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Tom MacSweeney's MARITIME PODCAST - July

On the July edition of Tom MacSweeney's Maritime Podcast, Ireland’s only maritime broadcast:
Shipwrights are being lost, a skill needed in the maritime sector. That is the ‘lead’ story on the July edition of the Maritime Podcast, which tells the story of a dedicated maritime family in Dublin Port maintaining the craft and building East Coast Skiffs. Also, potential conflict between the fishing industry, offshore wind developers and environmentalists over the “squeezing” out of the industry from traditional fishing areas; the way politicians use maritime language for their own benefit, particularly at election time, but lack marine awareness generally and, the new regulations which will affect anglers.

News 17th July:
Dublin man completes 35km sea swim around Inis Mór in 13 hours raising over €8,500 for Aran Islands RNLI

A Dublin man has successfully swam 35km around Inis Mór in 13 hours raising over €8,500 for Aran Islands RNLI. The funds raised will now go towards powering the station’s lifesaving work at sea.

A Guinness World record breaking open water swimmer, Fergal Somerville’s challenge, longer than both the English Channel and North Channel, took place on Saturday when he had the optimal tide and weather conditions to take on the endeavour. Full story here

Union Hall RNLI volunteer receives Excellence in Volunteering recognition

A Union Hall RNLI volunteer has received an Excellence in Volunteering recognition from the charity.

The RNLI presents Excellence in Volunteering Awards to recognise volunteers who deserve special recognition for making a difference to their team or community. Full story here

News 12th July:
National Maritime College of Ireland and EirGrid discuss upskilling for an offshore future on the south coast

A skilled workforce is essential for the renewable energy transition, but the lack of a sufficient talent pipeline presents considerable challenges for Ireland in filling the essential roles to reach net zero.

EirGrid, the operator and developer of Ireland’s electricity grid met with the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) at their Ringaskiddy campus recently, to discuss upskilling needs for its role in connecting offshore wind energy to the grid and its ongoing engagements with key stakeholders, including fishing and coastal communities. Full story here

News 8th July:
Minister McConalogue launches a new scheme to support new entrants into the Fishing industry

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie Mc Conalogue TD is pleased to announce the opening of the Young Fisher Scheme. This scheme is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union under the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund 2021-2027 (EMFAF).

Where the recent schemes announced by the Minister, which opened on the 25th of June and the 1st of July, provide supports to those who already own and operate fishing vessels, this scheme is designed to support the purchase of a first fishing vessel. It is targeted at people who are under 40 years of age and who have demonstrated an interest in working in the industry and have gained the relevant skills and experience required, whether from working in the industry for at least five years or undertaking relevant vocational training. Full story here

PODCAST 3rd July:
Government and EU must deal with how offshore wind campaigners and biodiversity campaigners are squeezing the fishing industry says leading fisheries CEO

The Chief Executive of the Irish Fish Producers’ Organisation has warned of potential conflict between fishermen as traditional marine users and the new users of the blue economy.

In the front page leading story of the July edition of the MARINE TIMES, Aodh O’Donnell says there is an impending serious ‘spatial squeeze’ on Ireland’s fishing industry due to the way offshore renewable energy strategy is being implemented nationally, because there has been a failure to co-ordinate the roll-out of ORE and biodiversity strategies with the need to protect the fishing industry and its traditional fishing grounds..

He says that “the fishing sector fully supports the need for climate change measures, but there is a need for balanced thinking and understanding that fishing is a source of food security.

In this MARINE TIMES interview he outlined fishermen’s concerns to Tom MacSweeney. Listen to the Podcast here

News 1st July:
Additional EMFAF schemes launched to support the capital investment in aquaculture and skills development in the seafood sector

Minister McConalogue TD has announced the opening of two new schemes under the €258 million Seafood Development Programme, co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the EU under the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund 2021-2027 (EMFAF). These new schemes are in addition to the four schemes which opened on the 25 June, and will open for applications on Monday 1st July.

The Aquaculture Capital Investment Scheme will provide grant aid to support capital investment in the aquaculture sector. These investments will enable the sustainable growth of aquaculture operators; will encourage the entry into the sector of new aquaculture operators; and will support the evolution of smaller operators, allowing them to scale-up, and boost their competitiveness. This scheme supports the objectives set out in the National Strategic Plan for Sustainable Aquaculture Development (NSPSA). Full story here

News 20th June:
South West Fishermen Want to Meet Minister to Discuss Special Scheme for Inshore Sector

Following last night’s meeting of the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine with Minister Charlie McConalogue to discuss the problems of the inshore fisheries sector, the Irish South & West Fish Producers Organisation has called on the Minister for the Marine to meet with it to discuss a Liquidity Scheme to assist the sector.

