17th December

Fishermen urged to register their safety equipment with ComReg

Fishermen whose lifejacket Personal Locator Beacons are registered with ComReg have the best chance of being located if they are involved in an incident at sea, according to BIM, Ireland’s seafood development agency.

BIM All Aboard 2017

Each time a PLB is registered with ComReg, the device’s code is logged and linked with the owner’s personal details. In the event of a fisherman activating the beacon, the PLB code enables the device to be identified through GPS tracking and the emergency services are automatically alerted.

Nick Chopin, BIM wearing a lifejacket fitted with a PLB 

Read more: Fishermen urged to register their safety equipment with ComReg

Irish acknowledged as first to track European sea bass

A collaboration between Irish researchers from NUI Galway and Cork Harbour Angling Hub is the first in the world to track the detailed movements of individual sea bass in European waters.

The study, published in Science Reports was co-authored by Dr Tom Doyle, Ryan Institute, NUI Galway in collaboration with reseSea bass report jim clohessy holding up a large sea bassarchers Damien Haberlin, Ashley Bennison and Dr Mark Jessopp, UCC MaREI Centre, and expert angler, Jim Clohessy, Cork Harbour Angling Hub. 

Jim Clohessy in Cork Harbour holds up a seabass

The authors have found that sea bass in Cork Harbour were highly resident, remaining within 1-3 kilomentres of where they were originally caught and tagged - a behaviour not known before this study. They also found that these localised fish returned to the same areas after their winter migration.

Read more: Irish acknowledged as first to track European sea bass

Fishermen's Forum: call for expressions of interest

Ireland's fishing industry is to establish a forum to provide a discussion platform on key issues relating to operations and best practices, and for dissseminating information and resolving issues affecting their day to day work.

Promoting a positive image of the fishing industry to the general public is a also a key objective.

Castletownbere Howth

Fisheries Forum will provide a platform for fishermen from all sectors: pelagic, polyvalent, inshore

The Forum will comprise representatives from the four Producer Organisations (KFO, IFPO, ISWFPO, ISEFPO); the inshore sector through the National Inshore Fishermen's forum (NIFF) and from the wider fishing industry not represented by the POs or the NIFF.

Read more: Fishermen's Forum: call for expressions of interest

Irish Sea Portal pilot project for scientific research

Scientific information compiled by Irish and Welsh researchers and hosted on a portal, is set to benefit the mussel industry of both countries.

The €1.4m pilot project coordinated by Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency (BIM) and the Centre for Applied Marine Sciences at Bangor University in Wales, will test the feasibility of a larger repository by initially focussing on shared information on seed mussel along with the latest data on the location of shellfish seed sites to broaden the understanding of shellfish larvae movement.

This information is essential for sustainable development of the mussel industry.

Irish Sea Portal

Ben Dallaghan, GIS Officer, BIM, the Seafood Development Agency, Hugh Doyle, mussel farmer from Wexford and Dr. Shelagh Malham, Centre for Applied Marine Sciences, Bangor University, Wales

The economic benefit of aquaculture and fisheries in the Irish Sea is valued at €254m (€58m to Wales; €196m to Ireland) of which the mussel industry is a major component. According to BIM figures, 2016 was a ‘challenging year’. Production volumes of 16,000 tonnes with a value of €12m reflect a slight decline on 2015 values and underpin ongoing challenges for the industry.

Read more: Irish Sea Portal pilot project for scientific research

Seafood standard to drive sustainability

Ireland's Seafood Develoment Agency has launched a certification standard to drive sustainability throughout the fishing industry. The BIM 'Responsibly Sourced Seafood Standard' is a third-party accreditation certifying fishing vessels that adhere to strict criteria regarding care of the catch; traceability and provenance, training, welfare and social sustainability.

FIP 2017

Michael Keatinge, BIM Interim CEO presenting certificates to Greencastle fishermen Patrick McClenaghan, Cyril Harkin and Adrian McClenaghan for their Responsibly Sourced Seafood Standard, at the Skipper Expo, Galway

"The Irish seafood sector and in particular the catching sector understands the ever-increasing need to actively demonstrate their commitment to responsible fishing practices," remarked Michael Keatinge, interim CEO.

Read more: Seafood standard to drive sustainability

Funding for seafood processors and aquaculture sectors

DAFF Logo

Nineteen Irish seafood enterprises are to receive €1.8m in grant aid under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Operational Programme for the seafod sector. 

The programme provides three development schemes that aim to incentivise seafood innovation and new product development; support capital investment in equipment to add value to raw material and assist processors to diversify and develop export markets.

Read more: Funding for seafood processors and aquaculture sectors

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