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

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Government records of private meetings held outside of the official negotiations for Ireland's entry to the EU are not easily accessible. At one stage during those negotiations the chief Irish negotiator, then Minister for Foreign Affairs, Patrick Hillery, would not give information to the Dáil about what was happening in regard to the fishing industry.

A Junior Minister in the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries refuted his own Department's warning that Ireland's accession to the EEC would be a danger to the fishing industry.

And the head of Bord Iascaigh Mhara, who went to Brussels because of his concern about the way the negotiations were going and the dangers this presented for the future of the fishing industry was ordered home and told he had no function there.

In this week's FISHERIES PODCAST, Marine Times Deputy Editor Tom MacSweeney reveals some of the background to those negotiations and explains why he does not agree with the opinion of KFO CEO Sean O'Donoghue who said on RTE Radio that it was a 'myth' that Ireland got a bad deal.

Fiction and Facts - It's Time the Fishing Industry Took A Stand

On the 4th of July this year the International Transport Federation and the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland made a presentation to the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Jobs and Enterprise about the alleged widespread abuse of migrant workers within the Irish Fishing Industry. According to Francis O'Donnell, Chief Executive of the Irish Fish Producers Organisation (IFPO), the Fishing Industry was dragged through the gutter once again and all kinds of allegations were made under the protection of privilege against the Irish Fishing industry and various agencies such as the WRC and the Gardai. The latter two are charged with policing the permit system for migrant workers.

Pictured Minister of State Andrew Doyle T.D. Bord Iascaigh Mhara CEO Jim O'Toole, Northeast FLAG Chair Garret O'Brien outside the National Maritime Museum at the announcement of the funding for North East FLAG Projects (see full story below)

Reaction to the Outcome of Policy Review on Mackerel Allocations and Fleet Policy Highlights Divisions Within the Indutsry

Michael Creed T.D., Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, has announced the outcome of two policy reviews relevant to the fishing industry and it has highlighted divisions within the industry with relation to the sharing of quotas.

The Fisheries Podcast

Tom MacSweeney

The new MARINE TIMES Podcast Service
(click on photo to listen)

Why I Do Not Agree With Sean O'Donoghue About Ireland's EU Fisheries Deal
The Chief Executive of the Killybegs Fishermen's Organisation said on RTE Radio that it was a myth that Ireland got a bad fisheries deal from the EU. It may have been Government incompetence that caused it, but it was a bad deal and it did serious damage to the Irish fishing industry.

THIS ISLAND NATION radio programme is produced with the support of the Marine Times. Listen to the latest programme here.

In this new edition, 338 sailors die off Bloody Foreland... South Arklow Lightship"disappeared" but was sunk by a submarine... and Bundoran Lifeboat rescues a football team while Ballycotton spends a long time at sea.

As always, plenty to interest you in the maritime world.

The programme is presented here by
Marine Times Deputy Editor, Tom MacSweeney

New Scheme To Reduce Catches Of Juvenile Fish And Help End The Discarding Of Fish At Sea

(Monday 31st July) Minister for the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., has announced the launch of a scheme to promote the use of environmentally friendly fishing gear in the Irish prawn fishery.

The scheme has been developed between the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the main fisheries organisations and is designed to help fishermen transition to fishing gears which help the phasing out of discards at sea.

The first phase of the scheme will operate for the period September to November 2017 and will require operators to use exclusively fishing gear which has been approved by BIM as more effective in releasing small prawns and small and/or quota limited whitefish such as cod, whiting, haddock and black sole. The vessels which come within the scheme will have access to an additional 20% of prawn quota.

Minister Creed commented: “This scheme will help fishermen to catch marketable fish and avoid small and unwanted catches. Our fishing fleet is going through a period of massive change as we phase out the unacceptable practice of discarding fish at sea. The intention of the scheme is to promote the use of fishing gears that have demonstrated that they allow the escape of juvenile fish. The new gears have been developed by BIM and have been tested by BIM with fishing vessels. These gears have been found to be significantly more effective at letting small fish escape and in certain situations avoiding unwanted catches where quotas are low or the stock needs to be avoided for conservation reasons.”

