Tag Archives: Northern Ireland

Fisherman’s friend: Blue lobster caught for second time is released into the sea

What do you call a once in a lifetime experience when it happens for a second time? Perhaps Bangor fisherman Stuart Brown is the man to ask. Catching an extremely rare blue lobster is said to be a one in two million chance. Doing it again just a few months later and the odds soar. Same lobster, same boat, same location off the Belfast coastline. The second catch, from the waters close to Blackhead Lighthouse on the northern shores of Belfast Lough, was even more unlikely because lobsters do not usually remain in the same area. Photos, >click to read< 10:18

Fuel Crisis: Fuel costs ‘jeopardising’ UK fishing fleet

Soaring fuel costs have now risen to a “level that jeopardises the viability of parts of the fleet” and could affect supply from UK fishing boats over the coming months, the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations has warned.The viability of the fleet was currently being supported by high fish prices, the industry body said this week. However, the sector was still in an “inherently unstable and fragile balance”, which could soon result in vessels being taken out of the water.  The four fishing federations representing England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland that make up the NFFO recently met with fisheries minister Victoria Prentis to warn about the fuel “crisis engulfing the fishing industry”, it said. > click to read < 08:46

‘Amazing’ heritage tall ship built in 1892 arrives in Co Down

A 130-year-old heritage tall ship named ‘Leader’ has docked in Newry where it will be used for the benefit of the local community. The Brixham trawler was formerly a survivor of the fleets of sailing fishing boats that once fished in the Irish Sea. Sailing from Bristol’s Underfall Yard after dry docking and a maintenance refit, the 130-year-old Brixham trawler, arrived at the Albert Basin in Newry, County Down. >click to read< 10:10

More Northern Ireland fishermen can’t afford to go to sea due to surging fuel costs

Harry Wick, CEO of the Portavogie based NI Fish Producers Organisation said that the rising cost of red diesel is making some 900 fishing related jobs in Northern Ireland increasingly vulnerable. “In terms of the price of fuel it is a very serious issue for us,” he said. “We currently have vessels tied up because it just isn’t economical for them to fish at the minute. “If red diesel prices stay above 90p for the remainder of the year they are looking at a 733% drop in operating profit. Now bear in mind anything over a 100% drop in operating profit means that you are operating at a loss. >click to read< 16:28

Putin blows up Brexit

Whisper it, but Britain and the EU are getting along. While the years following the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union have been characterized by one-upmanship, failures to communicate and outright disagreements, the days since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have seen politicians and officials on both sides of the Channel come together to coordinate their response. Disputes about trade rules in Northern Ireland and fishing quotas might be unresolved, but as Vladimir Putin’s forces batter Ukraine, everyone has more important things to worry about. >click to read< 14:49

‘Disbarred from Irish waters’ – Northern Ireland fishermen have incomes lost over licence delays

A County Down fisherman has said he has lost his livelihood due to a delay in issuing licences for him and others to access Irish waters. Ian Brown’s crab boat, Amity, has been tied up since January and he said he had lost his entire income. Other boats in Kilkeel are said to be similarly affected. The issue is also having an impact on Irish-registered vessels which want to fish close to the coast of Northern Ireland. The rights to reciprocal cross-border access for inshore waters were retained under the UK/EU Brexit deal. But the boats now have to be licensed by,,, >video, click to read< 14:52

Brexit has left us all at sea – even the fishing industry

Teething troubles? Bumps in the road? Pull the other one, Mr Gove. As the daily news from fishing crews, farmers, road hauliers, wine merchants, musicians and thousands of businesses up and down the land, not least in Northern Ireland, confirms, Brexit tier 3 is indeed a disaster. Far from having teething troubles that disappear, many of these businesses are having their commercial teeth extracted. It becomes increasingly manifest by the day that this is a Conservative act of conscious economic self-harm which, in an ideal world, would be rescinded before things get a lot worse. >click to read< 08:50

Brexit: Will Scottish fishing boats move to Northern Ireland?

Most of the fishing that takes place close to the west coast of Scotland is for shellfish, and most of the catch is exported to Europe. But an industry that is already struggling because demand has dried up during the Covid-19 pandemic is now facing the prospect of no trade deal between the UK and the EU. That would lead to tariffs (or taxes) on goods traded between them – making the produce of some Scottish fishermen too expensive for European customers. Whatever happens in the final weeks of post-Brexit trade talks, Northern Ireland will have easier access to the EU economy next year than the rest of the UK. Could some Scottish fishermen continue to fish in the same waters, but re-register their boats in Northern Ireland? >click to read< 09:17

Coronavirus Tie-Up: NI Fishermen offered money to stop fishing

Northern Ireland’s fishing fleet is to be offered money to stop fishing as markets for its produce shrink due to Covid. A £1.7m pot is available to fishermen who wish to stop fishing for six weeks. They can apply to either of two “tie-up” periods between mid-October and the end of November. The closure of pubs, restaurants and workplaces across Europe has seen a big reduction in demand for full prawns and scampi – NI’s main exports. The cash will help will crew costs, mortgage payments on boats, insurance and harbour fees. >click to read< 10:35

Coronavirus impacts the UK seafood supply chains – Selling fish directly to consumers.

