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January 2015 Issue in Shops Now

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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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This Island Nation - 26th January 2015 by Cry104fm on Mixcloud

 

Sea Links are More Important Than Air Links

In the current debate which has surfaced about the future of Aer Lingus, it is good to hear the realisation in all quarters, from politicians to business, economic and media commentators that Ireland is an ‘island nation’. While the importance of air links is being highlighted, those same people could extend their thinking to the maritime links which keep this country alive in a way in which no air linkage can do.

This is emphasised in the leading story in the current edition of my radio programme, THIS ISLAND NATION which you can hear on this website, where I interview the first lady to become President of the Irish Institute of Master Mariners, the professional body for Shipmasters. Sea-going has been a male-dominated profession but Capt.Sinead Reen who lives in Crosshaven, Co.Cork, has done a lot to break that mould. She was also the first woman to qualify as a Deck Officer in Ireland and has served at sea on several types of vessels, including super tankers and cruise ships.

She describes in the interview how she chose a career at sea and, at a time when the Naval Service would not admit women, joined the Merchant Navy: “We are not seen by the general public because we are at sea, carrying the goods, the supplies, the imports, the exports, which this nation needs across the world’s seaways. Without ships and seafarers this nation would find it difficult to exist.” She discusses life at sea for a woman in a male environment aboardship and speaks of the great opportunities for employment at sea for both women and men. Her election underlines the opportunities of a career at sea for women in what has been a male-dominated profession.

It is an interview worth listening to, as is that about the commemorations planned in the Cork Harbour town of Cobh for the centenary of the sinking of the Lusitania in May.

Hendrik Verway, Chairman of Cobh Tourism, outlines the details of the commemorative plans.Cobh, where survivors of the Lusitania sinking by a German U-boat on May 7, 1915, were landed as well as the bodies of those who were killed in the tragedy, is planning ceremonies on the seafront at Cobh and a sail past by boats on the evening of May 7, with the vessels displaying a single white light to remember those who were killed. Two cruise ships will be in Cobh on the day. One of them, the Cunard’s Queen Victoria, will be on a commemorative voyage and on Thursday afternoon, May 7, will sound her ship’s whistle at the time at which the torpedo hit the Lusitania,to start a ceremony on the Cobh seafront. A quayside ceremony will start as the whistle sounds and which will conclude at 2.30 p.m., marking the time when the Lusitania sank beneath the waves. 1,198 passengers and crew died. Survivors were landed at Cobh, to where bodies of the dead were also brought and 169 buried. There were 764 survivors. Only 289 bodies were recovered. 169 are buried in the Old Cemetery in Cobh, 149 in three mass graves and 20 in individual plots. Amongst the commemorative events will be a series of lectures and an exhibition of photographs taken in Cobh, then called Queenstown, in the aftermath of the landing there of survivors and bodies by rescue vessels. Many of these photos have not been on public display before and have been digitised for exhibition from original glass plates photographed at the time, through the co-operation of the National Museum. It is also planned to re-enact the funeral of victims to the Old Cemetery in Cobh.

And in another interview on the programme, Paul Bourke of Inland Fisheries Ireland tells me that, for anglers, it has been a good year for the catching of specimen fish.

Fair Sailing…

Shock in Industry as the IFPO Withdraw from the Federation of Irish Fishermen

The Irish Fish Producers Organisation (IFPO) has withdrawn from the Federation of Irish Fishermen. The board of the IFPO took this decision after a significant amount of deliberation at Saturdays board meeting, and previous board meetings extending back for the last six months.

In a statement to the Marine Times, the IFPO say that they look forward to working with the industry, all in a spirit of trust and cooperation as we move forward to tackle the many challenges that lie ahead for the Irish Fishing industry.

More on this in our February issue

Crew of Iuda Naofa Rescued off Scottish Coast

 

The UK Coastguard was notified of a fishing vessel in distress just before 11am yesterday morning (January 20th). The Iuda Naofa, a 23m Irish fishing vessel, was taking on water 48 miles north of the Butt of Lewis.

The Coastguard Rescue helicopter was requested to attend the scene and drop a salvage pump onto the Iuda Naofa to pump off the ingress of water. However, the vessel became swamped and started to sink.

The Coastguard Rescue helicopter airlifted two of the crew onto the nearby sister fishing vessel, the Star of Hope. The other three crew were transferred by helicopter to the Western Isles hospital, where they are being treated for mild hypothermia.

Coastguard Duty Watch Manager, Paul Tunstall said; “The weather conditions on scene were very rough seas with southerly force 6 winds, evacuating the five crew swiftly and safely before the vessel went down was a great achievement.