Minister Creed added “I am pleased at this progressive initiative from our fishing industry who are engaging fully to find better ways to fish that will support the conservation of fish stocks and the livelihoods of fishing communities around our coast.”

Closing date for receipt of applications for the scheme is Monday 21st August 2017.

Further information on the scheme and the application process is available at this link

Is The Sea Fisheries Amendment Bill Incoherent?

This week the Minister for the Marine, Michael Creed, made a major attack on the British Government, describing its approach to Brexit negotiations as "incoherent."

The Minister was very strong in his comments about the official British attitude. The Government there had "no coherence" around their strategy, he said.

His comments have not been particularly well received in British Government circles. They came at the same time as his policy towards the fishing industry in the context of the Sea Fisheries Bill was described as "unbelievable" as he continues with efforts to try to get it through the Seanad where it is at the Committee Stage.

"It is unreal that this is still going ahead," said the Irish Fish Producers' Organisation.

Could this be an "incoherent" policy approach by the Minister, or is it being forced upon him by his officials?

Those questions are being raised within the fishing industry because of the widespread repercussions which are feared as a result of the content of the Bill which, according to legal advice, could widen considerably access by all EU vessels within the 0-6 miles territorial limits. With British withdrawal from the EU and though the Government maintains that the Bill is an agreement only with Northern Ireland, that could be successfully legally challenged and used to apply to all other EU boats as the Irish Government will have no rights to make separate agreements with the UK and what is now being done in the Bill could be used to demand widen access to Irish waters for all EU fishing vessels.

This week's FISHERIES PODCAST examines the term "incoherent" as it might apply in the context of the Sea Fisheries Amendment Bill.

RNLI and Irish Coast Guard in joint call for people to ‘Respect the Water’ during busiest month for rescues

The RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard are issuing a joint call this Bank Holiday weekend urging people to be vigilant and to take care on the water and along the coastline. It comes as both organisations note that August was the busiest month for coastal recreational incidents last year. Irish lifeboat crews last August alone responded 217 times to emergencies at sea.


With the summer holidays in full swing, it has been a busy time for the search and rescue agencies and this Bank Holiday weekend, the two organisations are warning people to be vigilant and take heed of some simple safety advice.

While summer air temperatures may be warm, Irish waters rarely exceed 15C, making them cold enough year-round to trigger cold water shock, which causes the instinctive reaction to gasp and swim hard, which can quickly lead to drowning.

As part of its drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water, the RNLI is calling on the public to help save more lives during this busy period by remembering and sharing key survival skills.

Kevin Rahill, RNLI Community Safety Partner explains: ‘We are now half way through the summer holidays and are approaching what is traditionally a busy Bank Holiday weekend around the coast and on our inland waters. While that hopefully signals an enjoyable time for many – it sadly also means that we can learn of tragedy or hear of people getting into serious danger.

‘We want to start a national conversation that encourages people to fight their instincts around water, so we are asking people to remember and share two skills. The first is, if you see someone else in trouble; don’t go into the water yourself as you may also end up in serious danger. Instead, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard. If you want to help, find something that floats and throw it to them, or shout instructions on how to float until the rescue services arrive.

‘The second is, if you fall into cold water, fight your instincts to swim hard or thrash about as this could lead to drowning. Instead, relax and float on your back, keeping your airway clear, for around 60-90 seconds. This will allow the effects of cold water shock to pass so you can regain control of your breathing and then swim to safety or call for help. Just remembering these two simple points could help save your life, or someone else’s, this Bank Holiday weekend.’

The Irish Coast Guard has two simple messages, to ‘Stay Back, Stay High, Stay Dry’ near exposed parts of the coastline and to ‘Stay Afloat – Stay in Contact’ when at sea.