Fishermen like those aboard the netter Stelissa, are trying to keep the UK supplied with fresh fish – you can help by going online to the FishOnFriday website and buying your fresh fish – in some cases – direct from the boat itself! We’ve created guides to explain what you need to do to meet the regulations. They also highlight the food safety requirements that apply. Guides for England and Scotland are available to download below, Further guidance for Northern Ireland and Wales will be added here shortly. >click to read< 07:57

Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Fishing fleets will be given monthly payments depending on length of vessels

Fisheries Minister Edwin Poots has announced a substantial £1.5 million support package for Northern Ireland’s fishing industry. Fishermen are struggling to handle social distancing measures on vessels and many ships have been grounded for the foreseeable future coupled with the collapse of the European and domestic fish markets have made trading virtually impossible. Councillor on the Ards Peninsula, Robert Adair, said: “We have been calling for help, we have been urging Government to remember our fishing industry and fleets in these desperate times. >click to read< 17:42

Report says skipper died after wheelhouse hatch fall

The skipper of a Fraserburgh-registered boat died when he fell through the wheelhouse hatch after three hours drinking in a pub, a report has said. Andrew Hay, 56, died after the incident on the Artemis in Kilkeel, County Down, Northern Ireland, in April last year. He suffered severe head injuries after falling to the deck below. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) said Mr Hay was more than four times the legal alcohol limit for professional seafarers while on duty. >click to read< 00:01

Video: Portrush RNLI battles treacherous conditions in 15-hour fishermen rescue

Lifeboat crews from Northern Ireland battled treacherous conditions in the rescue operation of five fishermen who got into difficulty off the Donegal coast. The five men who had been fishing for crab got into difficulty when the boat lost power and encountered steering difficulties while violent waves smashed the wheelhouse windows in, around 20 miles north of Fanad Head. Video, >click to read<  12:35

Islay whisky collection up for auction in aid of RNLI – Scotch Whisky News

The Islay Sea Collection, a group of seven malt whiskies from each of Islay’s coastal distilleries presented in a one of a kind display case is set to go under the hammer in this month’s Just Whisky auction with all proceeds going to the Portrush and Islay volunteer lifeboat crews. The bottles and cask staves, which form the display case, were collected by a group of keen sailors who rowed 110 miles from Northern Ireland to Islay earlier this year. >click to read<  16:45

Don’t Call Me Lobster

After a long, dull day, the sun is finally breaking through the clouds as fisherman Graeme Hackworth hops off his tiny blue-and-white boat—named Freya after his granddaughter—and clambers up the stone quayside. Using a heavy rope, he hoists the first of three plastic baskets, each about the size of a large laundry tote, from the boat deck about five meters below.,,,  Never knowing how much he’ll catch is exactly what he likes about his job. “It’s different every day,” he explains. “It’s the excitement.”,,, >click to read<  08:57

Three years on from the Brexit poll NI fishermen still determined to leave EU

For nearly 50 years Northern Ireland’s fishing industry has felt trapped by European Union restrictions on catch quotas and the rights of foreign trawlers to operate in local waters. But Britain’s decision to leave the EU and the effects it will have on local trawlermen now looms large on the horizon for many local skippers. Will Brexit ultimately allow our fleet to free itself from the net of Brussels bureaucracy? Or will local fishermen, who depend heavily on selling highly profitable local prawns to European countries, instead be left in deep water to face the introduction of potentially crippling new export tariffs? >click to read<17:01

Tributes to north-east trawlerman who died on board his vessel

A north-east trawler skipper who died on board his vessel is believed to have suffered a heart attack before falling down stairs. Emergency crews were called to the Fraserburgh-registered Artemis as it sat in Kilkeel harbour in Northern Ireland on Monday afternoon. But 56-year-old Andrew Hay, from St Fergus, could not be saved. He was a father-of-two and it is understood he was the skipper of the vessel. His wife, Sandra, was too upset to speak about the tragedy yesterday. A source said the boat was heading for the waters off Newlyn in Cornwall to fish for prawns when engine problems forced them to stop in Kilkeel. >click to read<13:42