----- The Voice of Ireland's Fishing Industry and Maritime Community - Published Monthly, Established 1989 -----

Support Our Fishermen!
End the Criminal Justice Act Being Applied to Irish Fishermen

Michael Collins, Independent, Cork County Councillor, presented a motion at the Cork County Council Western Committee meeting on Monday, January 18th. It calls on the Minister, in light of other difficulties in the Penalty Point System arising in the High Court, to make changes going forward to ease the pressure off the fishermen who work the hardest in our society.

A long time supporter of rural issues and of local fishermen, Mr Collins stated, “I condemn the Criminal Justice Act being applied to Irish Fishermen who are under immense pressure as it is. To me, the most appalling thing any government or body could do to its own people is to come down in such a heavy handed way.”

Mr Collins’ Motion, which was passed, without any objections, at Cork County Council’s Western Committee meeting is expected to be presented and carried by other councils around the country.

Read the full text of this vital motion on page 6 of our February issue and pass it on to your local elected representative

RNLI urge people to Respect the Water as Irish lifeboats launch to 1,098 incidents in 2015

RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew in Ireland were kept busy in 2015 with 1,098 launches bringing 1,244 people to safety. At 45 lifeboat stations around the Irish coast and on inland waters, the charity’s volunteer lifeboat crew were on call in all weathers. Of the recorded launches, 416 were carried out in the hours of darkness.

Howth lifeboat station in Dublin was the busiest on the coast with 60 launches and 58 people assisted. The next busiest was Clifden RNLI in Galway, who are currently trialling an all-weather lifeboat to work alongside with their inshore lifeboat. They launched 49 times and brought 20 people to safety. The majority of callouts for Clifden RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat were to medical emergencies on the neighbouring islands; often assisting the Irish Coast helicopter crew. Dun Laoghaire RNLI launched their two lifeboats 48 times and assisted 50 people.

The inland RNLI lifeboat station at Lough Ree in Athlone had a very busy year recording the highest number of people assisted. The inshore lifeboat was launched 47 times and helped 130 people to safety on the huge lough.

In Munster, Crosshaven RNLI saw considerable activity with 42 launches and 50 people brought to safety. While in Northern Ireland, Enniskillen RNLI, which operates from two separate locations on Upper and Lower Lough Erne, were called on 74 times in total bringing 89 people to safety.

The first Shannon class lifeboat in Ireland, stationed at Lough Swilly in Donegal, was also put to work. It arrived in April and during the year the station answered 20 calls for help and brought 23 people to safety. The new lifeboat’s first callout was to three fishermen reported missing after failing to return home. Their vessel had lost power and they had drifted for hours waiting for help when the Shannon arrived on scene.

The type of incidents the charity’s lifeboat crew responded can range from danger of drowning (66 launches) to searches for missing people (54 launches), grounded or stranded vessels (126 launches) or people thought to be in danger or overdue (118 launches). Machinery failure and fouled propellers (251 launches) were again a common cause for callout.

There were also a number of callouts to four-legged casualties in 2015. Ten lifeboat stations launched to incidents involving animals and mammals last year, including a dolphin in Ballycotton, a horse swept into the river at Lough Derg, eight cows who became stranded and ended up in the sea off Kinsale and seven dogs around the coast who were reunited with their grateful owners. Many of these callouts can include a threat to people as they attempt to enter the water to save an animal and in turn get into difficulty.

Gareth Morrison RNLI Lifesaving Delivery Manager said; ‘Last summer the RNLI launched its national drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water, warning people that the coastlines and waters can be dangerously unpredictable. This year we will continue to build on that and help inform those who enjoy the water and our beautiful coastline to take care and help reduce drowning.

In 2015 we had the honour of bringing the first Shannon class lifeboat home to Ireland. It was the first all-weather lifeboat class to be named in recognition of the contribution of the RNLI’s Irish volunteers, who have been saving lives in Ireland since 1826.’

‘Irish volunteer lifeboat crew, our fundraisers and supporters have again worked exceptionally hard serving our local communities. We would like to thank all of our volunteers for their hard work and dedication over the last 12 months. Without them our lifesaving service would not exist.’

Leesa Harwood, RNLI Community Lifesaving and Fundraising Director added; It’s humbling to see the lifesaving work of our volunteer crew and safety advisers – out of the 9,763 rescued in Ireland and the UK, 442 people are alive today because of their actions. The RNLI as a whole owes it to them to act with integrity and tenacity as we take move to opt-in communications from January 2017.

‘I’m appealing to all our dedicated supporters to help us by ticking our opt-in* box over the next few months – to hear about our rescues, our safety advice, and our events and help us save the lives of hundreds more in the years to come.’

