15th October

Foyle Fishermen sign up to Fishing For Litter initiative

Fishermen from Foyle Fishermen’s Co-op in Greencastle, Co. Donegal, are now active members of BIM’s Fishing For Litter (FFL) programme.

Foyle FFL

Frances O’Dwyer, BIM; Patrick Jnr McClenaghan; Oscar McClenaghan; Frank McDermott, Harbour Master; Catherine Barrett, BIM; John D O’Kane, Manager, Foyle Co-op; James Harkin; Mo Mathies, BIM

 Funded under the European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF), this simple but effective programme provides fishermen with bags to collect marine litter while fishing and to bring it ashore for appropriate disposal and recycling on land.

Read more: Foyle Fishermen sign up to Fishing For Litter initiative

Brexit: Fisheries must not become a bargaining chip

Government must make Ireland’s €1bn fishing industry a “top priority” in the Brexit negotiations, the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation has said.

Seán O’Donoghue added that the snap election in the UK on June 8 will add “further obstacles and challenges” and will impact the form Brexit will take. “UK Minister for Fisheries, George Eustice, has stated publicly that British fishermen will catch hundreds of thousands of tonnes more fish after Brexit.”

Brexit Map

With Ireland sharing 47 out of its 50 Total Allowable Catch (TAC) quota stocks with Britain, “it stands to reason that Ireland will suffer disproportionately if negotiations on fisheries are separated from trade negotiations,” he warned.

Read more: Brexit: Fisheries must not become a bargaining chip

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

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