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July edition in all good shops this week - digital download available!

Regular news and views from Ireland’s leading maritime newspaper. The printed June edition is in all good shops and online, covering all the major developments as reported by Ireland’s leading maritime newspaper.

Podcast 25th July:

More fishermen are using personal safety devises at sea. Lifejackets of various types, while weather clothing gear with personal indicator locators and better boat safety equipment and precautions have all become a standard part of the sea-going process. This is welcome and timely, helping to rid the industry of an old, discredited adage, when it was said that fishermen believed that if they were meant to die at sea it would happen and, because of that sufficient precautions were not taken.

The latest drowning statistics show that the number of people dying in Ireland by drowning has fallen. Last year iIt was the lowest number, at 76, since 1936 when there were 73 deaths. That is a big reduction on the number of deaths by drowning in 2019 which totalled 120.

The figures have been released to the MARINE TIMES by Water Safety Ireland to mark the first-ever World Drowning Prevention Day, today Sunday, July 25th. They show that more men die by drowning than women and that a considerable number of suicides were carried out by drowning.

Our PODCAST guest this week is the Chief Executive of Water Safety Ireland, John Leech who, as a Naval Officer, led the development of the Service’s Diving Unit which has become a major part of Naval search-and-recovery operations.

He gave his reaction to the figures to MARINE TIMES Deputy Editor, Tom MacSweeney and spoke about World Drowning Prevention Day, declared by the United Nations General Assembly. Worldwide an estimated 235.000 people drown every year. Listen Here

Podcast 23rd July:

The Dáil debate about the future of Irish traditional fishing rights around Rockall did not resolve the problems faced by Irish fishermen.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, has said that there are on-going discussions between his Department and Scottish authorities and that these include the Minister for the Marine, Charlie McConalogue and his Department.

Minister Coveney said: “People keep misleading others on this issue. There was never a claim by Ireland that went as far as and beyond the rock of Rockall. That is the truth of the situation, despite what people keep saying to those in the fishing industry which, unfortunately, misleads them and results in an awful lot of tension and anger around this issue. The UK’s clam has not been accepted. The Government continues to work on the Rockall issue to try to ensure that traditional fishing rights around that rock continue - whether it is a squid fishery, haddock or whatever.”

Sinn Fein Spokesman on the Marine and Fisheries, Padraig MacLochlainn, said that “for the past seven months fishermen from Donegal have tried to exercise their traditional rights. They have been denied and blocked.” He accused the Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Marine of failing to resolve the issue

The Marine Times is investigating the situation further for the August edition of the paper. Deputy Editor, Tom MacSweeney, analyses the current situation Listen Here

News 23rd July:
BIM Launches Programme Aimed at Helping Seafood Businesses Attract, Develop and Retain Talent

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency, has launched a Talent Integration Programme, Elevate, aimed at helping seafood businesses attract, develop and retain talent. At the core of the new programme is the principle that people are an organisation’s greatest asset. The programme is being run by BIM in partnership with Grant Thornton and is supported by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

During an online launch of the programme on Wednesday 21 July, BIM CEO, Jim O’Toole spoke of the importance of ongoing training and skills development. He said: "As competition for skilled people intensifies, continuing education, training and workforce development is key to talent retention and attraction in Ireland’s seafood industry. An organisation’s ability to prosper is intrinsically linked to its ability to attract and retain top talent." Full story here

There are 1,000 kilometres of inland waterways between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The CEO of Waterways Ireland which manages them, John McDonagh, discusses plans for the future of this vast resource on this edition of the MARITIME IRELAND RADIO SHOW.

The programme is presented by Marine Times Deputy Editor, Tom MacSweeney:

There is also a new blog on the programme website at:

Listen on Spotify Here -:- Listen on Apple Podcasts Here -:- Listen on Mixcloud Here

News 16th July:
Fast-Tracking Gear Development with Side-scan Sonar

Dr Ronán Cosgrove, Fisheries Conservation Manager, BIM reports: The need to reduce impacts of bottom trawling on the seabed is a key fisheries environmental challenge. Drivers include a suite of international agreements and legal obligations around improved protection of biodiversity, marine habitats and carbon stores.

These include the EU Marine Strategy Framework (MSFD), Birds and Habitat Directives, the OSPAR Convention, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and Sustainable Development Goals. Nationally, the Government aims to designate 30% of Irish maritime area as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) by 2030. Full story here

Government shows shameful disregard for plight of Arklow fisherman

Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow John Brady has expressed his anger and disappointment at the Irish government’s refusal to follow advice from the EU to compensate Arklow fisherman CJ Gaffney from EU funds for a stability flaw in a fishing vessel he purchased.

