August 2014 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

Programme 1 - Click here
Programme 2 - Click here
Programme 3 - Click here
Programme 4 - Click here
Programme 5 - Click here


Latest Issue Headlines:
New National Inshore Fisheries Forum Gets Mixed Views
Country-and-Western Music More Important to Government Than Marine and Fishing
BIM Clear the Air Over PFDs Grant Aid Scheme
Sea Change in Attitudes to Maritime Safety
Interviews with Laurence Courtney and Gearóid Cheaist Ó Catháin
SeaQuest Systems Move to New State of the Art Premises
Department Finances Under Fire and Under Question as Harbours Owed €5m in Rent and Fees

All of this plus plenty more news, views and opinion from around the coast of our maritime nation in our August issue of the Marine Times Newspaper


This Island Nation - July 2014 by Cry104fm on Mixcloud


We can never leave our history or our tradition behind us. We carry that with us forever. Those words from GearóId Cheaist O Catháin remain in my mind from what he told me when I interviewed him for this month’s edition of THIS ISLAND NATION which you can hear on the Marine Times website (see above link). He was once described as “the loneliest boy in the world,” whose only playmates were seagulls, a description which went around the world and resulted in his being offered adoption by two families in the United States, one of whom offered to take his entire family to the USA. His description of the reality of the tough life on the Blaskets islands will be a revelation to those who may have a more romantic notion of life on an island.

Also on the programme we discuss why there are so many blue sharks around Irish waters this summer, hear about an analysis of why children drown, of the work of the RNLI and why Clifden in County Galway is unique in the lifeboat service. Together with a call for Kinsale to preserve its maritime history amidst the concentration on tourism and food and the surprising news of a decline of interest in sailing, there is a great mix of maritime news, features and information on Ireland’s leading maritime programme on radio, THIS ISLAND NATION.

Latest News:
Are you interested in contributing to the development of Ireland’s Inshore Fishing Sector?
BIM Seeks Members for the Regional Inshore Fisheries Forums

Following the launch of the National Inshore Fisheries Forum (NIFF) earlier this year by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, Mr. Simon Coveney T.D. and the recent agreement on the terms of reference for the forum; BIM are now seeking members to take part in the Regional Inshore Fisheries Forums (RIFFs). Each RIFF will feed into the National Inshore Fisheries Forum and will link with the existing infrastructure of the Fisheries Local Action Groups or FLAG’s programme. There are six FLAG’s established in coastal regions around Ireland.

The RIFFs will comprise of no more than 12 members. A minimum of 8 members will represent the inshore fisheries sector and will be appointed on the basis of:
their ability to represent the views of the inshore sector
their knowledge of inshore fisheries, fish stocks, and fishing methods, and
their capacity to engage on fisheries management issues.

In addition, the FLAG will aim to ensure that the membership is representative of the FLAG region’s geographical coverage and the characteristics of the region’s inshore fleet and fisheries. Applicants must demonstrate support within their respective sector for their nomination to a forum. The balance of the membership will include stakeholders from marine sectors other than fisheries, such as seafood processing/sales, marine leisure, marine tourism, environmental NGOs and community organisations.

Should the FLAGs consider a sector or area is lacking in representation the FLAG reserves the right to approach appropriate individuals or organisations to seek members.

If you are interested in applying for membership of the RIFFs, please e-mail Caroline Curraoin in BIM or send your application by post to FLAG Co-ordinator, BIM, , P.O. Box 12, Crofton Rd., Dun Laoghaire , Co. Dublin.

Full details on the terms of reference for the National Inshore Fisheries Forum are available on The closing date for all applications is Friday, 29th August 2014.

Generous Rory Gallagher donation keeps Ballycotton RNLI lifeboat afloat

Dónal Gallagher, brother of the late blues guitarist Rory Gallagher has presented Ballycotton RNLI with a generous donation of €11,000 to help them continue their work of saving lives at sea.

This phenomenal donation was raised through the sale of items from the well- known and much loved guitarist, Rory Gallagher, at the Rock Memorabilia auction held recently at Whytes Auction House, which raised €7,500 for Ballycotton lifeboat station. A further donation of €3,500 was given from an anonymous unsuccessful bidder who wished to support the work of the life-saving charity.

‘Rory was very fond of Ballycotton, he loved walking the cliffs and found inspiration for his song writing there - songs such as ‘A Million Miles Away’ and ‘Lost at Sea’, said the musician’s brother, Donal Gallagher.

