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BIM Announce Panel of Expert Judges for the BIM Awards 2016

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Irish Sea Fisheries Board, have announced the panel of expert judges for the ‘BIM Awards – Celebrating the best in the Irish seafood sector’. The judges have been chosen for their expertise in the key areas of skills, sustainability, innovation and competitiveness and are tasked with shortlisting finalists and selecting the overall winners for the inaugural Awards that will take place on the 17th November in the Clayton Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin.

The panel of esteemed judges bring a wealth of experience to the table from both private and public sectors. Thanking the judging panel for their time, Tara McCarthy, CEO, BIM said, ‘I am delighted to welcome this team of professionals to judge the BIM Awards for 2016. The seafood sector is a complex business matrix, spanning the areas of commercial sea fishing, fish farming, processing and retailing. The panel come from a wide variety of backgrounds, but they all have personal experience dealing with the seafood sector. I wish them well in this difficult task and look forward to celebrating the very best Irelands seafood industry has to offer at our Gala evening in November.’

The judges are each assigned an area of expertise and they will judge three Awards in this area. The Responsible Fisherman of the Year, Aquaculture Environmental & Social Responsibility Award and the Green Processor Award will be assessed by the ‘Sustainability Judging Panel’. This panel will comprise Conor Molloy, AEMS Authentic Energy, Finnian O’Luasa, European Seafood Manager, Bord Bia and Dr. Paul Connolly, Director Fisheries Ecosystems Advisory Services (FEAS), Marine Institute.

Best New Fishing Practice Award, Innovation in Aquaculture and Innovation in Seafood Processing Awards will be judged by the ‘Innovation Panel’, Joe O’Flynn, Senior Partner, AgriFood Business Partners, Eamon McEvoy, Fresh Food Buyer, Dunnes Stores and Maedbh Seoige, Enterprise Development Executive, Udaras Na Gaeltachta.

The Skills category hosts the coveted BIM Young Fishmonger awards, both the Independent Seafood Specialist of the Year and the Supermarket Seafood Counter of the Year. The Young Fishmonger Awards have a separate judging system and the eight shortlisted finalists were announced in August. A Student of the Year will also be announced at the Gala evening.

Finally the ‘Competitiveness Judging Panel’, comprised of Elaine Smith, Protein Specialist, Musgrave Operating Partners, Gillian Mills, Editor, Inshore Ireland, John McCarthy, FCA Chartered Accountant and Felix McKendry, Senior Food Development Advisor, Enterprise Ireland will judge the Fishing Enterprise of the Year, Aquaculture Enterprise of the Year and Seafood Enterprise/ Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. The judges will meet to review the applications on Wednesday 12 October and the shortlisted entrants will be announced soon afterwards. All shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend the Gala Awards evening.

There is still time to enter the BIM Awards with the deadline extended until the 23rd September. To enter and to hear more about our esteemed judging panel, please visit


Tragedy as Coast Guard Member Dies During Search Mission

The Irish Coast Guard (IRCG) regrets to announce that a volunteer member of the Doolin Coast Guard unit lost her life on Monday 12th September when participating in a search off Kilkee for a missing person which was being conducted by the local Kilkee and Doolin volunteer Coast Guard units. The deceased person was named as Caitriona Lucas. Her husband Bernard is also a member of the Doolin unit.

A RIB from Kilkee Coast Guard Unit, is believed to have capsized and the 3 occupants (2 female and 1 male) entered the water. Valentia Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Centre immediately launched a major Search and Rescue operation. The 2 females were located and recovered from the water, one by Rescue Helicopter based in Shannon (R115), and the 2nd by Delta RIB. Both were taken to hospital where Ms Lucas was pronounced dead.

The 3rd casualty, a male, was recovered from a nearby cave area, at around 5.30pm by a Coast Guard helicopter following an extensive and complex operation.

The Coast Guard extends sincere condolences to Lucas family and all the volunteer members of the Doolin and Kilkee units. The Coast Guard also wishes to thank all the other organisations that participated in the search.

Minister for Transport, Shane Ross extended his sympathies to the Lucas family and the colleagues of the Coast Guard; "It was with extreme sadness that I learned of the tragedy which occurred this afternoon in the waters off Kilkee, Co Clare.

"Caitriona was a member of that extraordinary group of men and women who dedicate their skills, time and passion so that others may be safe on our coastlines.

"This is an appalling tragedy; the loss of a brave and valiant woman engaged in the most heroic of and unselfish of duties.

"Such remarkable courage and heroism in the service of others is rarely equalled and never surpassed. On behalf of myself and my Department I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Caitriona - a woman who made the ultimate sacrifice in her service to others.

"I would like to wish those two volunteers, who are recovering from this appalling trauma in hospital this evening, speedy and fulsome recoveries.

