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Tom MacSweeney PODCAST


    I am intrigued by the challenge laid down by Marine Minister Michael Creed to the “entire Irish trawl fishing fleet” -and to the State fisheries agency, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, which he has challenged to “work with the fishing industry” to clean the oceans of plastic. A commendable initiative indeed, but why make such a big publicity event about it? The fishing industry and BIM have been combining to do much of what he has been talking about for the past three years. They have been removing litter from the sea since 2015. The ‘Fishing for Litter’ campaign has resulted in fishermen, who were also involved in the original conception of that project, remove 220 tons of marine waste taking it aboard their trawlers when fishing and landing it into 12 participating ports around the coast. So what is new that the national media have been highlighting? Not a lot.


    Photographs from BIM issued for that development, shown on this page are rather alike what was seen from the Clean Oceans’ initiative launched by the Minister at Union Hall on Friday! Compare the photos on the page. While the Minister was being national coverage by the media, which showed once again that it doesn’t know much about the marine sphere, John Power and his crew in the South/East were quietly landing more “marine rubbish we’ve gathered this fishing trip, bringing it ashore…” Other fishermen sent me Emails and postings which said: “Department looking to take credit for an initiative by fishermen” and: “We’ve been doing this for years, but got no credit for it from the Department, the Minister or the media.” The fishing industry is very conscious of the pollution of the seas. The Minister setting a “target” for the industry to remove plastic and challenging BIM seems a little incongruous in view of what has already been done. Notably, he didn’t set targets for other marine activities for anti-pollution action.

    And the offshore islands are also well ahead of the expressed Ministerial concern. On this week’s edition of my THIS ISLAND NATION radio programme, Rhoda Twombly, Secretary of the Islands’ Federation reported that the offshore islands are having to deal with “garbage – plastic and otherwise” that is increasingly washing up on their shores. “The amount of ocean-borne litter has become so shocking that Islanders are not only organising beach clean-ups but a small traditional bungalow was built from 2 litre plastic milk containers.

    Listen to Rhoda Twombly on my Podcast by clicking on the photo above

    If you would like to listen to the full THIS ISLAND NATION programme (click on player below), which has more maritime reports and features such as: Building a bungalow from plastic bottles littering their shoreline… The people of Clare Island are pretty annoyed at the plastic pollution which is winding up in increasing amounts on the shores of Ireland’s offshore islands. That’s one of the topics on the new edition of THIS ISLAND NATION, the maritime programme – Ireland’s maritime talk show - which also recalls the first impression of round-the-world voyagers arriving in Dingle in County Kerry – “Wow… look at all the food they have in Ireland…” THIS ISLAND NATION is presented by Tom MacSweeney

January issue in shops from Saturday 12th January

  • New MFV Fiona K III Built at Mooney Boats

    The 27.38m fishing trawler MFV Fiona K III has just been delivered to Tom Kennedy from Dingle, Co. Kerry by Mooney Boats Ltd in the month of December 2018 in good time for the 2019 pelagic season.

  • New MFV Girl Stephanie Arrives in Killybegs Before Christmas

    The new 51,9m MFV Girl Stephanie arrived in Killybegs on Monday night the 17th December 2018. The new pelagic trawler MFV Girl Stephanie was christened at the Karstensen Shipyard on Wednesday 12 December 2018, before leaving Skagen for Killybegs. The owners are Theresa and Pauric Conneely and their daughter Stephanie Flaherty and son Tomás. This is the fourth fishing vessel called MFV Girl Stephanie for the Conneely family and the second vessel built at Karstensens Boatyard.

  • Marine Refrigeration & Engineering Company KER Group Move to New Modern Premises in Killybegs

    The Killybegs based marine refrigeration and engineering company, KER Group has recently expanded into a new premises and continue to recruit new talent for the rapidly growing business.

    Pick up a copy in your local shop or online »


Bord Iascaigh Mhara to Increase Visibilty of Women in Ireland’s Seafood Industry

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency, today, 6th March 2018, launched a promotional campaign to profile the important role women play in Ireland’s Seafood Sector. The Irish Seafood Sector contributed €1.15 billion to Ireland’s GDP in 2017. However women’s participation in the industry remains low. Just over one in ten (11.7%) employees in fishing, forestry and agriculture sectors in Ireland is female. This is significantly lower than the EU average of 36.9%. ‘I'm Trudy McIntyre, from Dunmore East, Co Waterford. I'm the daughter of a fishing family and now the wife of a fisherman, Shane McIntyre with two young daughters. I came into fishing through my father, spending time with him when he was out working on the boat.'


The Future of the Legendary Galway Hookers

The legendary Galway Hookers are the subject of our monthly interview in which the Chairman of Cumann HúcéirÍ na Gaillimhe, the Galway Hookers Association, Dr. Michael Brogan, talks to Marine Times Deputy Editor, Tom MacSweeney, about the future of these iconic West of Ireland boats and says they are a maritime art, the preservation of which deserves official support. The sight of a Galway Hooker under full sail is a wonderful spectacle, which can lift the heart of anyone with a maritime feeling. To helm one is even more stirring – and demanding. The feeling of power which comes through the tiller is astonishing, as I found on the helm of the MacDuach, the biggest of the Hookers.

Great Lighthouses of Ireland RTE Documentary »

Great Lighthouses of Ireland RTE Documentary

Irish Lights has announced its involvement in a four-part documentary series with RTE 1 that tells the story of Ireland’s lighthouses and the associated aids to navigation network around the island of Ireland and the vital role it plays in ensuring safety at sea for all. The documentary, Great Lighthouses of Ireland, illustrates Irish Lights’ leading role in safe navigation at sea from the 1800s to the present day, and the advances that have taken place in relation to Aids to Navigation from an engineering and technology perspective during this period.

opinion »

Segmentation of Fleet Capacity

Art Kavanagh: I remember some years back being at a presentation from a County Manager – as they were called at the time which he entitled “Running the County as a Business”. Since then the title of County Manager has been replaced with the title of “Chief Executive” which is probably more appropriate given the size of the Business actually being managed with Huge Budgets, large Numbers of Employees and responsibilities for many aspects of life within the County.

Rogues Gallery in the Marine Times Newspaper

    Joefy checking images and of his 'younger days' in the September issue of the Marine Times in Power's Centra in Dunmore East - Photo courtesy William Power

    Video Gallery on the Marine Times Newspaper website

      If you would like a picture of your crew in the Marine Times print edition or your video to appear on our website please email us at