The Marine Times express their thanks to all involved in the safe rescue of all crew of the Iuda Naofa and wish them all a speedy recovery.

First meeting of the National Inshore Fisheries Forum (NIFF), bringing together for the first time a network of representatives from the six recently established Regional Inshore Fisheries Forums. (More in our upcoming February issue)

Importance of the Building of the New Irish Fishing Vessel "Patrick C"

The importance of the recent completion of the Patrick C in Killybegs cannot really be overstated as it has increased employment in the engineering sector and there is huge reputational value in the successful completion of the contract in that it clearly shows that we have ship builders in Ireland who can complete to standards previously credited to continental yards.

Full report in our January issue

Fishermen Urged to Stay Safe During Deadliest Month of the Year

As Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) research reveals more fishermen die in January than in any other month of the year, the lifesaving charity has launched a hard-hitting campaign encouraging fishermen to make sure their boats keep them safe at sea.

Full report in our January issue

BIM’s Enhanced Safety Training Scheme is a one-day course designed to provide the skippers and crews of registered fishing vessels with up-to-date training in personal survival techniques, first aid, fire prevention and health and safety in the workplace. Those successfully completing the course or new entrants successfully completing BIM’s 3-day Basic Safety Training can avail of a special incentive under BIM’s Safety Equipment Scheme. This provides grant aid of up to 60% towards the cost of purchasing Personal Flotation Devices (PFD) fitted with an integrated Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). The Scheme has been extremely successful to date with over 650 fishers completing training and Robert Walsh, BIM’s Training Instructor recently presented Mr. James O’Mahony of Fenit, Co. Kerry, owner of the MFV “Fenagh Marie” with the 500th Personal Flotation Device with integrated Personal Locator Beacon (pictured above). BIM runs Enhanced Safety Training Courses on BIM’s mobile Coastal Training Units and at the National Fisheries College (NFCI) in Greencastle, Co. Donegal and Castletownbere, Co. Cork, please visit www.bim.ie for further details.

Quota Cuts Will Lead to Increased Discarding and Loss of Jobs
Zero TAC for North West Herring Fishery Incomprehensible

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. The KFO chief Sean O’Donoghue says that the setting of the zero TAC for herring in the North West for 2015 in incomprehensible and the action does not reflect the reality on the fishing grounds where the stock has been so abundant for years.

Full report in our January issue

“Managing Health and Safety in Fishing”

Fishermen are 40 times more likely to be killed whilst carrying out their work when compared with the general working population, making fishing by far the most hazardous sector to work in. Over the 12 year period from 2002 to 2013 there have been 27 incidents resulting in 47 fatalities. During this time, potting was the most dangerous work activity accounting for the majority of the fatalities. On average there are about four or five fatal accidents annually in the sector. To date, in 2014, there has been 1 fatality in the sector.

‘Too Cold for Sharks’ HSA-Sponsored Children’s Book to Raise Awareness in High Risk Fishing Sector

The book, entitled ‘Too Cold for Sharks’, is the work of 116 primary school children from all over Ireland, 84 of whom won the 2014 HSA primary schools’ ocean safety story/art competition, and 30 children from fishing families and fishing communities. The project was run in partnership with the 21 full-time Education Centres. The book will be sent to every primary school and library in the country and will be followed by workshops with children in fishing communities.

Full reports in our January issue

Sean Boyle aged 10 and Penelope Statham aged 11 from Fintra pictured with Eoghan Dorrian and Shane McCrudden from Killybegs Coast Guard at the launch of “Too Cold for Sharks!”

New “Steadfast” Launched at Kilkeel

A large crowd turned out at Kilkeel harbour to see the launching of “Steadfast” for the Patterson family. Co-owned by brothers Kenneth Samuel and Raymond, “Steadfast” was built on the quayside at Kilkeel by Samuel and Raymond while elder brother Kenneth was away fishing.

Full report in our January issue

Islands Group Calls to Close Uncontrolled Fishing Loophole

The Irish Islands Marine Resource Organisation (IIMRO) which represents island based inshore fishermen has stated that the loophole which allows recreational or illegal fishing in inshore waters to continue must be closed. In its statement to Marine Times, IIMRO said that ‘one of the biggest problems facing the inshore sector right now is where anyone can go to sea without a licence, fish as many pots as they like and catch as much as they like. The only distinction between what’s known as recreational fishing and commercial fishing is that those fishing recreationally are not permitted to sell their catch and it’s a matter of evidence to determine at a particular time whether any individual is engaging in commercial or recreational fishing.’

Full report in our January issue

MFV “Mahon Lass” passing the “Catherine R” on her way into Dunmore East.

 

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