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Tom McSweeney is back
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This Island Nation Podcast
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THIS ISLAND NATION maritime radio programme will be broadcast on Monday 20th October in the new fortnightly transmission schedule at 6.30 p.m. on CRY104FM and available live on their website at

INFOMAR 2014 - Free Registration - 22nd and 23rd October
The Geological Survey of Ireland and the Marine Institute are delighted to announce the 2014 Annual INFOMAR Seminar.
The two day event will take place in the Tower Hotel Waterford on October 22 -23rd.

The seminar will include an update on Ireland’s national seabed mapping programme including survey operations and coverage, future plans, associated research along with poster sessions.

To register for free please click on this link

New vessel celebrations for Caitlin Ui Aodha and her family with launch of MFV "Dearbhla"

Caitlin Ui Aodha pictured with her children at the launch of the MFV "Dearbhla" in Howth.
Read our October '14 issue for more photos and details.


This Island Nation - 6th October 2014 by Cry104fm on Mixcloud



The National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) is celebrating ten years in operation with an event to commemorate ten years of world-class maritime education and training in Ireland.

Located in Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork, the NMCI, a constituent college of Cork Institute of Technology, brings together the Irish Naval Service and Merchant Marine under one roof in the most advanced maritime academy of its type in the world. The NMCI was the first third level college in the country to be built under the Government’s Public-Private Partnership scheme. This model has allowed it to concentrate on education while the private partner, Cofely GDF Suez, has been responsible for services to the college and the maintenance of its facilities.

Marking the occasion, the Minister for Marine & Defence, Simon Coveney, TD, said: “I am delighted to be here to celebrate ten years of the National Maritime College of Ireland, Europe’s only purpose built Maritime Education College. Situated on the shores of Cork Harbour, this magnificent facility has both a National and International reputation, with students from as far away as the Seychelles. The historic partnership between Cork Institute of Technology and the Irish Naval Service has enabled the emergence of this world-class centre for education and research.

CIT President Dr Brendan Murphy, said: “Ten years on, the NMCI is still the only Maritime College which caters comprehensively for both the Merchant Navy and the Defence Naval Service. Its success is due in large measure to the senior management of both organisations who had both the vision, and the commitment, to make this college what it is today: an institute of national standing and significance, with a growing international reputation.”

Conor Moulds, Head of NMCI, continued saying: “The foundations laid during the last 10 years of the NMCI’s operation will ensure a return on the state’s investment in cutting edge maritime education & training facilities. The College is fulfilling its role not only in the development of Irish maritime professionals but in supporting the growth of Irish maritime and offshore business.”

In addition to supporting the maritime education and training needs of the merchant, Naval, coastguard and emergency services, recent years have seen rapid growth of the NMCI’s activities both at home and abroad. The expansion of the College’s academic, commercial, and research services, have resulted in an enhancement of Ireland’s international reputation in the field, and has supported the employment of thousands of Irish men and women in the maritime and offshore sectors.

An example of this industry currency and capability being the awarding recently to the College, by Chevron, of the largest maritime training contract in the history of state, bringing with it, not just significant revenue for the College, but the creation of high end jobs for Irish nationals and revenue for local support services.

For more details on the National Maritime College of Ireland to see a tour of the facilities available visit

Dunmore East eagerly awaiting word on the commencement of the promised dredging of the harbour along with the necessary regulations associated with the useage of the harbour during the process - hopefully it is sorted soon as the very busy herring season is due to commence soon! Photo courtesy WP

EU Propose to Ban All Driftnet Fisheries

Anne Murray writes: Here at the Marine Times Newspaper we have contacted all Irish MEPs’ for their views on the European Commission’s announcement that it wants to prohibit the use of any kind of driftnets for fishing in all EU waters as of 1 January 2015. On the 14th May 2015 the European Commission announced it wants to prohibit the use of any kind of driftnets for fishing in all EU waters as of 1st January, 2015. Although rules are already in place to forbid using driftnets to catch certain migratory fishes, the practice continues to be a cause of concern due to the incidental catching of marine mammals, sea turtles and sea birds which are mostly protected under EU legislation. To fight circumvention, the Commission proposal includes a full ban of driftnets fishing in the EU as well as the prohibition of keeping driftnets on board of fishing vessels.

Furthermore, to avoid ambiguity, the proposal refines the current definition of a driftnet. Commissioner Damanaki, said: “Fishing with driftnets destroys marine habitats, endangers marine wildlife and threatens sustainable fisheries. I am convinced that the only way to eradicate this once and for all is to have clear rules which leave no room for interpretation. We need to close any possible loopholes and simplify control and enforcement by national authorities. This will in the end also save the livelihood of those fishermen which have applied the rules over the past years. The ban sends out a clear message that we no longer tolerate any irresponsible practices.”

