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March issue of the Marine Times in shops Friday 6th March


This Island Nation 23rd February 2015 by Cry104fm on Mixcloud



“We are a funny country. We are surrounded by water. We have a Government that thinks there is a landbridge somewhere, but they don’t know where it is.”

That was the comment of former seafarer Tom O’Mahony when he spoke to the programme at the annual Remembrance Ceremony for those lost at sea in the town of Youghal on the East Cork coastline. It is a coastal town with a great schooner tradition and memories of seafarers who ranged from the River Blackwater onto the world’s oceans in various types of vessels.

It is also where the programme is compiled, edited, recorded and transmitted every Monday fortnight at 6.30 p.m. and later each fortnight on Near FM in Dublin, Dundalk FM, Dublin South FM and Raidio Corca Baiscinn in County Clare as well as on this website.

Tom O’Mahony said there was a lack of maritime awareness at Government level and recalled the closure of Irish Shipping and the manner in which ships and crews were stranded overseas and men later left without pensions. “And that was company in which seafarers had gone to seain ships that would not now pass maritime safety requirements.”

Irish Shipping seamen first served and saved the nation when warring forces in World War Two threatened to cut it off from vital supplies. They ensured the island nation was supplied and carried on that work for many years. Neutrality did not protect the men of Irish Shipping from attack, injury and death during the War years. Regrettably, neither did the Government which they had served when it put the company into Receivership.

Also on this edition of the programme we hear about troubled times for the Irish Sailing Association, the exclusion of disabled sailors from the Paralympics and discuss the use of nautical descriptions in everyday language, such as ‘posh,’ being a ‘figurehead’ and ‘flogging a dead horse.’

Listen to the latest This Island Nation broadcast by clicking the player above

Judge, Jury & Executioners?
Have the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority been given too much power?
The SFPA have begun to implement the penalty point system - Under the fixed penalty system, the Sea Fishery Protection Officer can administer points to the fisherman on a quayside etc. No Garda presence is required, no statements needs to be produced and no further back up required, the sanction is administered and the fisherman either elects to take it or he does not. Anyone who receives penalty points can appeal it to the appeals officer at the SFPA. They can go to court to fight the judgement against them, and may win. But the fact remains that the SFPA are literally judge, jury and executioner prior to the appeal and in breach of Fishermen's constitutional rights as to a fair hearing. Under this proposal, you are guilty unless you elect to go to court and are found to be innocent.


Full report in our February issue

There be silver at the end of this rainbow - big mackerel being landed in Killybegs at the moment. Photo by the editor, Thursday 5th February.

Inshore Groups Voice Disapproval of Maximum Landing Size for Lobsters
The recent decision by Minister Coveney to sign into law, a maximum landing size for lobster of 127mm as a conservation measure to protect the long-term sustainability of Irish lobsters has been met with disapproval by a number of inshore fishing organisations. They state that a maximum landing size will do little to protect stocks as the fishery stands and that a much better option was the mandatory v-notching scheme that they have been calling for, for some time.

Full report in our February issue

New Evidence Links Porpoise Deaths to Grey Seals
Although fishermen and their organisations have been very vocal for the last number of years on how seals are destroying their catch and indeed some fisheries, the extent of damage which grey seals can cause has, for the greater part, been ignored by authorities here and in the UK. But recent research is now showing that its not only fisheries that are suffering the effects of growing seal populations, harbour porpoises in Dutch waters are also being attacked and killed by grey seals.

Full reports in our February issue

The O’Shea family from Adrigole, aboard their new vessel “Bay Venture”
Full report on this new vessel in our February issue.

Proper Words in Proper Places Define Style
“Words are like leaves and where they most abound, much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.”

So wrote Alexander Pope in his Essay on Criticism and I quote them in contrasting the high hopes for the future of the marine sector voiced when the Ocean Wealth plan was launched back in 2012 with the Action Plan for Jobs 2015, launched at the end of January and labelled by the Government as the “next step in the multi-annual plan to deliver full employment by 2018.” I have not been able to find a single definitive reference to the marine sector in the high-powered public relations issuing of information and publicity releases by the Government about this Jobs plan, the fourth in a series, all of which have not prioritised in any meaningful way the maritime sphere, those who work in it in Ireland, are committed to its future and the most important highway which this island nation has for import and exports – the sea which surrounds us.

Full report in our February issue "Forum"

MFV “Kayleigh” on her way out of Dunmore East - Photo by WP.



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