The Gallagher Estate gifted the Rory instruments to the RNLI at the Ballycotton RNLI’s annual fundraising Gala dinner at Ballymaloe House, last January and auctioneer Ian Whyte offered his services (commission free), to fundraise for this great cause.

The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea and operates all over Ireland and the UK. Volunteer lifeboat crews provide lifesaving cover around the coast 365 days a year. On average it takes €1,502 to train a crew member annually and €1,343 for their lifesaving kit.

Ballycotton RNLI will be holding their annual Family Fun day during this Bank Holiday weekend on Sunday 3 August. This is one of their main fundraising activities for the year but also a great day out for everyone. Like their Facebook page ‘Ballycotton Lifeboat Fundraising Events’ for more details and watch the ‘Lost at Sea’ video at


Industry News:
BIM Host Seminars to Inform Seafood Processors on New Food Labelling Legislation
Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) in partnership with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) and the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) are hosting a series of seminars in Sligo, Dublin and Cork to inform seafood industry regarding the labelling of seafood and what they will be required to do under the new food labelling legislation (EU) No. 1169/2011, and regulation (EU) 1379/2013 on the common organisation of the markets in Fishery and Aquaculture products due to be in place by the 13th December this year.

Some of the participants at the BIM Labelling Seminar for the Seafood Industry in the Radisson Hotel, Dublin Airport: David Lyons, FSAI; Ray Stephens, Rays Catch, Rathfarnham; Eileen Soraghan, BIM; Sinead Ni Bhriain, Public Health Nutrition Section, FSAI; Aileen O'Sullivan, SFPA; Donal Buckley, BIM Director of Business Development & Innovation; Amanda O'Brien, Food Safety Unit, SFPA; Renee Tallon, East Coast Seafood, Naas, Co Kildare; James Wright, Wrights of Marino, Dublin; Gerard Collier, Fishermans Catch, Clogherhead, Co Louth and Patrick Gibney, Select Seafoods, Artane, Dublin.

Speaking at the Dublin seminar in the Radisson Hotel, Dublin Airport, Donal Buckley, BIM's Director of Business Development and Innovation outlined the importance of correct labelling in terms of customer confidence; "Due to the nature of our wild and open fisheries resource, labelling has been a source of confusion for customers. Traceability and provenance is more important than ever and the seminar today is designed to inform you how best to work within the current and new legislation to ensure your product label is communicating the right information to your customers, both in terms of provenance and nutrition. I would like to sincerely thank the FSAI and the SFPA for assisting us with our series of seminars and BIM will continue to assist seafood companies to ensure they are adhering to the necessary legislation."

Under the current legislation and in addition to the general food labelling requirements; seafood processors and retailers that sell live, fresh, chilled or frozen fish, fillets of fish, smoked fish, salted and dried fishery products as well as live or raw shellfish already include the following on the product label: The commercial designation of the species of fish (i.e. the name associated with the particular species of fish e.g. the commercial designation for Ghadus morhua is Cod); The production method, whether cultivated / farmed or caught at sea or freshwater.

The catch area (this must consist of a) in the case of products caught at sea, a reference to one of the areas mentioned in the Annex to Commission Regulation (EC) 2065/2001 i.e. caught in the North East Atlantic b) in the case of products caught in freshwater, a reference to the Member State or third country of origin of the product and c) in the case of farmed products, a reference to the Member State or third country in which the product undergoes the final development stage. Where the product is farmed in more than one Member State or third country, the various Member States or third countries in which it is farmed can be indicated.
The new food legislation will bring in the following new requirements: Mandatory nutritional labelling; Allergen Labelling; Allergens must be declared in the ingredient list and must be emphasised in a typeset that clearly distinguishes it from the rest of the ingredients; Allergen labelling will now apply to non pre-packaged foods (of particular relevance to seafood retailers); Category of fishing gear; Requirement to state if product has been previously frozen and defrosted prior to sale (there are some exemptions); Date of freezing.

The New legislation refers to food information rather than food labelling and therefore applies not only to the label but also to other accompanying material, or any other means including modern technology tools or verbal communication.

The seminar finished on a positive note with an update on nutrition and health claims relevant to seafood from the FSAI. Delegates were given an insight on how to make the most of their label by informing the consumer of the various nutritional benefits of fish such as 'high in omega 3', 'Source of iodine', 'Source of Vitamin E' and 'High in Protein'

For further information or clarification on seafood labelling, please contact Eileen Soraghan, BIM, on 01-2144112. For updates on food legislation and to access the information booklet 'Overview of changes to food labelling introduced under the food information regulation' please visit the FSAI website


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