Gerard O’Flynn, Irish Coast Guard Operations Manager said: ‘While it is important that everyone going afloat wears a lifejacket, it is equally important that every user ensures their lifejackets are regularly serviced.

‘Lifejackets are not fool proof and users should always ensure that they have familiarised themselves on their proper operation and that they are in date for servicing. Anyone going afloat should also ensure they have a means of raising the alarm should they need to and that they ensure someone ashore is aware of their trip and estimated time of return.’

‘Away from the sea, we want everyone to exercise caution when walking on exposed cliffs. Pets should be always kept on a leash and walkers should avoid areas which they are not familiar with. Our message is to stay back, stay high, stay dry.’

Britain's Latest Fishing Remarks Expose Lack of Vision – Ní Riada

Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has given a cautious welcome to the latest remarks from the British Environment Minister Michael Gove but warned that the move exposed Britain's “erratic and directionless approach” to Brexit.

August 5th 2017: The Ireland South MEP, who sits on the EU Fisheries Committee, was speaking in response to comments from Michael Gove in which he said EU vessels would still be able to operate in British waters post Brexit.

“Fisheries is one of the main concerns for Ireland post-Brexit and while I welcome Mr Gove's comments on allowing EU vessels to use British waters post-Brexit they are sure to cause as much confusion as relief,” she said.

“It was only last month he claimed Britain was 'taking back control of its waters' when he announced they would be pulling out of the London Fisheries Convention.

“He further claimed that the convention was a threat to sustainable stocks in British waters.

“Now he is saying EU boats will be welcome in British waters because Britain doesn't have the capacity to catch and process its stocks alone, a point I have made numerous times.

“While the remarks, if indeed they are last word on the issue, are to be welcomed, this is typical of the erratic and directionless approach to Brexit from the British Government.

“There has been no detail given; no word on which countries will be allowed where, much less what quotas they will be offered and, as we have come to expect, absolutely nothing on how it will effect Irish fishing vessels north and south, so it is a very cautious welcome I give his comments.

“The fishing industry, here more than anywhere, needs certainty. It needs to know what is coming down the line so that it can prepare for it. It does not need weekly flip-flopping from the British Government on key issues.”


BIM - Taste the Atlantic - 2017 from Bord Iascaigh Mhara on Vimeo.

August 2017 Issue - Vol 30 No.03

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New Research Findings to Standardise First
Aid Treatment of Jellyfish Stings

Vinegar and heat are found to be the best treatment for
stings from lion’s mane jellyfish

Wednesday, 26 July, 2017: New research from NUI Galway and the University of Hawai’i at Manoa has identified the best way to treat a sting from the lion’s mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata). The lion’s mane jellyfish is the most problematic jellyfish in Ireland and the UK with 100’s of bathers being badly stung each year. With over a 1,000 tentacles that can stretch up to four or five metres in length, a bad sting from a lion’s mane jellyfish can cause severe local reactions and extreme pain.

The research, published in the international journal Toxins shows that the best first aid for a lion’s mane sting is to rinse with vinegar (or the commercial product Sting No More® spray) to remove tentacles, and then immerse in 45°C (113°F) hot water (or apply a heat pack) for 40 minutes. The results mirror a recent NUI Galway and University of Hawai’i study on stings from the Portuguese man o’ war and previous work on box jellyfish stings.

Dr Tom Doyle, lead author of the study and Lecturer in Zoology from the School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway, said: “What most people don’t understand is that these jellyfish - the lion’s mane, the Portuguese man o’ war and a box jellyfish, are as different from each other as a dog and a snake.

“Therefore when developing first aid treatment for a jellyfish sting it is very important to test different treatments on these very different types of jellyfish. Now that we have shown that vinegar and hot water work on these three jellyfish species, it will be much easier to standardise and simplify first aid for jellyfish stings where many different types of jellyfish occur.”

