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Consultation launched on proposal to increase Celtic Sea Herring sentinel fishery allocation

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed has launched a public consultation on a proposal to increase the quota available to the Celtic Sea Herring sentinel fishery. A once off increase of 500 tonnes for this fishery for 2016 is proposed and views of stakeholders are being sought by Tuesday 26th July.

The sentinel fishery was severely hampered by poor weather in November and December 2015 where a quota of 2,212 tonnes was allocated but only 990 tonnes was caught. Under National management arrangements, quotas are allocated within a year and may not be carried forward into the following year in respect of individual boats or groups of boats within a fishery.

The fishery is an important one for the inshore sector and is open to all polyvalent vessels under 17m, it provides a much needed source of income to many vessels from around the coast at what can be a very lean time of year. The 2016 Celtic Sea Herring adjusted quota is 17,492 tonnes, of which 1,880 tonnes is available for the sentinel fishery.

From the outset the NIFF (National Inshore Fisheries Forum) endeavoured to secure an increase in quota for the 2016 fishery in order to somewhat mitigate the financial hardship experienced by inshore fishermen who participated in the 2015 fishery.

Because of the low catches in 2015 and at the request of the NIFF, The previous Marine Minister Simon Coveney sought a recommendation from the Celtic Sea Herring Management Advisory Committee (CSHMAC) on increasing the allocation to the Celtic Sea Herring sentinel fishery for 2016, as an exceptional measure. The committee advised in March 2016 that they would not be in a position to agree on an increase in the allocation for the sentinel fishery as this would mean a pro-rata deduction for the main Celtic Sea fishery.

The Minister has decided to seek views on an increased allocation to the sentinel fishery of 500 tonnes on an exceptional basis. This proposal will not involve any change on Ministerial policy on the management of the Celtic Sea Herring fishery as this proposal will only be applicable to 2016.

Commenting on the launch of the public consultation NIFF chairman Alex Crowley told Marine Times, "This is an opportunity for the inshore sector to unite and show some badly needed solidarity, something we have failed to do previously, to our detriment. It's an opportunity for the sector to have its voice heard and demonstrate that there is weight in numbers.

As its a public consultation, It's also an opportunity for those in the many coastal communities that are supported by the inshore sector to show their support for that sector."

He added, "Traditionally the inshore sector has been poor to speak out with a cohesive voice and many fail to submit to public consultations. I sincerely hope that this will change and that the wider sector and those supported by it will avail of this opportunity.

Its pointless for those in the inshore fisheries forums to try and fight for the inshore sector if it won't fight for itself when given the opportunity, a simple one line email or letter in the post is all that's required in this case."

Details of the consultation can be found at DAFM's website http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/customerservice/publicconsultations/
Interested parties may submit comments in writing to FisheriesConsultation@agriculture.gov.ie by 5pm on Tuesday 26th July 2016.
Or by Post to Rosie Allen, Sea Fisheries Policy and Management Division, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, National Seafood Centre, Clonakilty, Co. Cork..

Tonne of Water to Demonstrate Power of the Sea in RNLI Respect The Water Campaign

The RNLI has placed a unique tonne of water on Dun Laoghaire's East Pier and at Galway City's Spanish Arch for the Summer months in a bid to show visitors and locals alike the power of the sea. The tonne of water which will be on the East Pier in Dun Laoghire and at the Spanish Arch in Galway City until the end of August, forms part of the RNLI's Respect the Water campaign. It will demonstrate to people how heavy a relatively small volume of water is - one cubic metre of water weighs one tonne.


The tonne is printed with important advice about the power of water, such as how fast a rip current can flow. It is created to be a visual and engaging way of delivering this message to people, to help them realise that, no matter how strong a swimmer they might be, they are no match for the power of the water.

The RNLI launched its annual national drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water last month, and this year the charity is warning the public to watch out for key dangers that can catch people out in or near water.

Respect the Water aims to highlight the risk of accidental drowning when people are near the coastline by encouraging safer behaviour both in and around the water. The campaign is primarily aimed at males aged between 16 and 39 but the same advice is relevant for anyone visiting the coast.
Coastal fatality figures released by the RNLI show that an average of 23 people die through accidental drowning around the coast of the Republic of Ireland each year.

