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Bord Iascaigh Mhara Launch Inaugural Seafood Sector Awards to Celebrate the Best in the Irish Seafood Sector -
Get Your Entries In NOW!

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Seafood Development Agency, have announced the inaugural BIM Seafood Sector Awards. The BIM Awards will seek to find the finest fishermen, fish farmers, processors and retailers in Ireland’s renowned seafood sector. The Awards have opened for entrants and the winners will be announced at a gala evening on November 17th in the Clayton Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin.

Announcing the call for entries Tara McCarthy, BIM’s CEO said; “The Irish seafood sector is comprised of some of the most interesting, innovative and driven people in business life. BIM are delighted to create an occasion to celebrate, highlight and promote the excellent people and enterprises working in this sector. I would urge as many people as possible to apply and help us acknowledge the truly exceptional work undertaken in this vibrant industry”.

The award categories are designed to focus on BIM’s four key strategic priorities for the development of the Irish seafood sector namely, Skills, Sustainability, Innovation and Competitiveness
Recognising the importance of upskilling and developing a career path in the sector; BIM will name the Student of the Year as well as the Young Fishmonger 2017. The Sustainability umbrella will host the Responsible Fisherman of the Year, Aquaculture Social and Environmental Award and the Green Processor Award. Celebrating Innovation across the Industry will include the, Best New Fishing Practice Award, Innovation in Aquaculture Award and the Innovation in Seafood Processing Award. Finally, our seafood leaders and entrepreneurs will be recognised for their competitive edge with the Fishing Enterprise of the Year, Aquaculture Enterprise of the Year and Seafood Entrepreneur/ Enterprise of the Year.

All details on the Awards are available on the BIM website, www.bim.ie/our-services/industry-awards-2016/ or by contacting your local BIM officer. The closing date for entries is Friday 16th September 2016.

Irish Albacore Tuna – a seasonal fishery worth €6.4 million on our key export markets

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Seafood Development Agency recently published their ‘Business of Seafood – a Snapshot of Ireland’s Seafood Sector’ report that highlights our diverse and valuable seafood industry around our coast. In addition to the statistics on the overall value of our seafood industry (€1 billion in GDP) and our most valuable mackerel and Dublin Bay Prawn fisheries; it also demonstrates the value of our smaller and less well known fisheries such as albacore tuna.

The albacore tuna fishery has been in existence since 1990. The fish were originally caught in the French Bay of Biscay but in recent years, Irish vessels have waited until the albacore migrate closer to the Irish coast –a more sustainable approach as it results is less fuel being used. Irish boats land albacore tuna into ports in Castletownbere, Baltimore and Dingle with Castletownbere accounting for 88% of the total landings.

Many Irish people may not be familiar with this species of tuna as it is predominantly exported to Spain and France. Our fishermen catch a quota of 2,367 tonnes worth over €5 million during the season (July – September). The value of Irish exports of albacore tuna were approximately €6.4 million in 2015, this represents a 29% increase on €5 million in 2014. Spain was the main market for Albacore Tuna accounting for 88% of the export in 2015 valued at €5.6 million. France valued at €0.5 million accounted for 9% of the export in the same year.

Albacore as the name suggests - ‘alba’ meaning white - has pale coloured flesh and an excellent firm meaty texture. While albacore are one of the smaller tuna species, they grow up to 140cm and can weigh up to 60kg. Like all tuna, Albacore is a rich source of complete protein, selenium and vitamin B-12. Their soft pink flesh, however, is more moist and delicate than that of many other species of tuna.

As Albacore Tuna is seasonal, supply can be an issue for seafood processors and retailers. To overcome this challenge, Irish seafood companies like Shine’s Seafood have developed ‘Shine’s Irish Caught Tuna’ available nationwide in SuperValu and in selected gourmet food stores and restaurants. John Shine, Managing Director of Shine’s Tuna explains; ‘I was a fisherman for 20 years and I have lived in Killybegs, Co. Donegal for the past 30 years. As a result, I am more familiar with the variety of fish caught in our waters and Irish albacore tuna is in my opinion Ireland’s best kept secret. The majority of this delicious fish is exported to Spain and France so many Irish people do not know what it looks or tastes like. We wanted to change this so we developed a simple but tasty preserved Irish tuna product using only the best albacore tuna from Castletownbere with olive oil and salt. This allows us to sell this amazing and highly nutritional product all year round. We have travelled nationwide offering Irish customers’ tastings of our product and the response has been extremely positive. However, customers don’t always believe me when I say it is Irish tuna! So now the secret is out – try Irish albacore tuna and taste the difference!’

