler off the south-west coast

A German-registered Spanish vessel which was involved in a confrontation off the Scottish coast over two years ago German-registered Spanish vessel has been detained by the Naval Service off the south-west coast. The 26m Pesorsa Dos was detained last Saturday, January 21, by the LÉ George Bernard Shaw, but it took several days to haul its gear before it could be escorted into Castletownbere, Co Cork today. The same vessel from La Coruna in northern Spain was previously detained in the Irish exclusive economic zone, 250 miles north of Donegal’s Malin Head, in July 2020. It’s understood the 1974-built 27m long fishing vessel, which left the Spanish port of La Caruna on January 2, had shot gill nets and was fishing in deep water for monkfish. >click to read< 17:32


Thirty-five fishers gained life-saving training at Man Overboard sessions in the Errigal Training Centre, Falcarragh, Co. Donegal this weekend. The classes were provided free of charge by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency, in partnership with the RNLI. The sessions are designed to provide fishers with the experience of falling into cold sea conditions, wearing full work clothing and without their Personal Floatation Device (PFD), or lifejacket as they are commonly known. This is then followed by the same experience with a correctly fitted PFD. >click to read< 08:31

Calls for €12m fund to help inshore fishing industry

The Government is to be asked to give Ireland’s inshore fishers more than €12m to help them deal with the disruption to their markets caused by the war in Ukraine and the pandemic. The market in shrimp, for example, has collapsed, with one group of around 600 smaller inshore fishers losing an estimated total of €5m in the build-up to last Christmas. Their representatives have seen more than €100m in packages to help the much larger, offshore sector boat owners deal with the negative impacts of Brexit, which is mainly the cut in quota and resulting 40% fall in income. But they say that despite having 91% of the country’s entire fishing fleet, and employing the majority of Irish fishers, Ireland’s inshore sector has, by comparison, received around €3.7m. >click to read< 11:26

Dismayed Reaction To Whitefish Scrappage Application Offers

There has been a disappointed reaction from a number of fishing vessel owners to terms offered under the Government’s latest whitefish decommissioning scheme. “We haven’t surveyed members yet as this is anecdotal, but we are hearing of dismay and disappointment,” Irish Fish Producers Organisation (IFPO) chief executive Aodh O’Donnell said. “We are calling for immediate additional engagement by and clarification from Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) on this,” O’Donnell said. “The disappointment is quite widespread among our members.” Letters of offer to 57 owners have been issued by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM). It says it will ensure that over 9,000 tonnes of quota fish valued at €35 million annually will be available for remaining whitefish vessels to catch, ensuring the remaining fleet’s economic viability into the future. >click to read< 10:54

Trawler operators fear they will lose out to offshore windfarms

Shudders went through the fishing industry just before Christmas with the announcement of Maritime Area Consents for seven offshore windfarms. Environment Minister Eamon Ryan trumpeted the allocation of the seven seabed leases as “a significant milestone on the pathway to decarbonising energy supply”. However, to the fishing industry, the first step of a process to get planning permission to build the windfarms brings their fears closer. Fishers are not just worried they will lose fishing waters, there are also concerns about how the construction and operation of windfarms might scare fish away from some traditional fishing grounds. “This is because areas targeted for windfarms are the main spawning and catching areas.” >click to read< 08:52