The RNLI is warning of the key dangers that can lead to accidental drowning - cold water, unexpected entry into the water, and rip currents and waves.

The campaign will reinforce the key message 'Treat water with respect, not everyone can be saved' on a range of channels throughout the Summer.

Peter Hynes, RNLI Community Incident Reduction Manager said: "We want everyone to enjoy the water. However, it is powerful and unpredictable and people need to treat it with respect. We are hoping by engaging with this visual tonne of water, have a go at moving it and reading the advice printed on the tonne, people will learn just how powerful water can be. Each year RNLI lifeboat crews rescue hundreds of people around Ireland but sadly, not everyone can be saved. The real tragedy is that many of these deaths could have been prevented.

"Cold water is a real killer, People often don't realise how cold our waters can be - even in summer months the water temperature rarely exceeds 12 degrees, which is cold enough to trigger cold water shock. If you enter the water suddenly at that temperature, you'll start gasping uncontrollably, which can draw water into your lungs and cause drowning. The coldness also numbs you, leaving you helpless - unable to swim or shout for help."

Peter Richardson, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Community Safety Officer added: "The fact that over half of the people who die around our coast each year never planned to enter the water serves as a warning to us all to stay away from cliff edges, particularly where there is slippery, unstable, unstable or uneven ground; stick to marked paths and keep an eye on the water - watch out for unexpected waves which can catch you out and sweep you into the water."

Mike Swan, Galway RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager added: "If you're planning to enter the water be aware that, even if it looks calm on the surface, there can be strong rip currents beneath the surface, which can quickly drag you out to sea. The sea is powerful and can catch out even the strongest and most experienced swimmers."

The charity is asking people to visit RNLI.org/RespectTheWater where they will find information on coastal hazards, how to keep themselves safe, and what to do should they someone else end up in trouble in the water. On social media search #RepectTheWater.

Decision to Grant Bio Marine Ingredients Ireland (BII) Killybegs Planning Permission Welcomed

Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher T.D. welcomes An Bord Pleanala decision to grant planning permission to Bio Marine Ingredients Ireland (BII) Killybegs following an appeal by An Taisce to Donegal County Councils original decision to grant planning to the development in February 2015.

Pat the Cope worked closely with the development from the outset having played a key role in obtaining the national Boarfish quota when he was a member of the European Parliament. Deputy Gallagher lobbied to ensure the development obtain planning permission having submitted a detailed report outlining the benefits of allowing such a facilitate planning for the fishing sector and the Killybegs region. The plant will be extracting nutrients, proteins and oils from Boarfish and Blue whiting with special emphasis and focus on health and the sports nutrition market. This is welcome news for Killybegs and the fishing sector and offers the potential for job creation both at construction stage and when the plant is in production when more permanent jobs will be made available. This project offers great potential for added value for fishing stock; it offers diversification and an entire new line of products to be derived from fishing stock. The plant will be of the highest technologies and state of the art facilities when constructed focusing on extracting high end proteins, oils and calcium from fish. It is by allowing facilities such as BII Killybegs that the fishing sector will maximise employment opportunity from fishing. This is a potential game changer in the seafood sector with BII Killybegs leading the way in developing health products, food ingredients and proteins all derived from the seafood sector. BII offers great potential for innovation and diversification concluded pat the Cope.

Pat the Cope was critical of the delay in issuing the planning following the appeal by An Taisce; "it is not acceptable that it takes 17 months to deal with a project which potentially is a €50 million euro investment to the region notwithstanding the employment creation opportunities it offers". He complimented the investors and directors of BII Killybegs for their commitment to the project and despite the delays their willingness to see the project to fruition. Pat the Cope paid a personal tribute to the late Martin Howley who played a pivotal role in bringing this project together and who spear headed the project before his untimely death .The project will create 60 jobs at construction stage on the site at the Industrial Road Killybegs which will greatly benefit the local economy and up to 50 jobs when the plant goes into production. The prospect of up to 50 permanent jobs is much welcomed news for the Killybegs region stated Pat the Cope.

In conclusion Pat the Cope Gallagher hopes now the company can move to site preparation and construction with out further delay.