For more information on Ireland’s Seafood Industry, please see BIM’s ‘Business of Seafood’ report on www.bim.ie

RNLI charity walker’s epic journey around Irish coast nears completion

A young man who set off on a marathon journey nearly two years ago this week, to walk the entire Irish and UK coastline to raise funds for the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution), is about to reach a major milestone. Alex Ellis-Roswell (23) from Kent in England has crossed the border into Northern Ireland, having set off over a year ago from Belfast to walk clockwise around Ireland. He has now walked the entire coastline of the Republic of Ireland and is currently finishing the last part of his trek in Northern Ireland which will bring him back to Belfast and complete his walk of Ireland.

Along the way Alex has raised over £23,000/€27,000 for the RNLI in Ireland and the UK, as well as wearing out six pairs of boots. He has relied on the kindness and hospitality of the local people he has met on his travels walking the roads and beaches with a rucksack on his back. Along the coastline he has used the network of RNLI lifeboat stations as waypoints to measure out his journey and to meet with the volunteers whose life-saving work his funds are helping. The charity operates 45 lifeboat stations in Ireland.

The young fundraiser started his Irish journey as he stepped off the ferry in Belfast and headed clockwise along the county Down coast, before crossing the border into Louth and continuing along the east coast of Ireland. Christmas was spent on Sherkin Island off West Cork before continuing along the south coast and up west, which saw him come back on his journey as he weaved back and forth along the jutting headlands. He does not skip any of the coastline and tries wherever possible to stay close to the sea. Along the way he has shared his adventures on social media praising the hospitality of the Irish people and documenting his struggles with the differing accents and the Irish weather.

Alex’s mother Jackie flew over to spend mother’s day with him in Kerry and he has made many friends along the way. He set out from home on his epic journey on 3 August 2014 and is about to celebrate his second anniversary on the road. As he prepares to bid farewell to Ireland there are plenty of memories that both Alex and the people he has met will treasure.

Commenting on Alex’s incredible fundraising initiative and journey RNLI Community Fundraising Manager Nicola Kelly said, ‘We get a lot of wonderful people doing all sorts of incredible things to raise funds and awareness for the work of the RNLI in Ireland. This was certainly one of the most arduous and demanding fundraising feats for the charity.’

‘As Alex nears the end of his Irish journey we want to wish him well and to thank him for the funds raised for our lifeboat crews and the awareness he has brought to the life-saving work they carry out. Our lifeboat stations have been keeping an eye out for him along the way to make sure he is safe and well and the RNLI is very grateful to him for everything he has done. We wish he well in his continuing journey.’

To learn about Alex Ellis-Roswell continuing journey as he completes the circumference of the Irish coastline or to donate to the RNLI on his fundraising page please follow the links below:

SeaFest Nets 60,000 Visitors

More than 60,000 visitors flocked to SeaFest, Ireland’s national maritime festival, last weekend to enjoy an action-packed programme centred on Galway Harbour.

Action from the SEAFEST 2016 at Galway Docks which saw thousands of visitors explore ancient, modern and military ships along with scientific ones with activities and Seafood in abundance Photo: Andrew Downes XPOSURE

Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute, was delighted at the public response and at the enthusiasm for Ireland’s marine heritage which underpinned the festivities. He said; “SeaFest is all about is increasing participation and engagement with the sea, showcasing Ireland’s abundant maritime resources and celebrating our proud maritime heritage. An initiative of the inter-departmental Marine Coordination Group, SeaFest supports the goals of Harnessing Our Wealth – An Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland in relation to engaging with the Sea. That plan is ambitious and complex in its reach, but as the weekend proved, everyone can identify with the core messages of appreciating, enjoying and protecting this wonderful natural resource.

“As the crowds in Galway showed, the sea is a fantastic source of fun and entertainment and we were thrilled to see so many people – locals and visitors alike – join in the spirited marine-themed fun.