In Ireland and the UK, current best practices recommend using sea water and cold packs, which is not the correct action for treating these jellyfish stings as it induces significant increases in venom delivery, while rinsing with vinegar or Sting No More® Spray did not. Dr Doyle now hopes to bring together members of the Jellyfish Advisory Group in Ireland to discuss his latest findings. However, it is important to remember that most jellyfish stings in Ireland and the UK are no worse than a nettle sting.

To support research on the distribution and abundance of jellyfish in Ireland, members of the public can record any sightings at: http://records.biodiversityireland.ie/record/jellyfish

Eight separate fish kills last year as a result of farming activity

Inland Fisheries Ireland has issued an appeal to farmers to remain vigilant during the summer months when harvesting silage and spreading slurry to avoid water pollution and the loss of nutrients to water. There were 31 separate fish kills across the country last year, with eight of those directly attributable to agricultural activities.

The eight fish kills caused by agricultural practises in 2016 occurred in Meath (x 1), Kilkenny (x 1), Cork (x 3), Kerry (x 1), Sligo (x 1) and Galway (x 1). Fish killed in these incidents included brown trout, atlantic salmon, eel, stone loach and stickleback. In addition to the agricultural related kills, two fish kills were as a result of municipal works and one by industrial works. In four instances, the exact cause of the fish kill was difficult to ascertain while 16 incidents of fish kills were as a result of disease and natural causes.

As agriculture was the largest identifiable and avoidable attributing factor to fish kills last year, farmers are reminded of the importance of managing their silage operations correctly. Silage operations are ongoing all summer and silage effluent has the potential to cause devastating pollution in streams and rivers. Silage effluent is a significant polluting substance, starving fish and invertebrate life of oxygen, resulting in potentially massive fish kills if it enters a watercourse. With some rivers low during summertime with little dilution capacity, the effect of a small leak can cause huge damage.

Inland Fisheries Ireland is advising farmers to follow its simple six point plan to ensure good farmyard management and reduce their risk of polluting:

Use round bales as the most environmentally friendly way to store silage.
If a silage pit is being used, ensure it is properly sealed to prevent leakage from under the slab.
Carry out slurry spreading in dry weather and never when heavy rain is forecast.
Never spread slurry close to a watercourse, be aware of the slope of land to the watercourse.
Do not clean tanks beside any watercourse, stream or a river.
Do not allow any effluent or washings to enter any rainwater gully.
Dr Greg Forde, Head of Operations at Inland Fisheries Ireland said: “Inland Fisheries Ireland is grateful to the farming community for their continued consideration and vigilance. Good farmyard management can help to prevent accidental runs of polluting substances and protect the local environment. This will have a significant and lasting positive impact on valuable wild fish populations in an area.”

Inland Fisheries Ireland manages a wide range of environmental issues which can affect the fisheries resource with over 22,000 environmental inspections carried out in 2016 across industrial, forestry, engineering, water treatment and wind farms sites. There were 1,553 inspections across farmyards to help identify any risks and prevent damage to the local aquatic habitat.

Inland Fisheries Ireland has a confidential hotline number to enable members of the general public to report incidents of water pollution, fish kills and illegal fishing – 1890 34 74 24 or 1890 FISH 24. For more information on Inland Fisheries Ireland, visit www.fisheriesireland.ie.

Francis O'Donnell

Trial by Facebook
The Chief Executive of the IFPO says that relationships between the Producer Organisations are being seriously tested by vested interests.

Art Kavanagh

Losing the PR Battle
RTE did yet another Prime Time feature on the Foreign Workers issue which was disgustingly unbalanced.

We need to talk about super trawlers ...
Liadh Ni Riada, MEP

"In an effort to highlight the seriousness of what may be about to happen as a result of the “so called” public consultation on reviewing our fishing boat licence policy, a number of us fishermen have decided that we can no longer remain silent while PO’s, governments and state agencies continue to mismanage Ireland’s fishing industry for the benefit of a small number of players in return for political advantage."

