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MFV “Pacelli” on her way home to Killybegs pictured leaving Norway

Fishermen asked to Collaborate on Scientific Fishery to Explore Eel Challenges
Better data to support decisions on prospects for both Stock and Fishermen

Nov 26th: Joe McHugh T.D., Minister with responsibility for Natural Resources, has announced a new collaborative research initiative involving Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) scientists and a number of former eel fishermen to further develop national knowledge of the species and its medium to longer term potential for recovery.

Based on management advice from IFI and scientific advice from the standing Scientific Committee for Eels (SSCE) the existing conservations measures, in Ireland’s Eel Management Plan (EMP) agreed by the EU under EC Regulation 1100/2007, will remain in place up to mid-2018.

Minister McHugh said “IFI has submitted advice and recommendations on Ireland’s EMP in the period 2015-18. These recommendations are cognisant of the independent scientific recommendations from the Standing Scientific Committee on Eels (SSCE) which underline the risk in opening fisheries at this time.

“I am anxious that a scientific fishery involving some of the stakeholders is undertaken for the next three years to increase data and knowledge ahead of further review and I have secured funding to start the research in 2016. This would facilitate a better informed decision on the outlook for the stock over the next few years and beyond and also the prospects for a return to commercial fishing activity.”

The Minister also pointed out that IFI would examine the data derived from the new initiative annually and review recommendations on management measures if the research supported this. He also pointed out that while some river basin districts appeared to attain the escapement targets set in the EU regulation but the regulation clearly required attainment of targets over the long term. He said “Progress has been made since 2009 when the protection actions were introduced with some rivers basins showing encouraging signs, but we cannot undermine that progress by undoing key conservation measures because we have some green shoots.”

Minister Mc Hugh also emphasised that he fully appreciates the demographics of the former fishermen and the difficulties experienced by them since 2009. “I want to use the new scientific research to better explore the potential for short to medium term recovery of the fishery and prospects for fishing in the future. We have put in place measures to protect eel stocks but based on the research outcome I will be better placed to consider the longer term socio-economic impacts on fishermen and communities and what measures it may be possible to put in place for fishermen.”

The measures currently in place under Ireland’s EMP principally involve a cessation of the commercial eel fishery and closure of the market and mitigation of the impact of hydropower installations.

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

December 2015 Issue - Vol 28 No7

December 2015 issue in all good stockists

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The restoration of the cabin in which Polar Explorer Ernest Shackleton died and its return to the Shackleton Museum in Athy is the main story in the new edition of Tom MacSweeney's THIS ISLAND NATION radio programme. There's also a request for your help from the Commisisoners of Irish Lights, warnings about safety afloat and ashore from the RNLI and Irish Water Safety and a tale of lost love between a Lightkeeper and a Mermaid.

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300+ Students Visit Marine Institute to Explore Sustainable Oceans for Science Week

The Marine Institute welcomed more than 300 transition year students during science week as part of Galway Science & Technology Festival, and the Sea for Society FP7 project. They met marine scientists and staff to learn about the wide variety of work they do, and how the science of the sea impacts on our daily lives, for example the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we drink.

Scientists on RV Celtic Explorer Discover Deep-Sea Mud Volcanoes and Carbonate Chimneys

A team of scientists led by Dr Jens Carlsson, University College Dublin, onboard the national research vessel, RV Celtic Explorer discovered a field of carbonate chimneys supporting a range of deep-sea life during an expedition to research mud volcanoes in the Gulf of Cadiz.

Mr Emerson’s Boards Clock In At Titanic Belfast

Replica ‘Clock In Boards’, handcrafted by long serving Harland and Wolff ex-employee, Mr Emerson, are to go on show at Titanic Belfast, the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience. The ‘Clock In Boards’, or ‘bourds’, as they were known in East Belfast, were collected by the 15,000 shipyard workers when they arrived at work at 8:00am. The boards were retuned at 5:30pm, in an act commonly referred to as ‘launching yer bourd’ – when they were literally hurled through the open office window, of what is now known as Titanic House, in a rush to leave.