"And I would like to commend all the volunteers, particularly those of Kilkee and Doolin CGUs, who responded today in such a valiant and courageous manner in the most horrendous and difficult of circumstances.

"I can only applaud their bravery and empathise with their sorrow on this very, very tragic day."

"Maximise supertrawler inspections after dolphin deaths"

Seán Kelly MEP (Ireland South) is calling for regular on-board inspections of supertrawlers fishing off the Irish coast to ensure that they are fully compliant with the EU Common Fisheries Policy, following a reported rise in dolphin deaths. The Fine Gael MEP is also asking the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) to review and maximise its inspections when trawlers are operating off the Irish coast.

“In July 2016, in separate cases, three dead dolphins were found on the south-west coast of Ireland in the space of one week, one with a rope around its tail. These findings follow reports of a rise in the number of dead dolphins on Ireland’s west coast since the beginning of 2016.

“It is reported that large supertrawlers are currently operating around 30km off the coast of Co Kerry. While the link between supertrawler activity and the increase in these dolphin deaths is not proven, the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) stresses that caution must be taken as regards the impact of human activity on all components of the ecosystem,” Mr Kelly stressed in an official question to the European Commission on the matter.

In a response received by Mr Kelly this week, the Commission said it “takes note of the recent death of dolphins along the south-west coast of Ireland” and that it “has tabled a revised technical measures proposal which aims to ensure better protection of cetaceans and alignment of by-catch levels to international levels. This proposal is currently being discussed by the co-legislators”.

Speaking from Brussels today (Wednesday), Mr Kelly said: “I welcome that the Commission is monitoring the situation. The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) is responsible for yearly reports to the Commission, but in light of these recent reports, I am urging the SFPA to maximise inspections along the Irish coast.”

In the written response, the Commission added: “When trawlers are fishing off the Irish coast, the SFPA has access to satellite Vessel Monitoring, Automatic Identification System (AIS) and Electronic Reporting Systems (ERS) data. Regular inspections are organised at sea and at landing by the SFPA, to check compliance with the Common Fisheries Policy. The SFPA regularly reports on its control and inspection activities.”

The Commission also confirmed that it is carrying out regular audits in Ireland to ensure that Ireland is complying with its obligations and has an effective monitoring, control and surveillance system in place.

Ireland became the first European country to declare all Irish waters a dolphin and whale sanctuary in 1991.


The offshore island communities have not been given a copy of a draft report reviewing the efficiency of health services, despite being involved in the consultation process for the report.

The Secretary of the Islands’ Federation. Comhdháil Oileán na hÉireann, reveals this on the new edition of THIS ISLAND NATION radio programme, which is supported by the Marine Times.

Rhoda Twombly, reporting for the islands’ representative body says:“Comhdháil Oileán na hÉireann had for several years pushed for a nationwide consultation on health care provision on the offshore islands as there has been a gradual decline in the level of medical professionals and services available as well as uneven level of care through the Islands. This consultation of HSE employees, primary care-givers and Island representatives has produced a draft report after visiting the islands to assess needs. As of now, Comhdháil and Island Committees have not been given the report for assessment but hope that this will be allowed.”

There is one bit of good news, however, she reports – full-time nursing care has finally been established on Inishturk in Mayo so residents there are breathing a bit easier.

Nominations sought for National Marine Gallantry and Meritorious Service Awards 2016

Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport is inviting nominations in respect of the National Marine Gallantry and Meritorious Service Awards 2016. The purpose of this awards scheme is to recognise outstanding acts of courage, heroism, skill and initiative in the context of marine emergency incidents. The scheme also recognises exceptional dedication to duty in the execution of Ireland’s marine emergency response. The Marine Gallantry award is presented in the form of a medal (called the Michael Heffernan Medal for Marine Gallantry, in memory of an individual who lost his life during a marine incident a number of years ago). Three levels of medal may be awarded, based on the level of gallantry involved. The medal is awarded in gold, silver or bronze.

A second award, Marine Meritorious Service Medal, may be awarded where outstanding meritorious service has been provided to, or within the remit of, the Irish Coast Guard. The person must have demonstrated exceptional dedication to duty, coupled with skill and initiative, in the execution of the service being provided.

A Marine Ministerial Letter of Appreciation may be awarded for meritorious service where outstanding dedication to duty over a career of service can be demonstrated, or for an act of particular meritorious dedication, showing skill and initiative, but which is not of an order for receipt of a Meritorious Service Medal.

The National Marine Gallantry and Meritorious Service Awards Committee is chaired by Mr Bryan Dobson of RTE. Members of the Committee include representatives of the following, the Irish Sailing Association, Irish Water Safety, Irish Harbour Masters Association, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport as well as other independent members. The National Marine Gallantry and Meritorious Awards Committee will adjudicate upon the nomination received.