Rogues Gallery is back - see page 38 of our August 2017 issue to see if you made the cut ;0) Photo above courtesy of William Power

“Strength in unity” says Creed at Brexit Fisheries Discussion

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, today (29th June 2017) hosted a Brexit Fisheries Discussion in Galway as part of four days of marine themed events including the BIM National Seafood Conference and Seafest – Ireland’s national maritime festival.

Minister Creed delivered the Discussion’s opening address which was followed by presentations by key European fisheries industry leaders - Niels Wichmann, Chair of the North Sea Advisory Council and Emiel Brouckaert, Chair of the North Western Waters Advisory Councils.

This was followed by a panel discussion focusing on the potential issues arising from Brexit for the seafood sector. This panel comprised of Mr Wichmann and Mr Brouckaert along with representatives of the Irish Fishing Industry; Sean O’Donoghue of the KFO, Patrick Murphy of the IS&WFPO, Hugo Boyle of the ISEFPO and Lorcán Ó Cinnéide of the IFPEA.

Minister Creed said today that “The BIM National Seafood Conference and Seafest are about celebrating our marine resources and all the opportunities that they provide to us. As part of that awareness, we must now also consider what potential impacts Brexit will have on our sea fisheries industry. Today’s discussion was another highly valuable opportunity to engage with our fisheries stakeholders”.

The Minister went on to say that “The discussions today again highlighted the very real concerns of the fishing industry regarding the potential effects of Brexit. I am very grateful to our presenters and panel members who have provided complex information in a very clear way.”

In his opening address Minister Creed spoke of the two key objectives – the maintenance of existing quota shares and existing rights of access. Minister Creed said that “Any attempts to restrict our existing rights and entitlements will be strenuously resisted and that is why I will be insisting that fisheries must form part of the wider trade negotiations.”

The Minister also spoke of his discussion with the EU Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier who, he said “clearly understands the issues and significance of Brexit for Ireland's fisheries sector.”

Minister Creed also emphasized that “it is vital that we all work together”. He said that “for Ministers to be effective, so that Heads of State and Government and Mr Barnier’s team understand and prioritise fisheries, it will be essential that we have a united fishing industry, both nationally and at European level.

Minister Creed concluded with the seanfhocal, “Ní neart go chur le chéile” – “There is strength in unity”.

Investment of over €400,000 for 13 Coastal Community Projects across Louth, Meath and Dublin

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle T.D. joined BIM, Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency and the North East Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) in the National Maritime Museum of Ireland, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin to announce grant aid of €219,310 to 13 distinctive maritime projects across coastal communities in counties Louth, Meath and Dublin that will deliver a total investment of €434,337.

FLAG West Fisheries Local Action Group Strategy announces support for 33 distinctive community projects across Clare & Galway to the tune of €411,099

Seán Kyne T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment with responsibility for Natural Resources, Community Affairs, and Digital Development today, Friday 14th July, travelled to Inis Oírr on the Aran Islands to announce the West Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) support for 33 projects along the Atlantic coastlines of counties Clare, Galway and the Aran Islands.

29 Local Community Projects to Deliver Investment of over €645,000 under EMFF South East Fisheries Local Action Group Programme

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle T.D. announced the latest tranche of funding under the Southeast FLAG, Fisheries Local Action Group programme at a reception in the Arklow Bay Hotel in the coastal fishing town of Arklow in Co Wicklow this morning Monday 10th July.

South West FLAG Strategy - 10 Fisheries Local Action Group Projects to Deliver Investment of €162,000

Newly appointed Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport with special responsibility for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin T.D. announced the South West FLAG, (Fisheries Local Action Group) Strategy at a seafood breakfast in the award winning Jack’s Coastguard Restaurant in Cromane, Killorglin, Kerry.