“SeaFest was a hugely ambitious venture and Galway rose to the challenge of providing a fabulous weekend which both informed and entertained. I’d like to thank all the bodies involved in supporting this venture, including Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Bord Bia, Commissioners of Irish Lights, the Port of Galway, National University of Ireland in Galway, the Department of Defence, the Irish Coastguard, the RNLI, Galway City Council, and my colleagues at the Marine Institute,… and a special thank you to all those volunteers who brought their enthusiasm, expertise and passion for the sea to the project.”

Dr John Killeen, Chair of The Marine Institute, said; “We’re extremely proud to be playing our part in the wider ‘Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth’ initiative, providing opportunities for people of every age and interest to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of the ocean, building on how we can each act to protect our abundant maritime resources.

“Amongst the benefits which flow from the sea are those which impact positively on our tourism industry and I am happy to say at SeaFest delivered handsomely in this respect. Our city’s vibrant hospitality sector greatly benefited from the influx of people attracted by the high profile event and the harbour provided the perfect focal point for family fun on and off the water. I hope that many of those who came to visit us because of the excitement of SeaFest will return at a later stage to explore at their leisure.”

Amongst the scene-stealing ’on the water’ excitement was the spectacle of the Galway Hookers’ challenge for the Galway Plate; the arrival of the gracious tall ship, The Phoenix, and Frank Bölter sailing his quirky large scale origami paper boat into the harbour in partnership with TULCA for Galway 2020.!

On dry land, an array of seafaring attractions kept young and old amused and intrigued … from Bord Iascaigh Mhara and Bord Bia’s seafood extravaganza packed with great natural produce and cookery demonstrations by celebrity chefs to tours of ocean-going vessels and the Marine Institute’s ‘Our Wild Atlantic – What Lies Beneath’ marquee with its interactive exhibits on marine life and creatures of the deep.

Significantly, SeaFest also brought to the city a major focus on research and the marine economy with a number of marine-related business and research events taking place in the lead-up to the public festivities. The third annual ‘Our Ocean Wealth Conference’ allowed speakers and delegates of national and international status to delve more deeply into the theme of Innovating for our Marine Future, exploring and strengthening Ireland’s maritime heritage, economy and identity.

See www.seafest.ie for more details. For more information on Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth: An Integrated Marine plan for Ireland visit www.ouroceanwealth.ie.

Inside our August issue this month:

Two Super Trawler Offences Detected – One Conviction

In a special investigation, Tom MacSweeney, Assistant Editor of the Marine Times Newspaper has asked the Naval Service and the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority a series of questions about the inspections of ‘Super Trawlers’. Fishermen have wanted to know how often these vessels were actually boarded at sea and how many infringements were found or prosecutions resulted. The Naval Service declined to respond directly to the Marine Times. Its Press Office said the Navy had given its response to this paper’s questions to the SFPA and there would be a combined response. The answers indicate that just two infringements were detected in the past two years and that so far one prosecution and conviction has resulted.

Annual Marine Industry Awards 2016

The Marine Industry Awards 2016, in association with SeaFest, provide a voice for the individuals and companies that play a significant role in the growth and development of the industry in Ireland while recognising the key functions within the industry that promote growth and sustainability. On Thursday, June 30th at the Radisson Blu Galway, over 400 leading marine industry professionals were recognised and celebrated.

EU Straightjacket a Worry for Irish Fishermen

The UK’s departure from the EU will have some serious ramifications for the Irish fishing industry on a number of levels such as sharing and access arrangements, trade swaps and the Hague Preferences. The UK along with Ireland have some of the most productive waters in the world and jointly share around forty different fish stocks. In future talks on sharing and access arrangements, questions must be asked as to who is going to negotiate on behalf of Ireland and on behalf of the UK?

Is the Government Prepared to Move the Naval Base from Cork Harbour?
Incinerator “Cannot be an acceptable situation for the necessary functioning of a fully operational Naval Base.” - Dept. of Defence

Is there a possibility that the Government would consider moving Naval Base operational headquarters from Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour? Such a possibility should be dismissed out-of-hand but the Taoiseach, who is also Minister for Defence and the Junior Minister he appointed with Special Responsibility for the Defence Forces, Paul Kehoe, have both stated that “the operational requirements of the Defence Forces will be reviewed in the context of the planning decision” about the Indaver toxic waste incinerator which that company wants to build at Ringaskiddy, adjacent to the Naval Base and which has been described by the Department of Defence as having “strategic implications” for the Navy.