RNLI Creates Minecraft Beach Survival Game to Teach Water Safety to Children

This Summer, the RNLI is launching year two of the charity’s Beach Builder Challenge using the interactive video game, Minecraft, which allows children to create and build virtual worlds.

The Beach Builder Challenge, available to play from Monday 1 August, has been created by the RNLI to teach children about beach and water safety.

The RNLI has expanded the virtual world to include a Beach Island Adventure this year, which means as well as being able to create epic beaches, this year creative youngsters are also tasked with completing four levels in the Beach Island Adventure. The four levels are based on the charity’s Stay SAFE acronym: Spot the dangers, Take Advice, Stay close to a Friend or family member, Learn what to do in an Emergency.

Jenny Thompson, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor on the Causeway Coast, said: ‘This is a fun and interactive game for 7–14 year olds to play during the summer holidays. We really hope the challenges will help Minecraft users visiting the beach this summer put their newly acquired beach safety knowledge into reality, and have fun while staying SAFE.’

Last year’s Beach Builder Challenge was a huge success with more than 8,000 children participating from all over the world, including Canada, Australia and the USA. It also proved successful in helping to reach a high number of children living in inland communities across Ireland and the UK.

Feedback from 2015 suggests the game is an excellent education platform particularly as results found that 97% of participants, after playing the game, knew to go to a lifeguarded beach; and there was a 20% increase in the number of children who knew to dial 999 and ask for the coastguard if they saw someone in trouble at the beach.

Bridiee Appleby-Gunnill, the RNLI’s Community Safety Product Manager, added: ‘We’ve created a fun, educational experience where a young person can engage and learn about water safety in a self-organised way and where academic ability does not limit learning. Research suggests that children learn and retain more when they can organise their own learning. Last year’s feedback has shown Minecraft to be a fantastic enabler in allowing this to happen.

‘I’m really hopeful the results of this year’s challenge will be just as encouraging. We’ll be looking for participants to take part in research, to help us further develop ways to enable water safety learning in this age group.’

This year, children using different platforms will be able to talk to one another while taking part in the challenge, to register your child’s involvement email gaming@rnli.org.uk.

SeaFest Nets 60,000 Visitors

More than 60,000 visitors flocked to SeaFest, Ireland’s national maritime festival, last weekend to enjoy an action-packed programme centred on Galway Harbour.

Action from the SEAFEST 2016 at Galway Docks which saw thousands of visitors explore ancient, modern and military ships along with scientific ones with activities and Seafood in abundance Photo: Andrew Downes XPOSURE

Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute, was delighted at the public response and at the enthusiasm for Ireland’s marine heritage which underpinned the festivities. He said; “SeaFest is all about is increasing participation and engagement with the sea, showcasing Ireland’s abundant maritime resources and celebrating our proud maritime heritage. An initiative of the inter-departmental Marine Coordination Group, SeaFest supports the goals of Harnessing Our Wealth – An Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland in relation to engaging with the Sea. That plan is ambitious and complex in its reach, but as the weekend proved, everyone can identify with the core messages of appreciating, enjoying and protecting this wonderful natural resource.

“As the crowds in Galway showed, the sea is a fantastic source of fun and entertainment and we were thrilled to see so many people – locals and visitors alike – join in the spirited marine-themed fun.

“SeaFest was a hugely ambitious venture and Galway rose to the challenge of providing a fabulous weekend which both informed and entertained. I’d like to thank all the bodies involved in supporting this venture, including Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Bord Bia, Commissioners of Irish Lights, the Port of Galway, National University of Ireland in Galway, the Department of Defence, the Irish Coastguard, the RNLI, Galway City Council, and my colleagues at the Marine Institute,… and a special thank you to all those volunteers who brought their enthusiasm, expertise and passion for the sea to the project.”

Dr John Killeen, Chair of The Marine Institute, said; “We’re extremely proud to be playing our part in the wider ‘Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth’ initiative, providing opportunities for people of every age and interest to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of the ocean, building on how we can each act to protect our abundant maritime resources.

“Amongst the benefits which flow from the sea are those which impact positively on our tourism industry and I am happy to say at SeaFest delivered handsomely in this respect. Our city’s vibrant hospitality sector greatly benefited from the influx of people attracted by the high profile event and the harbour provided the perfect focal point for family fun on and off the water. I hope that many of those who came to visit us because of the excitement of SeaFest will return at a later stage to explore at their leisure.”

Amongst the scene-stealing ’on the water’ excitement was the spectacle of the Galway Hookers’ challenge for the Galway Plate; the arrival of the gracious tall ship, The Phoenix, and Frank Bölter sailing his quirky large scale origami paper boat into the harbour in partnership with TULCA for Galway 2020.!

On dry land, an array of seafaring attractions kept young and old amused and intrigued … from Bord Iascaigh Mhara and Bord Bia’s seafood extravaganza packed with great natural produce and cookery demonstrations by celebrity chefs to tours of ocean-going vessels and the Marine Institute’s ‘Our Wild Atlantic – What Lies Beneath’ marquee with its interactive exhibits on marine life and creatures of the deep.

Significantly, SeaFest also brought to the city a major focus on research and the marine economy with a number of marine-related business and research events taking place in the lead-up to the public festivities. The third annual ‘Our Ocean Wealth Conference’ allowed speakers and delegates of national and international status to delve more deeply into the theme of Innovating for our Marine Future, exploring and strengthening Ireland’s maritime heritage, economy and identity.

See www.seafest.ie for more details. For more information on Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth: An Integrated Marine plan for Ireland visit www.ouroceanwealth.ie.

Inside our July issue this month:

Uncharted Waters
Irish Fishing Industry Concerned About Negative Impact of UK Vote to ‘Leave’ EU

While a vote to leave the EU may be viewed as a positive step by some in the UK fishing industry as a means to greatly enhance their fishing industry, from an Irish fishing industry’s perspective, the opposite may in fact be the case. As a whole the Irish fishing community has never been a lover of the EU particularly the CFP and have always considered that it did not get a fair share of the resources.

The overall 2015 fishing opportunities (TAC’s species) for stocks to which the Irish fleet had access, were 1.1 million tonnes with an estimated landed value of €1.05 billion. Ireland’s total share of these TAC’s amounted to 227,693 tonnes with estimated first sale value of €205 million. This represents 20% by tonnage and 19.5% by value. A vote by the UK to leave the EU could have some serious ramifications for the Irish fishing industry on a number of levels such as sharing and access arrangements, trade swaps and Hague Preference. The two main economic fisheries, Mackerel and Nephrops are shared stocks and it is very uncertain to how these would be managed in the future given the already complex nature of the negotiations.

Brexit With A Nasty Twist

Existing and new ‘experts’ have been cutting their teeth of late advising us on the ‘pros and cons’ of the “will I stay or will I go now” campaign. Now ‘Brexit’ has happened. The clever spinning of the ‘hard borders’ idea, the devaluation of sterling and trade impediments were all mixed into the narrative to dissuade supporters in favour of a Brexit or those perched on the fence happily taking stock, who’s salvation was still up for grabs.

Minister Imposes ‘Unworkable’ Restrictions on Ship Lift at Killybegs Harbour

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty has hit out at Marine Minister, Michael Creed, following his decision to introduce harsh new rules at Killybegs Harbour which restrict access hours to the port’s Syncrolift boat lifting system.

In a response to a Parliamentary Question tabled by Deputy Doherty in which the Minister was asked to explain why maintenance crews and ship owners in Killybegs have had their access to the device reduced in recent days, the Minister confirmed that the decision to impose such restrictions to lifting hours at the harbour had been made and that the new measures were as a result of staffing shortages at the Department run facility.

Calls for Further Reform as Changes to Fishing Penalty Point System Welcomed

The Department of Marine has announced that the Minister will introduce a new fishing penalty point system that will sequentially apply EU penalty points in conjunction with the prosecution process, unlike the current system which sees fishermen unfairly treated according to Independent TD Thomas Pringle.

“I very much welcome the decision announced by the Minister for Agriculture to change the current penalty point system. The Minister has confirmed that the assignment of points will not happen until the conclusion of any prosecution that is taking place."

Full reports and further reaction in our July issue out now!

"Masie J" at YOughal Harbour, Cork

Keep an eye on further daily stories on this page from our maritime community

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July 2016 Issue - Vol 29 No.01

July 2016 issue in all good stockists

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Fish farmers need a champion to help develop their industry. So says the man who is the voice of the aquaculture industry, Richie Flynn, Executive of IFA Aquaculture, when he talks to THIS ISLAND NATION presenter, Tom MacSweeney, on the latest edition of the programme, which you can hear here. While Tom MacSweeney says he has been wondering about the contradictory attitude of State agencies towards fisheries issues and whether officials are driven by bureaucracy or commitment, Richie Flynn makes the point that a 'champion for the industry' is needed.

Also on the programme, an Irishman from West Cork tells how he has been involved in developing the Code which will regulate shipping and exploration in Polar waters. There is the story of a former IRA Commander and a British General who met on the inland waterways and how security forces raided the wrong boat as a result.There are reports from the offshore islands and the angling world and how Ireland is ignoring the Nations project to control alien marine species.

If you would like to contact the programme Email me to: thisislandnation@gmail.com

Read more here

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Ní Riada Calls for Safeguarding of European Maritime and Fisheries Fund

MEP Liadh Ní Riada has called for the safeguarding of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and has asked for a commitment that no more cuts would be implemented.

Speaking after a meeting of the Budget committee this week, Ms Ní Riada said, “The Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) mid-term review, which the Commission must prepare before the end of 2016, should acknowledge that the MFF has been pushed to its limits over the past two years, and its size should match the challenges facing the EU.

“The EU needs to update its long-term spending plan to cope with unforeseen crises such as mass migration, youth unemployment and now Brexit. In addition, the crisis faced by the agricultural industry highlights that any funds allocated to the fishing industry cannot afford to face any threats or cuts.

“Therefore, I called for the protection of the EMFF and I was the only MEP to do so. I am not prepared to sit back and see the EU walk blindfolded into the years ahead, at the expense of our indigenous industries.

“In addition to this, in the wake of the results of the Brexit referendum, I submitted an amendment noting that the result of the referendum creates grave problems for the peace process and undermines the Good Friday Agreement.

“The EU has made an important contribution to encouraging peace and reconciliation in Ireland, in particular through these PEACE programmes which are targeted at the north of Ireland and border counties in the south. In saying that, I called on the Commission to carry on with its support for the peace process through the continued funding of the PEACE programme.

“Throughout the MFF mid-term review I will be raising these, and other concerns, to ensure the recurring backlog of overdue EU payments is tackled and the Commission looks beyond 2020, in terms of its budget.”

MINISTER CREED MEETS WITH EU FISHERIES COMMISSIONER VELLA

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Micheal Creed TD met today with EU Fisheries Commissioner Karmenu Vella at the Fisheries Ministers Council in Luxembourg. This was the first formal meeting between the two men since Minster Creeds appointment.

Minister Creed said that “Today’s meeting was very useful and cordial and it gave me the opportunity to outline some of Ireland’s key fisheries concerns to Commissioner Vella who has a very good understanding of Irelands’ interests and issues”.

Minister Creed and Commissioner Vella exchanged views on a range of current topical fisheries issues and in particular the discussions around fishing opportunities for 2017.

The Minister went on to say “I wanted to take the opportunity today to impress upon the Commissioner the need for a sensible approach towards the implementation of the policy of maximum sustainable yield (MSY). I made the point that, in some cases, it may be necessary to delay reaching that target by a year or two. This will be vital for some of our important whitefish fisheries off the south coast.”

Minister Creed was attending the Agriculture & Fisheries Ministerial Council in Luxembourg where the main fisheries item on the agenda was the Commissions Communication of Fishing Opportunities for 2017. This is the first step in the process of negotiation that will establish Irelands fishing quotas for next year.

Following the Fisheries items, the Council of Agriculture Ministers discussed the evaluation of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan and EU Timber Regulations. Ministers also had the opportunity for an exchange of views on sustainable plant protection. The Netherlands Presidency provided an update to Ministers on the outcomes of the recent conference in Brussels on plant breeder’s rights.