153 Successful Projects Worth €3.6 million Under EMFF Fisheries Local Action Group Scheme

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, T.D. visited the renowned Ballycotton Harbour today (Thursday 8th June) to announce a range of successful projects that will deliver a total investment of €3.6 million under the innovative and inspiring Fisheries Local Area Action Group (FLAG) Strategy for Ireland’s 7 coastal regions. The FLAG Scheme is co-funded by the Exchequer and the EU under Ireland’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Operational Programme 2014-20. Over the duration of the EMFF programme, the FLAG Scheme will deliver €12 million in funding to Ireland’s coastal communities.

Investment & Joined-Up Thinking Key Factors In Ireland's Ocean Economy Growth

Marine Institute Acknowledges Positive Blue Growth Report Published by SEMRU at Our Ocean Wealth Summit

Galway, 30 June 2017: Speaking at the Our Ocean Wealth Summit 2017 in Galway, Marine Institute CEO Dr Peter Heffernan welcomed the positive findings of the Report on Ireland’s Ocean Economy published by NUI Galway’s Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU) today (Friday).

Ireland’s €1.1 billion Seafood Sector Records Growth of Over 7%

BIM National Seafood Conference Focuses on the Future of Irish Seafood

Ireland’s Seafood Sector grew by 7.4% contributing €1.1 billion in GDP to the Irish economy according to Bord Iascaigh Mhara’s (BIM) annual ‘Business of Seafood’ report launched today at the National Seafood Conference ‘Winning in a Changing Environment’ in the Radisson Blu Hotel.

Archive - July 2017

President Higgins Supports the Island Communities
News from the offshore islands from
Rhoda Twombly,
Secretary Comhdháil Oileán nahEireann

Summer is always a busy time and there is plenty of activity from the smallest to the largest of our Islands. But first off, I'd like to thank President and Mrs Higgins for the wonderful garden party they hosted in June at Áras an Uachtaráin for 400 Islanders.

SeaFest 2017 nets 101,000 visitors

SeaFest sees 68% growth in visitors numbers in one year

‘Taste the Atlantic- a Seafood Journey’ trail expands to embrace food tourism opportunity on the Wild Atlantic Way

BIM and Fáilte Ireland announce extension of seafood trail to include 22 producers from Donegal to Cork

Clogherhead RNLI Launches €150K Lifeboat Appeal at Drogheda Maritime Festival

Archive - June 2017

Mullion Integrated Personal Floatation Device (PFD) With Integrated Man Over Board Device (MOB)

IFA President welcomes Independent Aquaculture Licence Review

- “Minister Creed Must set out clear implementation strategy” –

Ireland’s First Marine Science Gallery at Galway City Museum Officially Opened

EU Fisheries Controls: More Efforts Needed, say Auditors

New Inshore Representative Organisation Incorporated

Ballycotton RNLI launch in early hours to provide medical assistance to ill fisherman off the Cork coast


Ballycotton RNLI launched in the early hours of this morning (Wednesday 10 May) to assist in the medical evacuation of a fisherman 20 miles south of Ballycotton Lighthouse.

Water users urged to take precautions to limit an outbreak of Crayfish Plague on River Suir downstream of Clonmel to Carrick-on-Suir

NUI Galway Marine Scientists Research Cold-water Corals and Sponges off the Irish Continental Shelf

RNLI Drowning Prevention Campaign Respect the Water says ‘Fight Your Instincts, Not the Water’ to Stay Alive


As temperatures look set to soar across Ireland new research commissioned by the RNLI has revealed that 39% of Irish people questioned said they would follow their instincts and fight against the water, if they unexpectedly fell into it. However the RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign is asking people to fight those instincts and remember one simple piece of advice – floating – that could save lives from drowning.

Rewards for the capture of tagged Irish Sea cod

Arklow RNLI responds to three consecutive call outs bringing eight people to safety