Teachta Brady hit out at the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Charlie McConalogue in particular for his refusal to help, considering the EU is ‘dangling a solution in front of his face’. Full story here

News 13th July:
Government Waving the White Flag on Rockall

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, John Brady TD, and spokesperson on Fisheries and the Marine, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD, have accused the government of “waving the white flag” on Britain’s ownership of Rockall and the fishing grounds around it. They were speaking in advance of the final stages of the Maritime Jurisdiction Bill that will come through the Dáil in just 45 minutes tomorrow night.

Teachta Brady said: “The government intend to put the controversial 2014 Agreement between Ireland and Britain on the maritime boundary of each country in to law through this Maritime Jurisdiction Bill. That agreement was never scrutinised, debated, and voted on in the Houses of the Oireachtas in contravention of the Constitution and its legal standing is heavily disputed. That agreement has also been further discredited by Brexit and the changeover of control of key fishing waters from the mutual control of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy over to the exclusive control of Britain. Full story here

News 11th July:
Fethard RNLI mark 25 years of saving lives with emotional ceremony at sea

Fethard RNLI commemorated an important anniversary on Saturday (10 July 2021). It was 25 years to the exact day (10 July 1996) that the RNLI re-established a lifeboat station at Fethard-On-Sea, following an absence of 82 years. The milestone was marked by a solemn ceremony at sea, where current lifeboat crew laid a wreath to remember all those involved with the station, who had passed away over the last 25 years.

The anniversary was originally to involve a large-scale exercise at sea, viewed by the public from Baginbun beach and involving Fethard RNLI, Kilmore Quay RNLI, Dunmore East RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard. Unfortunately, the display was postponed due to the ongoing restrictions for Covid and it is now planned to take place on Sunday the 12 September. Full story here

News 10th July:
Baltimore RNLI Launch to Boat Fire

Baltimore RNLI were called out to reports of a boat on fire off Sherkin Island in West Cork earlier this afternoon (Saturday 10 July).

The volunteer lifeboat crew, under Coxswain Aidan Bushe, launched their all-weather lifeboat at 3.34pm, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to attend a boat fire in Horseshoe Harbour, Sherkin Island off the coast of West Cork. Full story here

Podcast 10th July:
Fr Duffy vs the Fisheries Committe - Plus, Is the EU Common Fisheries Policy a form of colonial exploitation of Ireland?

Donegal County Councillors that are members of the Fisheries Committee have taken issue with Fr. John Joe Duffy of Creeslough over his outspoken criticism of Fisheries Minister Charlie McConalogue. Fr. Duffy has been defended by the CEO of the Irish South and West Fish Producers’ Organisation (See clipping from Donegal News – Click on image to enlarge).

More on our website for background on the concern of the fishing industry and the coastal communities and the MARINE TIMES view – tune into our current Podcast - Is the EU Common Fisheries Policy a form of colonial exploitation of Ireland? Listen Here

News 9th July:
Minister McConalogue approves BIM’s business case for new Sea Survival Training Unit in National Fisheries College in Greencastle

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue has accepted a business case from Bord Iascaigh Mhara’s (BIM) for the development of a new Sea Survival Training Unit at BIM’s National Fisheries Training College in Greencastle, Co Donegal. The Department is working with BIM on how the project will be delivered as early as possible.

Speaking during a visit to the Greencastle College, Minister McConalogue said: “I am delighted to announce today that I have approved a business case from BIM for the provision of a dedicated Sea Survival Unit at the Greencastle fisheries training college. The project involves an above ground pool, upgraded modern changing rooms together with a new navigation simulator and a radio suite for the new centre.” Full story here

First callout for new Atlantic 85 Christine and Raymond Fielding at Union Hall

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat Christine and Raymond Fielding, by the Irish Coast Guard at 3.50pm today (Friday 9th July) to reports of two people in difficulty in the small sound, an area north of Rabbit Island, just west of Glandore harbour. Full story here

News 8th July:
Master of Spanish Vessel Fined for Under-Recording at Castletownbere

The Master of the Mariscador, a Spanish registered fishing vessel, has been found guilty in Bantry District Court today of logbook offences and under-recording of Hake. Fines totalling €5,000 were imposed. The vessel was detained by Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) Sea-Fisheries Protection Officers from the Castletownbere Port Office on Tuesday last, 6th July, in Castletownbere.

Commenting on the verdict, Dr Steele Chair of SFPA said: “The accurate recording of catches is essential to ensure effective quota management. Failure to do so threatens stock management and the sustainability of our marine resources.”