“The banning of drift nets will finish fishing and demolish a way of life in the smaller fishing communities and the Islands around our coast forever,” says Frankie Byrne of Frankie Byrne Nets, Burtonport.

The Donegal islands of Arranmore, Boffin and Tory have tried since the banning of the salmon fishing in 2006 to get fair treatment for their small island communities. All they want is the right to practice traditional livelihoods to sustain Island communities and pass down their traditions, knowledge and skills to future generations. In March 2012, The Donegal Islands Survival Plan, 2012 -2015 was launched by Dinny McGinley as Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht at a conference on Árainn Mhór, Co. Donegal. This report was compiled by Dr Alyne Delaney of the University of Aalborg in Denmark, following the long campaign by fishermen such as John O Brien of Inis Bó Finne and Jerry Early of Árainn Mhór, charting a way forward for the island’s small inshore fishing fleet. The 2006 drift-net ban on salmon fishing has had a devastating effect on island communities, particularly those in Donegal. This blow was compounded in 2008 by the closure of the waters around the Donegal islands as part of a European cod conservation measure. “An island fisherman is never going to get wealthy out of fishing – all he wants to do is make a living and sustain a way of life,” says fisherman Gerry Early of Árainn Mhór.

All Irish MEPs were contacted two weeks before going to print on the proposed baning of all Drift Net fishing by the European Commission. The following four MEP’s answered the query:
Brian Crowley the Fianna Fail MEP has confirmed that he will vehemently oppose the proposal to prohibit any type of drift nets as proposed by the European Commission, “There is no basis for such a ban, which if approved and implemented, would have serious implications for Ireland’s Small Scale Driftnet Fisheries. The blanket ban on Drift net fishing contradicts the CFP and discriminates against Sustainable Small Scale fisheries. I will urge colleagues on the Fisheries committee to oppose the proposal at committee stage and if it reaches Parliament I will vote against it and canvass support from my Group colleagues,” says Mr. Crowley MEP.
Liadh Ní Riada. Ireland’s sole MEP on the EU PECHE Committee says she is committed to getting a better deal for our fishing industry. She says that the 2007 ban on drift net fishing imposed by Europe was a further blow to coastal communities. “Undoubtedly environmental issues and declining stocks are a central issue to the sustainability of fishing; however, I believe that alternative solutions have not been seriously considered.” says the MEP.

Speaking on Irelands Salmon Fishery she says she would cite the decline in Salmon stocks as a case in point. There are scientific claims that it is the pollution at the bottom of rivers that is causing the decline in Salmon stocks - this should be investigated, she says. “There needs to be a formal scientific assessment to bring stocks under control and not just a sticking plaster solution enforced by Europe and implemented by this and the previous Government by way of a blanket ban on drift net fishing,” says MEP Liadh Ne Riada.

Her party Sinn Féin called for the buy-out scheme for drift men to be voluntary, however, she says this was ignored by the Fianna Fáil government and they proceeded with a compulsory buy out, once again ignoring the stakeholders. At the time of the ban Sinn Fein argued that it would put pressure on other sectors within the industry. Unfortunately, that has turned out to be the case for people involved in lobsters, crayfish and gill netting. “We all want a sustainable environment as it is vital for a healthy long term fishing industry and recognise that stocks need to be preserved, but using that to excuse an outright ban is a lazy narrow approach and shows lack of political will in terms of engaging in a meaningful and proactive way with fishermen. The options of real compensation, independent scientific data and consultation with the fishing community to reach a mutual plan of action seems to her to be a practical approach and indeed falls within the remit of the bottom up approach which is not only part of the Sinn Féin ethos but also touted by the EU.

“I will certainly be dealing with these issues head on when the Parliament resumes in September where I intend to get support from other smaller member states that have similar problems. Ireland needs a comprehensive, genuine long term Government led plan in partnership with local people for developing and sustaining coastal fishing communities into the future,” says MEP Liadh Ni Riada.

On receiving, the email regarding the proposed banning of drift nets from January 2015 Matt Carthy MEP contacted his colleague Liadh O Riada, his party’s member on the EU Peche Committee and is in agreement with her sentiments on the proposal ..

The Dublin Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes says he is opposed to any measures that will devastate our Island communities.

The Marine Times Newspaper, as the voice of the Irish fishing industry and coastal communities would welcome the views all our MEP’s on the proposed ban on driftnets in 2015.

• This story first appeared in our September '14 issue



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