The first award ceremony took place in February 1999 and the awards ceremony was last held on 23rd October 2014. In this round of Awards, nominations may be considered in respect of events occurring during the period 31st August 2014 to 31st August 2016.

Details of the Awards scheme, including nomination form, are available on the Department’s website www.dttas.ie/maritime/english/marine-awards. Completed nomination forms should be submitted by Friday 9th September 2016. The submission should be comprehensive and include all relevant information (e.g. eye-witness statements, official reports, maps, charts, photographs, newspaper cuttings etc.).

RNLI thirsty for public’s support as H2Only challenge is launched

This September, the RNLI is challenging people in Ireland to give up all drinks except water for 10 days to raise vital funds for the lifesaving charity.

No tea. No coffee. No fizzy drinks. No wine. No beer. No orange juice. Just water for 10 tough days.

The H2Only challenge runs from 5pm on Tuesday 13 September to 5pm on Friday 23 September, with participants giving up the drinks they love for 10 long days and drinking nothing but water throughout the challenge.

Gerry Canning, Skerries RNLI crew member said: ‘The H2Only challenge is extremely tough. We know that going 10 days without a morning cuppa, a pint after work or a can of fizzy drink will be really hard for everyone taking part.

‘Every euro raised is so important to the RNLI. As a charity, we rely on the support and generosity of the public so that we can continue to save lives at sea. All the money raised by people taking on the H2Only challenge will be greatly appreciated.’

Everyone who signs up to take on the challenge will receive a pack containing two H2Only temporary tattoos to wear. The tattoos last up to 10 days – so participants can proudly display their exclusive H2Only ‘ink’ while taking on the challenge.

All those brave enough to take on the challenge can sign-up now at h2only.org.uk.

Gerry continues: ‘People can sign-up as part of a crew with their friends or work colleagues and take on the H2Only challenge together. Just like an RNLI lifeboat crew, they’ll be able to rely on each other for support when the going gets tough and they hit choppy waters during the challenge. I’d encourage all H2Only participants to stay on the water to help the RNLI stay on the water.’

In 2015, RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews across Ireland launched 1,098 times and rescued 1,244 people.

Follow @RNLI on Twitter or like the RNLI Facebook page for all the latest H2Only news and updates.

BIM Awards 2016 – Calling for Entries!

The deadline for entries to the inaugural BIM Awards 2016 is fast approaching! We are calling for entrants from Ireland’s seafood sector that stand out in the business of seafood and want to join us in celebrating excellence in this vibrant industry. The deadline for receipt of entries is Friday 16th September and entering couldn’t be easier. Simply visit www.bim.ie and follow the steps to either apply online or print off your application form and post it to us!

There are a wide range of categories, covering most aspects of the seafood sector. Training and upskilling is an integral part of ensuring the future success of the Irish seafood sector. BIM offers over 200 courses through our National Training Colleges and on board our Coastal Training Units, along with specialised workshops for industry members. The Skills Awards will celebrate those who have excelled in their areas of training, those who have gone the extra mile in order to achieve their goal and will consist of two categories, Young Fishmonger of the Year Award and Student of the Year.

The BIM sustainability awards will celebrate businesses and individuals who have gone beyond the legislative requirements and demonstrated their commitment to the future of the Irish seafood sector. The judges will look for companies that have placed environmental and social concerns at the heart of their business, working out ways to make a sustainable establishment work for them, their employees and their customers. The Sustainability Awards are, Responsible Fisherman of the Year, Aquaculture Environmental and Social Responsibility Award and the Green Processor Award.

In the Innovation category, the judges will be looking for individuals or companies that have taken and applied innovative ideas, technologies or processes to drive their seafood business. We invite applicants who can demonstrate clear, positive outcomes for their enterprise as a result of their innovation process. The Awards in this section are, Best New Fishing Practice, Innovation in Aquaculture and Innovation in Seafood Processing.

Irish seafood enterprises are operating in a keenly competitive environment. Controlling costs and finding ways to keep a competitive edge and maximise value and returns are essential components to seafood business strategies. The Awards in this section are designed to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit in our seafood sector and are Fishing Enterprise of the Year, Aquaculture Enterprise of the Year and Seafood Enterprise / Entrepreneur Award.

The winners will be announced at a gala evening in the Clayton Hotel in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 on November 17th 2016.

Inside our September issue this month:

Where Has the EU Money Gone?
Not to the Catching Sector

In his monthly column the Chief Executive of the Irish Fish Producers’ Organisation, Francis O’Donnell, raises the question about where has the €240 million allocated to Ireland under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) has gone or been allocated to? Without the catching sector the ancillary industry supports dependent upon it would not exist, so why has the sector not got its fair share of the EU money? Where has it all gone? Why is it that scientific and control agencies in Ireland managed to bag in excess of €75 million of the €240 million alone? Where is the balance in all of this and how are the decisions arrived at?

Observers Essential On Pelagic Factory Vessels in Irish Waters

Pauric Gallagher reports: The relentless activity of pelagic factory vessels operating off the Irish coast over the last number of years has been deemed by many fishermen and their communities as extremely biased against them, some of these vessels can operate just off the Irish coast for months while local fishing vessels have to remain in the harbour. The amount of quota that these vessels are operating with for such extended periods of time has also been called into question as has their policing while in Irish waters.

The Absurd Is The New Normal

In his monthly column Richie Flynn, Executive of IFA Aquaculture, points out the absurd nature of Government policy towards fish farming. It won’t allow enough salmon to be produced by Irish growers, so it is planning to allow more imports of farmed salmon. This, he writes, is a damning indictment of those responsible for the development of Rural Ireland and the seafood sector The government of a country with 2,700km of coastline, a chronic unemployment problem in peripheral maritime communities and a dependence on export earnings is now backing a plan to import salmon for its processing industry because it won’t allow enough to be produced at home.

Commencement of Fisheries Local Development Strategies

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD has met representatives of the seven new Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs) at the National Seafood Centre in Clonakilty. €12m is available to the FLAGS under Ireland’s Operational Programme for the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). Each FLAG will now receive technical support to prepare a Local Development Strategy, in consultation with local communities, setting out the FLAG priorities for development and support in their area.

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

Killybegs - Photo by Alan Hennigan

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

Oct 2016 Issue - Vol 29 No.05

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Ireland’s unique sailing club – the only one in Ireland with a floating clubhouse and classroom - takes THIS ISLAND NATION to the coastline of Co. Mayo for this edition…

There is also a visit to a museum where brides like to see the light on their wedding day and we hear why the Irish Water Safety organisation regrets that primary school teachers prefer GAA, rugby and other sports to teaching swimming.

These are amongst the stories in this edition of the maritime programme, THIS ISLAND NATION, which is presented by the Marine Time's Assistant Editor, Tom MacSweeney

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

Read more here

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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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Bridge clubs come together to raise €4,500 for Skerries RNLI

Holmpatrick Bridge Club, John Lane Bridge Club and Skerries Bridge Club came together recently to hold a fundraiser in memory of the late Dr. John Keane, raising the huge sum of €4,500 for Skerries RNLI.

Dr. Keane who passed away earlier this year was Honorary Medical Officer to Skerries RNLI for more than 20 years having played a vital role in the re-establishment of a lifeboat station there in 1981.

There were over 40 tables set up in the community centre in Skerries for a mammoth night of Bridge on August 7th. There was a considerable number of prizes on the night, many of which were generously donated by family and friends and by businesses both local and national.

Speaking at the cheque presentation, Sam Shiels, Chairman of Skerries RNLI said

“Dr. John Keane played a very important role when the lifeboat station was reopened in 1981 agreeing to become Honorary Medical Officer. He stayed involved with station for more than 20 years and was very good to our volunteers and extremely generous with his time. The RNLI is a charity and is funded entirely by voluntary contributions. Donations like this really make a difference.”

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


Tómas Whelahan’s New MFV Resilient Joins the Clogherhead Fleet

Tómas Whelahan’s new MFV Resilient DA125 arrived in Killybegs with its first catch of squid in the early hours of Thursday morning the 25th August 2016 Tómas’s new whitefish trawler was bought from its Shetland owners three months ago.

“Don’t Overburden Shipping Sector”

MEP for Ireland South and leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament, Seán Kelly, has called on Parliamentary colleagues to halt discussions on the inclusion of the maritime sector in the EU Emissions Trading System – the flagship climate action instrument of the EU – stating that its inclusion in the system, on top of new emissions rules due to be introduced by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), could cripple the competitiveness of the EU shipping sector.

Read more in our August issue

UCC Project Combines High Tech and Aquaculture For Smarter Use of Oceans

Aware of the problems facing maritime industries as competition for space increases, a Norwegian seaweed company SES has been investigating the potential of moving their seaweed farms further offshore. By combining with Wave Dragon, a very large wave energy device, the seaweed company could locate farms in areas not normally considered viable and where space remains abundant. The Wave Dragon protects the seaweed from large waves and creates energy at the same time.

Swan Net Gundry’s €10k Charity Video Tribute to Martin Howley

Ireland’s leading net manufacturer Swan Net Gundry has dedicated a charity music video featuring the stars of Seo Linn to the memory of fishing industry leader Martin Howley.

Read more in our September 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 "Maggie C" gang over 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