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

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

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This Island Nation 16 November 2015 by Cry104fm on Mixcloud

Ireland Penalises Itself While Danish and Other EU States Circumvent the Rules

Francis O'Donnell, Chief Executive of the Irish Fish Producers' Organisations refuses to accept that the penalty point system is fair as it is being applied in Ireland.

Fishing Needs Logical and Critical Thinking and Action

Tom MacSweeney: What does it take to get the Irish fishing industry to stand up and speak out for itself with a united voice? Subject that question for a moment to some logical and critical thinking.It is a fair premise to advance that the industry has failed to adequately convey to the public how important it is to the national economy, to promote and, when necessary, to defend itself. It is also a reasonable premise that, by failing to do so, it has allowed a dominant public opinion critical of the industry to be created.

It's Not Perfect But ….

An agreement has been reached on a new system for migrant workers in the fishing industry. A Government Task Force was set up to address the situation of non EEA workers in the Irish Fishing Fleet. Whilst welcomed there are reservations as to how it can be practical to apply some of the proposals such as minimum wage in a share based industry, providing health insurance and only allowing 500 visas / permissions when much more will be necessary.

We Are Looking to Be Positive, But Are Fed Up …

In the face of the adversity which the industry faces at present and what it has been encountering from sections of the media, environmental organisations, massive over-regulation, heavy inspections and the frustration of his (John Nolan) Co-op's own boats subjected to restrictions when there are regular landings by foreign vessels with EU quotas into Castletownbere, for immediate shipping abroad, it is perhaps difficult to understand his continued commitment to positivity.

Read our December issue more comment, opinions and news from our top quality correspondents from around the coast

Busy Times and Fast Turnarounds at Mevagh Boatyard

The MFV Boy Paul was launched at Mevagh Boatyard at the beginning of October after spending several weeks at the yard getting a new keel fitted. The MFV Annette CE7 had a quick turnaround at Mevagh Boatyard at the end of last month in preparation for the scallop season. The vessel had its annual maintenance done along with a number of other minor but necessary jobs at the Donegal based boatyard.

Anger as Factory Ships Continue to Operate off the Northwest Coast

Fishing communities along the western seaboard of Ireland are angered and dismayed with what appears to be a free for all for some of the largest fishing vessels in the world which are currently operating off the Donegal and Mayo coasts, while numerous bans and lack of quotas are preventing local fishermen from going to sea. Irish Islands Marine Resource Organisation (IIMRO) which represents island based inshore fishermen has stated that they are shocked that authorities are willing to accept that the second biggest fishing boat in the world the FV Margiris and several others are operating off the Donegal coast without constant supervision.

Read more in our December issue

Dublin Fishmonger Wins Bord Iascaigh Mhara Young Fishmonger 2016 Competition

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Seafood Development Agency, is delighted to announce George Stephens, The Fish Market, Blanchardstown, Dublin the overall winner of BIM’s Young Fishmonger 2016 competition. George received the good news at a BIM hosted awards dinner in Martin Shanahan’s Fishy Fishy restaurant in Kinsale, Co. Cork.

Pictured above is last years winner Gerard Collier reluctantly handing over the 2016 title to George Stephens.

Donegal Fisherman Fears Huge Damage Done by Super Trawlers off Our Coast

Speaking on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, a Donegal fisherman said that he feared that super trawlers fishing off the coast of Donegal had done serious damage to his fishing equipment out from Tory Island, valued at €240,000, and spoke of his despair at the lack of support he was receiving from the fishing authorities on the matter.

Read more in our December 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 Brendan Leonard and Pat Johnston down from Killybegs in Dunmore East
If you have a picture that you would like to feature in the paper please email us at marinetimes@eircom.net