Full reports and further reaction in our August issue out now!

Castletownbere, Cork

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

July 2016 Issue - Vol 29 No.02

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An Irish island community, which changed the world, seeks United Nations recognition for doing so….. And - 25 years after it was founded, the Irish organisation which has changed understanding of coastal waters reviews its work. These are amongst the items on the current edition of THIS ISLAND NATION, the maritime programme supported by The Marine Times and presented by the paper’s Assistant Editor, Tom MacSweeney.

You can hear it here on our website and read more about stories in the programme on the August edition of THE MARINE TIMES.

If you would like to contact the programme Email me to: thisislandnation@gmail.com

Read more here

Free P&P for Marine Times Newspaper Subscriptions to Ireland and the UK

If you fancy getting your printed copy of the Marine Times delivered to your doorstep every month why not sign up to our subscription service. We now offer a free P&P service to all corners of Ireland and the UK - all you pay for over the year is the cover price.

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IFA President Tours Mayo’s €19 million aquaculture Sector

IFA President, Joe Healy met with a number of aquaculture producers (fish and shellfish farmers) in County Mayo. Aquaculture is a substantial industry in Mayo primarily located in Clew Bay and Achill. The latest figures from BIM, the Seafood Development Agency, show that 143 people are employed in the fish and shellfish farming industry in County Mayo and the local fish farming industry is worth in excess of €19 million. The county produces around 4,660 tonnes of high quality organic salmon, organic mussels, pacific and native oysters.

Mr. Healy met with the new chairman of the Irish Shellfish Association, Michael Mulloy of Blackshell Farms Ltd. and was joined by the local IFA Connacht Vice President, Padraig Joyce, as they undertook an informative tour of a local mussel farm (Blackshell Ltd.), a shellfish processing plant (Connemara Seafoods) finishing up at a the Marine Harvest Ireland salmon farm at Clare Island.

The Clew Bay CLAMS (Coordinated Local Aquaculture Management System) Group is one of the most pro-active CLAMS groups in Ireland. Since the Group was formed in 2001, they have been involved in shore and pier clean ups, oyster trestle recycling, the production of a Code of Practice, dealing with water quality issues and more recently in the production of an aquaculture and inshore fisheries information poster.

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Seafood Development Agency has worked with communities around the coast to assist in the development of CLAMS groups, an environmental initiative that assists aquaculture businesses to work in harmony with their environment and local community.

11 Million Tonnes of Trade Flowed through Ports of Cork and Bantry in 2015

2015 was a very good year for the Port of Cork and subsidiaries. The combined traffic amounted to 11.02 million tonnes compared to 10.15 million tonnes in 2015 which represented an increase of 871,713 million tonnes or 8.6%. Container traffic at the Tivoli Container Terminal increased by a further 8% following a 13% increase in 2014, oil traffic increased by 21%, trade car imports increased by 48% and 56 cruise liners with a gross tonnage of 4 million tonnes, brought a record 144,000 passengers and crew to the region in 2015.

Turnover for the year 2015 amounted to €29.8 million up from €26.4 million in 2014. Consolidated Profit on ordinary activities before taxation amounted to €5.3 million compared to €2.7 million in 2014, an increase of €2.6 million.

Commenting on the 2015 annual results, Chief Executive Brendan Keating said: “Our annual results for 2015 are very encouraging and reflective of the capabilities of the Port to support growth in the Irish economy. We are hopeful that the upward trend will continue over the next three to four years.”

In 2015 the Port’s commitment to the development of infrastructure was supported by An Bord Pleanala by the granting of planning permission to the further development of Ringaskiddy port. The first phase of the Ringaskiddy Development includes an Optimised 360m Single Berth with supporting quay development and equipment. The project will be financed from cash reserves, EU CEF financial support, EIB funding and other bank loans.

Port of Cork Chairman John Mullins said: “For Ireland to achieve economic growth, it is critically important that the investment is made by the Port of Cork in port infrastructure. This investment will help consolidate the Port of Cork’s position as a key trade node in global supply chains, generating increased volumes of trade and increased levels of employment.”