“Most operators work within the requirements of the EU Common Fisheries Policy, but there are still some who choose not to. We are committed to detecting those who don’t comply. Our risk-based approach to regulation allows us to identify activity and vessels that pose a higher risk, and where we find non-compliance, we are taking appropriate action,” she added.

News 6th July:
Killybegs Regeneration Strategy and Action Plan-Final Strategy Published

Killybegs Regeneration Group in conjunction with Donegal County Council has finalized and published an exciting and visionary Regeneration Strategy for Killybegs. It is a roadmap of key priorities and actions for the sustainable regeneration of Killybegs town centre to 2040 and beyond. The project is funded by BIM FLAG, match funded by Donegal County Council and led by Pasparakis Friel Architects.

Marking the final publication of the Regeneration Strategy, Committee Member of the Killybegs Regeneration Group, Michael O’Donnell said, ‘The Killybegs Regeneration Group first conceived the project in 2019 and the first phase of consultation opened in early 2020. We are delighted to reach this final stage to publish an ambitious and creative Regeneration Strategy for Killybegs town centre that imagines how the town centre can grow and strengthen to 2040’. Full story here

On this edition of the MARITIME IRELAND RADIO SHOW, the programme takes listeners deep sea into the darkest areas of the North Atlantic, where an Irish diver describes descending to the wreck site of the TITANIC in a new type of submersible. “This can be dangerous, but exciting work,” says Rory Golden, one of Ireland’s leading divers, who is on his third mission to the wreck site and remembers the Irish people, “those most important to us,” as he descends to the depths and describes what he sees.

Also on the programme, what was seen through the port hole of the yacht once owned by former Taoiseach Charles Haughey … and, while more leisure craft on the water are a welcome increase in maritime interest, the dangers of speeding in harbours are discussed.

The programme is presented by Marine Times Deputy Editor, Tom MacSweeney:

There is also a new blog on the programme website at:

Listen on Spotify Here -:- Listen on Apple Podcasts Here -:- Listen on Mixcloud Here

Podcast 3rd July:

In this month’s edition of the MARINE TIMES, our editorial is headed:‘EU Colonial Exploitation of Irish Fishing Waters Is No Longer Acceptable.’ It was decided to raise this issue after hearing the views of various fishing industry organisation representatives, boat owners, fishermen and their families during the recent public demonstrations.

Why does Ireland face another round of ‘decommissioning’ which effectively means removing fishermen from their jobs, their culture, their tradition, when they have made it clear that they want to go on fishing and at a time when other, stronger and bigger EU nations can continue to extract much bigger catches from Irish waters than Irish fishermen are allowed?

This week Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue told the EU Fisheries Council that he would be “making the renegotiation of quota shares Ireland’s priority in the upcoming review of the Common Fisheries Policy.” We see this as a positive political statement emanating since the fishing industry demonstrations.

In this week’s Podcast, Deputy Editor, Tom MacSweeney, discusses our editorial in this month’s edition, now on sale in the shops and with a digital version available here on the MARINE TIMES website. Listen Here

News 2nd July:
Fethard RNLI assists lone fisherman after 18ft boat breaks down off Hook Head

Volunteer lifeboat crew at Fethard RNLI were requested to launch their lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard yesterday morning (Thursday 1 July) at 11.20am, to assess the situation where a fisherman reported difficulties with his boat’s outboard engine.

Fethard RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was launched and arrived on scene at Loughlin’s Hill, east of the Hook Peninsula, where the helm and crew began to assess the situation prior to undertaking a tow. Full story here

Podcast 26th June:
Quality Needs Discussion

“Quality is never an accident. Achieving it is the result of intelligent effort.” That old adage underlines an issue which is gradually being brought to public attention at the forefront of the controversy over the new weighing requirements for Irish fish on the quaysides at fishing ports. We identify these quayside issues with our Podcast guest this week, the well-known Cork fish merchant Pat O’Connell, who expresses concern about the impact of the changes on his business.

Pat, who heads up K.O’Connell Fish Merchants at the famous English Market in Cork which is named after his mother who started the business, became an international figure when he met Queen Elizabeth on her visit to the Market.

The issues he outlines are serious and deserve more discussion. By its action in withdrawing the derogation the EU is causing a potential degradation of the quality of Irish seafood, by necessitating its de-icing for unloading at the quayside, weighing and then repacking.. Additionally, there is a potential health and safety issue created on the quayside as Pat outlines. In support of fishermen on their demonstrations in Cork and Dublin he said: “For those in government please listen - These men and women have genuine concerns about the future of their industry.”