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

February 2016 Issue - Vol 28 No9

February 2016 issue in all good stockists

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In the new edition of THIS ISLAND NATION maritime radio programme, supported by THE MARINE TIMES, which you can listen to here on our website, there is the latest news about the progress in building a new Tall Ship for Ireland …an evocative story from a seafarer who saw others leaving port on a night of bad weather when they were warned not to go … They did and they were never seen again.. Reports from the RNLI and Irish Water Safety and an emotional experience crossing a bridge…. These are all included in the new edition of THIS ISLAND NATION, the maritime programme, always with a wide variety of marine stories…

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Penalty Points System Ended by High Court Ruling After Successful Challenge by Fishermen

Should Penalised Fishermen Seek Damages From SFPA?

The Penalty Points regime operated by the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority is at an end. That is the outcome of the successful challenge taken in the High Court by two Cork fishermen. The High Court struck down the penalty points system which had been signed into law by the Minister for the Marine under a Statutory Instrument.

The challenge was taken by Conways Maritime Solicitors of Cork representing the Owner and Master of the fishing vessel, ‘Tea Rose’ - Paddy and Cathal O’Sullivan. They brought the challenge to the Penalty Points regime after the ‘Tea Rose’ was detained in April of last year. On January 15 the High Court decision fundamentally changed the system which the SFPA operated, based on what had been signed into law by the Minister for the Marine, Simon Coveney.

Effectively, the High Court ruling by Justice O’Connor was that this concentrated too much power in the SFPA.

€240m Development Programme for Ireland’s Seafood Sector

Eight schemes have been launched to commence implementation of Ireland’s new €240 million EMFF Seafood Development Programme for the period up to 2020 and beyond, co-funded by the Exchequer and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. This announcement follows approval of the Programme in December by Government and the European Commission.

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

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

Features Editor / Advertising: Anne Murray

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“The effect of the Judgement is that the Penalty Points regime as signed into Law by the Minister and operated by the SFPA is at an end. Cases in which points had been given must now be revisited and the Sea Licencing Authority will have to undergo a review process to remove all penalty points. Affected licence holders will now also have to review their position as to whether or not they bring actions for damages as a result of vessels being tied up and the effect the points had on the value of capacity for the time frame involved.”

Dermot Conway, Conway Solicitors

"It is strange to think that a landing obligation could entice some to think that an opportunity exists to better their own situation. This would be a mistake and a very quick exit for them and everyone else from all fisheries once the designated species quota is exhausted."

Francis O'Donnell, IFPO

"Why was a system introduced which abandoned the normal system of justice in Ireland in a manner which discriminated against fishermen? What is the justification for Department of the Marine officials and the SFPA doing this? Is there an issue here of a cultural attitude reflected in the Department towards fishermen – and supported within the SFPA where there is an apparent high quotient of former Naval officers at senior level – that fishermen are potential law-breakers rather than abiding by the law?"

Tom MacSweeney, Assistant Editor, Marine Times Newspaper

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

Bord Iascaigh Mhara Urge Fishermen to ‘Live to Tell the Tale’

Fifty-three fishermen have lost their lives at sea over the last ten years. In 2015 alone, there were four fatal fishing related accidents in the sector. Against such stark statistics, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Irish Sea Fisheries Board, has today launched a national advertising and public relations campaign entitled ‘Live to Tell The Tale’ to drive more fishermen to complete mandatory BIM safety survival training and wear their personal flotation device (PFD) lifejacket at all times when at sea.

Minister to Meet with EU Commissioner After Pringle’s Push for Donegal Bluefin Proposal

In response to Deputy Pringle’s repeated call for a recreational Bluefin tuna fishery in Ireland, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has agreed to meet with the EU Fisheries Commissioner to discuss the proposal.

Read more in our February issue

Management Measures for
Non-Commercial Pot Fishing

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney T.D. has signed a statutory instrument to introduce management measures from the start of February for non-commercial pot fishing for crab and lobster. The introduction of the measures follows an extensive consultation process involving the National and Regional Inshore Fisheries Forums (RIFFs) and a public consultation facilitated both in writing and online.

Engine Thefts Continue Unabated on the Irish Coast

The theft of outboard engines from inshore fishing vessels has almost become an everyday occurrence in nearly every harbour around Ireland, reaching unprecedented levels over the last number of years. And as the majority of the fishing fleet go back to sea after the Christmas and New Year break, the owner of two vessels at Youghal harbour had become the latest fisherman to have engines taken.

Busy Schedule Throughout 2015 for Mooney Boats

2015 was a very busy year for Mooney Boats Ltd. in Killybegs with an increasing number of vessels making use of the yard’s facilities. Two of the latest vessels to arrive at the yard to have some repairs and maintenance works done are the Velvet Chord II & John B from Howth.

Read more in our February 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 the dynamic duo off the "Ros Ard"
If you have a picture that you would like to feature in the paper please email us at marinetimes@eircom.net