Castletownbere - Photo: Catherine Turner

The ISWFPO says that it has members “in all sectors of our fishing fleet and one of those sectors is the hard-pressed inshore sector.” Full story here

UK Trilateral Deal Prompts Call for EU Action on Nordic Overfishing

Call for new MEPs and Minister for the Marine to act against non-EU countries

Irish fishing leaders have warned that a new trilateral deal between the UK, Norway and the Faroe Islands will lead to overfishing of Ireland’s fish stocks. The three-year deal gives the two Nordic non-EU states permission to catch 154,000 metric tonnes of mackerel annually in UK waters. Mackerel is a shared migratory pelagic species that the Irish seafood sector is very heavily reliant on.

The five fishing organisations are calling on MEPs and the Minister for the Marine to urgently speak out against the UK-Nordic deal to force an end to unsustainable overfishing. In striking the deal, they accuse the three non-EU nations of using self-inflated quotas, that have previously seen them overfish by up to 44 % yearly. Full story here

News 12th June:
Five Fishing Organisations Unite for EU Change

Five Irish fishing producing and processing seafood organisations have come together to demand change at national and EU level. They have issued a joint statement following a full day’s collaboration in Dublin.

‘Our objective is to work together on raising awareness of critical challenges impacting the sector at both national and EU level’, they said in their statement. The organisations are The Killybegs Fisherman’s Organisation (KFO), the Irish Fish Producers Organisation (IFPO), the Irish South & West Fish Producers Organisation (IS&WPO), the Irish South & East Fish Producers Organisation (IS&EPO), and the Irish Fish Processors and Exporters Association (IFPEA). Full story here

News 7th June:
Wexford woman calls on public to Be by the Sea and help raise funds for the RNLI

A Wexford woman living in the Hook peninsula, who is married to a local fisherman, has been inspired to create a new fundraising initiative for the RNLI, which also promotes the benefits of being by the sea. Local artist Helen Mason started to raise funds for the lifeboat charity after experiencing losing someone close to her to drowning and seeing first-hand the work of the lifeboat volunteers in her area.

Local artist and Wexford woman Helen Mason is joined by volunteer lifeboat crew from Fethard RNLI to launch Be by the Sea. LtoR: Helen Mason, Michael Cooper, Clara Bracken, Paddy O'Regan and Trica Rice.

Be by the Sea is asking people to organise a gathering in their own community during the summer months, to fundraise in aid of the charity that saves lives at sea. People can organise to meet for a swim, a walk or a hike or they may choose to meditate, fly kites, or build sandcastles. They can even just sit together enjoying a coffee and having the craic. Full story here

PODCAST 6th June:

In the June edition of the MARINE TIMES, in shops and online this week, Dr. Kevin Flannery publishes an extraordinary map in his ‘View from Dingle’ article which says that “85% of the fish in some Irish supermarkets and shops is now imported.”

The map, he says, shows how “we are becoming dependent on massive amounts of Third Country fish as the EU now only produces 38% of the fish we, in Europe, consume.”

“Self-sufficiency has been declining in the EU since 2008 to the point where EU Producers were able to meet only 38% of demand,” according to Dr.Flannery who questions the carbon footprint of fish from some of these imports and, in this regard, asks: “Where are all our NGOs; Enviro/ Pillars that are so fast at the drop of a hat to try and pick the bones of the Irish fishing industry?”

In this MARINE TIMES Podcast, he outlines his concerns to Executive Editor/News, Tom MacSweeney: Listen to the Podcast here

News 6th June:
Hundreds of Swimmers Brave Water at the 2024 Dunmore East RNLI EirGrid Open Water Swim

Hundreds of swimmers, ranging from beginner to advanced, fearlessly took on the challenge of the Dunmore East RNLI Open Water Swim over the June bank holiday weekend.

Sponsored by EirGrid, the operator and developer of Ireland’s electricity grid, this event is a key annual fixture in supporting the invaluable work of Dunmore East RNLI, whose hundreds of volunteers provide an on-call 24-hour search and rescue service for a large part of the southeast coast of Ireland. Full story here

News 24th May:
Opening of €2.1 million National Sea Survival Training Pool to bolster Safety at Sea Training for Seafood Sector

A new €2.16 million national sea survival training pool, which will enhance safety at sea for thousands of Irish fishermen and women, was opened today (Friday 24 May 2024) by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, TD.

The state-of-the-art pool, based at the Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) National Fisheries College of Ireland (NFCI) in Greencastle, