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Tom McSweeney is back
on the radio and his wonderful
This Island Nation Podcast
is Now Available to Download

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Programme 3 - Click here
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This Island Nation - 15th December 2014 by Cry104fm on Mixcloud

Who and what are "the old gaffers"?

THIS ISLAND NATION, the maritime programme presented by Tom MacSweeney will be finding out just what they do in the maritime world and the amazing story of how a restoration programme links an old boat with the sinking of the Lusitania.

The programme will also have the latest news and comment from the Irish Water Safety Association and the angling news from FISHERIES IRELAND and investigate why motor car tyres from a factory which closed down more than 30 years ago are arriving on the coast of East Cork.

You can listen by clicking on the player above

Celtic Sea Fishing Industry loses €8.5 million as a result of Quota Negotiations

The 2015 Quotas for Irish Fishermen which were agreed by the Council of Ministers at the annual December Council meeting will cost the Fishing Industry in the Celtic Sea €8.5 million in 2015 and could lead to serious financial difficulties for those affected.

Despite the Council implementing a proposal initiated by the Irish Fishing Industry to implement more selective gear in the Celtic Sea the quotas for key stocks in that area were reduced with both Haddock and Whiting being reduced by 12% and Cod by 13%.

"While the reductions were significantly less than those originally proposed by the Commission, it is disappointing and frustrating that the Council implemented these cuts which we estimate will cost the Celtic Sea Fishing Industry in the region of €8.5 million," commented Eibhlin O'Sullivan, CEO of the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation (IS&WFPO). "The measures proposed by the Irish Fishing Industry, which were accepted by the Commission, will significantly reduce discards of juvenile Haddock and Cod which was supposedly the reason why the Commission proposed these reductions in the first place. It is therefore, both difficult to understand and disappointing as to why the Council of Ministers chose to implement these reductions which will only lead to increased discards, the exact thing the Council and Commission have committed to eliminate.

The reduction for Cod in the Celtic Sea is, in fact, 26% which shows the importance to Ireland of the Hague Preferences (which sees Ireland receiving additional quota for certain key stocks when significant reductions are implemented) which saw this 26% reduction decreased to 13% for Ireland.

"There were however, some positives from the Council with a proposed reduction in Prawns not being implemented and instead the scientific advice for a 3% increase in landings being implemented. There was also an 11% increase in Hake which Industry has for some time argued is justified" continued Ms. O'Sullivan. "The Council also chose to listen to our assertion that the Commission was not following scientific advice in recommending reductions for stocks such as Monk, Megrim, Pollack and Skates and Rays with the quotas for these stocks being set at the same level as last year".

"It will however, be difficult for fishermen on the South West Coast of Ireland to accept these reductions in Cod, Haddock and Whiting given the abundance of these stocks on the ground and the loss of income they will experience as a result of the reductions (which are the equivalent to six weeks quota and income). The IS&WFPO will continue our efforts to ensure that the science and quotas for these valuable species reflect the situation on the ground which is particularly important given the impending landing obligation for these species which is due to commence in 2016."

Dunmore East RNLI’s Christmas Tree of Remembrance Ceremony a great success

Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat crew and fundraising branch recently held a Christmas Tree of Remembrance ceremony at their lifeboat station to honour those no longer here.

A large crowd gathered outside the station on a cold December’s evening to join the crew and fundraising branch to remember absent friends. The evening began with words of welcome form Coxswain Michael Griffin followed by a Blessing of the Tree of Remembrance. A lovely poem was then recited by Lifeboat Chairman Eddie Stuart liberty.

The lights were turned on followed by an inspiring carol service by the Killea Church choir with Ciara Mc Sweeny on flute. The crowd joined in on the singing and the festive spirit could be felt while the lifeboat crew decorated the tree with Remembrance Ribbons which had names of loved ones written on them.

To finish off a lovely evening, everyone gathered around the Tree of Remembrance and raised a glass of mulled wine to absent friends.

Commenting on the event Dunmore East RNLI Coxswain Michael Griffin said, ‘The Tree of Remembrance is a symbol for the whole community to remember those who are not with us this Christmas. It is a first for our station and it was fantastic to see so many people here on the night. Thanks to all who helped to make this a great success and hopefully we have created a tradition that will carry on for many years to come’.

The Dunmore East RNLI would like to thank everyone for supporting this event and wish you a happy and safe Christmas. All funds raised through the sale of the Remembrance Ribbons will be going to the RNLI and their work in saving lives at sea.

Young Fishmonger of the Year 2015
Congratulations - Gerard Collier
of Fisherman’s Catch, Clogherhead

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Seafood Development Agency have announced Gerard Collier of Fisherman’s Catch, Clogherhead, Co. Louth as the overall winner of the BIM Young Fishmonger 2015 competition at an awards event in the Radisson St. Helen’s Hotel, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin. Pictured above is Gerard with Martin Shanahan of Fishy Fishy fame

Full report in our December issue of the Marine Times Newspaper.


Gerard Collier from Bord Iascaigh Mhara on Vimeo.

Death of the Islands?
Communities on nine non-Gaeltacht off–shore Islands are shocked at the news that the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government is to terminate funding to their five Community Development Companies Offices as and from March 2015. The threatened Community Development Offices deliver a wide range of supports and services on the Islands addressing disadvantage, social exclusion and isolation and provide hubs of social, economic and community activity on these islands since 1994 when the first Islands Development Programme was initiated.

Full report in our December issue

Judge Dismisses Claims that Mussel Seed is an Irish Natural Resource
Is the Irish state, in permitting fishing by Northern Irish Boats in Irish exclusive fishery limits, acting unlawfully and indeed unconstitutionally?

Pauric Gallagher reports: At a recent sitting of the high court, Mr Justice George Birmingham dismissed claims that mussel seed is an Irish natural resource, in a case that saw four mussel fishermen lose their High Court claim that the State had illegally disposed of mussel seed to Northern Ireland operators and UK shellfish farmers with the effect of destroying a sustainable Irish mussel industry.

Full report in our December issue

MFV Velvet Chord II Joins the Castletownbere Fleet

Fisherman Paddy O’Sullivan purchased the 23.21m MFV Velvet Chord II SO 750 in the month of September from local Killybegs fisherman Cathal Boyle of Atlantic Trawlers Ltd. Paddy’s new boat will be an addition to the Castletownbere demersal sector but marks a loss of another white fish vessel to the Killybegs port as its owner pursues other business interests.

Full report in our December issue

Representatives to National Inshore Fisheries Forum Elected
Following the Inshore Fishery Structures, Development and Conservation package announced earlier this year, BIM in partnership with the Department, recently organised the kick off meetings of the Regional Inland Fisheries Forum’s or RIFF’s representing the North, North West, West, South West, South-East and North East regions. The Regional Inshore Fisheries Forum’s tie in with the already existing Fisheries Local Action Group’s or FLAG’s around the coast and two representatives (Chair and Vice Chair) have now been elected by each RIFF to represent their respective regions on the National Inland Fisheries Forum.

Full report in our December issue



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