Béal Boats – Life Changers
Pat Nolan

Having previously traced the histories of the BIM 50-footers in his book, Sea Change, and later those of the BIM 56-footers in, A Step Up, Pat on this occasion turns his attention to another class of BIM built boats, the 32-footers, widely known as Béal boats. The book, Life Changers, has emerged mainly as result of information gleaned through the tremendous response received from those who owned the boats, fished on them, or otherwise knew of them.

Low demand and poor prices paid for lobster in the 1940s resulted in many pre World War II lobster boats being laid up and falling into disrepair. That being the case, when an upturn came during the 1950s, those boats were no longer fit for purpose. New vessels were needed! As was the case when Bord Iascaigh Mhara introduced the 50-footers at a time of former need, again it was the same Bord that came to the rescue. It did so by having the 32ft boats built at its Yards. In all, over the years, thirty-six vessels were issued to fishermen on the basis of a deposit and repayment scheme. Not only was new life injected to the inshore fishing industry but also vital employment was provided at a time when emigration figures nationwide were registering at almost 1,000 per week.

The book, which is currently available, chronicles in as far as possible, the yards and years in which Béal boats were built, their initial cost and original owners, their first home ports, and a comprehensive subsequent history of each boat with anecdotes added. It also includes approximately fifty photographic illustrations.

On his research travels around the coast Pat met up with men at various ports who had a lifetime of fishing experiences to tell. Though unrelated to the Béal boats topic, he has included a selection of those experiences in the book. As a finale he has also included a summary of his personal coastal visits over several years.

The 171 page paperback, Life Changers, is available at €15/£12 (including postage and packaging), through any of the following links:
Pat Nolan, 16 Dunamallaght Rd, Ballycastle, Co Antrim, BT54 6PB
Phone: 0482076 2382 (from R.O.I)
or 0282076 2382 (from U.K /N.I.)
Mobile: 07561245538
(text name and address)
E-mail: patnolan1@hotmail.com
The book is also stocked by local bookshops.

All of these stories plus so much more in our April 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

The Marine Times Newspaper is published by Marine Media Ltd.
Cranny Road, Inver, Co. Donegal
T: 074 9736899 / 9732635
E: marinetimes@eircom.net


Geoffrey Chambers and Family Take Delivery of a New Scalloper MFV Golden Shore 153 Built at Mooney Boats Ltd

The official launch of Geoffrey and Heather Chambers and family’s new scalloper took place on the June 25th 2016 in Killybegs. The boat was built at the local boatyard Mooney Boats Ltd. The family who hail from Annalong, County Down in Northern Ireland have called their new Scalloper MFV Golden Shore 153.


Thankfully the fishing is good at this time of year and despite quotas the majority of the boats are enjoying a prosperous fishing season accompanied by fair weather. The one fly in the ointment is however the difficulty in obtaining good qualified crew. There are currently a number of positions available to suitable candidates. Skippers, relief skippers, engineers and deck hands are all needed and all of the positions offer a healthy monitory reward. Frustratingly all attempts at recruitment regardless of the position are resulting in a time consuming process that is ultimately rewarded with, what can only be termed time wasters.

Read more in our August issue

Enforcement of New Laws for Lobster and Crab Fishing

New legislation which came into effect on the first of February, states that any member of the public, fishing for lobster and crab can only fish from 1st May to 30th September and are limited in the number of pots they can fish. The previous Minister for Agriculture, food and Marine Minister Simon Coveney introduced the measures to regulate non-commercial pot fishing following extensive talks with the National and Regional Inshore Fisheries Forums and a public consultation.

In a recent statement, the SFPA (Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority) said it is prioritising the implementation of the new regulations during its seasonal programme of inshore patrols, which began this month. Under the new regulations, recreational or private fishers can fish up to six pots, and can retain five crabs and one lobster daily. Furthermore they may not store crabs or lobsters at sea or sell or offer for sale any of their catches. Previously there was no limit on the number of pots recreational or private fishers could fish or the times of the year when lobster or crab fishing could take place.

Read more in our August 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 "Maarten Luther" gang whislt down in the sunny south east (Photo by WP) See more crew photos in our current issue in shops now!
If you have a picture that you would like to feature in the paper please email us at marinetimes@eircom.net