The EU and Sea Fisheries Protection Authority would do well to take note of what he says about the situation now created on fishing port quaysides. Listen Here

News 26th June:
New Atlantic 85 class lifeboat Christine and Raymond Fielding goes on service at Union Hall RNLI

A new inshore Atlantic 85 class lifeboat has officially gone on service at Union Hall RNLI, in West Cork.

The lifeboat which arrived at the Cork lifeboat station last week, replaces the last Atlantic 75 in Ireland, Margaret Bench of Solihull, which has been used to save lives at sea in West Cork since 2017. Previous to this, Maritime Nation was in service from 2014. Both of these lifeboats came from the RNLI’s relief fleet. The new lifeboat was officially declared a search and rescue asset by the Irish Coast Guard on Thursday 24 June. Full story here

News 25th June:
Court of Appeal decide to temporarily extend the exclusion of large fishing vessels trawling in inshore waters within 6 miles of the coast

Following a full hearing by the Court of Appeal on Tuesday 22nd June, the Court has decided to temporarily extend the Policy Directive excluding large vessels from trawling in inshore waters within 6 miles of the coast, save for a restricted sprat fishery. This decision applies until at least the 4th of October (the first day of the Court of Appeal’s Michaelmas term) and/or until a determination in relation to the stay is delivered by the Court of Appeal. Full story here

News 24th June:
Fishermen take protest to Dublin

Lack of “level playing field” under the EU Common Fisheries Policy is destroying our Irish Fishing Industry and Rural Communities.

On the 23rd June, Irish Fishing vessels from around the Irish coast assembled at the entrance to Dublin Port from early morning. and steamed up the River Liffey in convoy through the East Link Toll Bridge to John Rodgerson's Quay. In our upcoming July issue we wil have photos and reactions to the protest. (Photo above courtesy James Grandfield)

Lough Corrib, its history entwined with the maritime history of the West of Ireland; preserving the iconic Galway Hookers in Galway City; the first experience of a search-and-rescue pilot and, trying to get a Parish Priest to sell a picture of Ireland’s tall ship. These are all storylines on the new edition of the maritime programme presented by Tom MacSweeney, the MARITIME IRELAND RADIO SHOW. As always, I hope, this is an interesting edition of the programme which you will enjoy.

There will also be a new blog on the programme website at:

Listen on Spotify Here -:- Listen on Apple Podcasts Here -:- Listen on Mixcloud Here

Government Destruction of Irish Fishing Sector Indefensible

Since assuming office, the government have crucified the €1 billion Irish fishing industry, which employs over 16,000, through massive fish quota losses and a raft of new stringent regulations and penalties. The Rural Independent Group have again slammed the government’s gigantic failures - to protect Ireland’s fishing interests, to support coastal communities and to listen to the concerns of ordinary fishermen and women. Full Report Here

News 17th June:
SFPA Must Work with Fishermen, Not Against Them

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, said the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority must work with fishermen and fishing communities, and not against them. Full Report Here

Podcast 11th June:
Why Do Fishermen Keep Fishing?

On this week’s Podcast Marine Times Deputy Editor, Tom MacSweeney, talks to a man who has been 35 years in the industry, but is worried about the future. How would the Taoiseach and the Marine Minister answer what the fisherman says? Listen Here

News 11th June:
Seafood processors invited to learn about energy efficient refrigeration systems at latest instalment of BIM Green Programme sustainability series

A webinar for Irish seafood processors on energy efficient management of refrigeration systems is being held as part of the Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency 2021 Green Programme Sustainability Series. The hour-long event offering practical advice and guidance on best practice for optimising energy use in refrigeration systems, will take place on Wednesday 30th June at 13.00. Read More Here

Researchers Plumb the Depths to Solve Lough Hyne Mystery

A mysterious tale of disappearing marine sponges in a unique County Cork lough could yet have a happy ending. A team led by Professor of Marine Biology James Bell from Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and Professor Rob McAllen from University College Cork has been studying the loss of possibly thousands of sponges from the underwater cliffs inside Lough Hyne (Loch Oighinn). Read More Here

Podcast 4th June:
Islanders Request Taoiseach to Intervene Personally in Fisheries Situation – Did the Taoiseach Read the Letter?

Comhdháil Oileán na hEireann, the Islands’ Federation, has called on the Taoiseach to intervene personally in the difficult situation facing the fishing industry. “We consider it appropriate for you to personally intervene in this serious situation. We implore you to act to prevent the loss of hundreds of jobs, a way of life and a key element to coastal communities, Irish heritage and tradition,” wrote Aisling Moran, Chair of the Comhdháil.