Béal Boats – Life Changers
Pat Nolan

Having previously traced the histories of the BIM 50-footers in his book, Sea Change, and later those of the BIM 56-footers in, A Step Up, Pat on this occasion turns his attention to another class of BIM built boats, the 32-footers, widely known as Béal boats. The book, Life Changers, has emerged mainly as result of information gleaned through the tremendous response received from those who owned the boats, fished on them, or otherwise knew of them.


Low demand and poor prices paid for lobster in the 1940s resulted in many pre World War II lobster boats being laid up and falling into disrepair. That being the case, when an upturn came during the 1950s, those boats were no longer fit for purpose. New vessels were needed! As was the case when Bord Iascaigh Mhara introduced the 50-footers at a time of former need, again it was the same Bord that came to the rescue. It did so by having the 32ft boats built at its Yards. In all, over the years, thirty-six vessels were issued to fishermen on the basis of a deposit and repayment scheme. Not only was new life injected to the inshore fishing industry but also vital employment was provided at a time when emigration figures nationwide were registering at almost 1,000 per week.

The book, which is currently available, chronicles in as far as possible, the yards and years in which Béal boats were built, their initial cost and original owners, their first home ports, and a comprehensive subsequent history of each boat with anecdotes added. It also includes approximately fifty photographic illustrations.

On his research travels around the coast Pat met up with men at various ports who had a lifetime of fishing experiences to tell. Though unrelated to the Béal boats topic, he has included a selection of those experiences in the book. As a finale he has also included a summary of his personal coastal visits over several years.

The 171 page paperback, Life Changers, is available at €15/£12 (including postage and packaging), through any of the following links:
Pat Nolan, 16 Dunamallaght Rd, Ballycastle, Co Antrim, BT54 6PB
Phone: 0482076 2382 (from R.O.I)
or 0282076 2382 (from U.K /N.I.)
Mobile: 07561245538
(text name and address)
E-mail: patnolan1@hotmail.com
The book is also stocked by local bookshops.

All of these stories plus so much more in our April issue in shops now or available to download to all digital devices


Marine Times Newspaper
Editor: Mark Mc Carthy
Assitant Editor: Tom MacSweeney

Features Editor / Advertising: Anne Murray

The Marine Times Newspaper is published by Marine Media Ltd.
Cranny Road, Inver, Co. Donegal
T: 074 9736899 / 9732635
E: marinetimes@eircom.net


 

Lough Swilly RNLI Officially Name New Shannon Class Lifeboat Derek Bullivant in Buncrana

The first Shannon class RNLI lifeboat to go on service in Ireland was officially named on Saturday 25 June 2016 in a special ceremony attended by crowds of people in Buncrana, county Donegal. The €2.4m life-saving vessel has already been on nineteen callouts since its arrival on the North-West Coast last year and now it was officially named the ‘Derek Bullivant’ by the man responsible for getting the RNLI’s latest class of lifeboat named after an Irish river.

Better Option Than CCTV Cameras Already Available to Stop High Grading

The impending regulation to bring in a CCTV camera system for on-board pelagic vessels is not considered a credible option by most within the industry as a deterrent to discarding, and that a more logical and accurate alternative should be used by way of recording weight-per gram haul. The Irish industry is concerned that a CCTV system is not going to positively identify any vessel high grading, but says that the opposite is in fact the case and is a way of legitimising high grading on factory ships where it is almost impossible to detect when its occurring. It is still unclear if factory vessels will have to install CCTV cameras who are deemed to be the highest risk of all for high grading.

Read more in our July issue

Heather Jane and Green Isle
Get Works Done at Mooney Boats

Mooney Boats Ltd Killybegs has just completed major works on the 25.5 metre Heather Jane II (D674), the vessel was at the yard in preparation for its 15 year Lloyds survey and to get her 4 year Code of Practice done.

"Saint Rosa" and "L'Etaplois III" Join the Irish Fishing Fleet


Read more in our July issue

Marine Times - Rogues Gallery

In every issue of the Marine Times we feature great photos of crews from around the coast that make a living in our seas in the Irish fishing fleet:
Pictured above is the "Stelimar" gang whislt down in the sunny south east (Photo by WP) See more crew photos in our current issue in shops now!
If you have a picture that you would like to feature in the paper please email us at marinetimes@eircom.net