The Taoiseach’s Department referred the letter to the Department of Food, Agriculture and the Marine.

“Taoiseach Martin, a chara,

“As the representative organisation for Ireland’s offshore islands, you can understand our concern regarding the historic and on-going treatment of our fisherpersons. This is a matter of huge importance regarding island community livelihoods and sustainability not to mention heritage and traditions.

“Island communities are intimately acquainted with the consequences of changes to fishing rights and regulations inflicted through the years. Islanders are by nature people of the sea: to sacrifice their ability to make a living though life-learned skills they are passionate about is beyond unreasonable. This continued decimation of the Irish fleet has been magnified with the onset of Brexit and the Irish fishing industry is fighting for its life.

“As Taoiseach we consider it appropriate for you to personally intervene in this serious situation: we implore you to act to prevent the loss of hundreds of jobs, a way of life and a key element to coastal communities, Irish heritage and tradition. We ask all involved with the control and regulation of the fishing industry to have a hard look at the consequences of their actions against a proud and respected Irish livelihood. There is a better way.

Aisling Moran, Chair
Comhdháil Oileáin na hÉireann”

In this week’s MARINE TIMES Podcast Deputy Editor, Tom MacSweeney, analyses the response given to the Federation and asks whether the Taoiseach read the letter and why he did not reply personally to a request made to him personally. Listen to the Podcast Here

Podcast 29th May:
Without Fishing Kilmore Quay Will Die!

This week’s fisheries demonstration in Cork was the biggest public expression of fishermen’s anger and discontent with lack of support from government. It was described as “a gentle but powerful shot across the bows of the Minister for the Marine.”

The June edition of the MARINE TIMES, in the shops next week, will haver exrensive coverage of the event in words and pictures.

Fishing and coastal communities have expressed the feelings strongly. The demonstration was widely supported along the South/West, the South and South/East.

Seamus and Denis O’Flaherty led a contingent of beamers from Kilmore Quay and on this week’s MARINE TIMES PODCAST, tell Deputy Editor, Tom MacSweeney, why there is so much frustration amongst fishermen. Listen Here

Podcast 22nd May:
Coastal Communities Are On The Edge Of Survival

With the fishermen of the South West due to demonstrate at Cork Port on Wednesday to show the public how badly they say they are being treated by the government and the EU, the Chief Executive of the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation says it is a "crazy scenario that the public might not believe, but it is true, that we are down to being allowed to catch 15 per cent of the fish in Irish waters."

Patrick Murphy tells the Marine Times that fishermen don't want to have to demonstrate to highlight their case, but that they have no choice. "We are asking the public to please, please support us," he says.

This will not be a protest and will not inconvenience the public, he tells Deputy Editor Tom MacSweeney. “This is a ‘show-and-tell’ demonstration of what is being done to the industry, which is being discussed and arranged in agreement with Cork Port. Listen Here



    “Driven Round The Bend” by government failures and – does anyone really believe the EU Commission about the Brexit deal?

    The Managing Director of the Castletownbere Fishermen’s Co-op, John Nolan, says he is being “driven round the bend” by Government failure to appreciate and defend the fishing industry and the Chairman of the new Fisheries and Seafood Alliance, Cormac Burke, asks – Does anyone really believe that the Brexit fisheries deal was not done well in advance of when it was announced, leaving Ireland the worst hit nation.

    Listen here»


    Two Stories of Rescues from the Sea

    On this edition two stories of rescue from the sea – one from storm-tossed icy wastes all alone – another a forgotten child, brought to safety from a sinking passenger ship. Two stories of determination for survival.

    For 80 years Patrick Murphy has tried to find his rescuer, but has not been successful. He tells how the Maritime Museum of Ireland helped him honour the unknown rescuer. It is a powerful story that will create its own memories for the listener.

    Listen here»


    Discussing Future Marine Developments

    From fishing to buying a boatyard, a research vessel and a plane, a man from the village of Ballycotton in East Cork tells this edition of MARITIME IRELAND why he is investing €10m. in his belief in the importance of putting coastal communities and offshore wind energy developers in touch to discuss future marine developments. The programme also offers to take listeners on a 20-minute tour around five oceans inspired by Dublin solo world sailor, Gregor McGuckin and locates where the Donegal Finman has got to in his attempt to swim around Ireland.

    Listen here»

A spot of net mending at Ardglass by visiting vessels - Photo by Chris Feenan
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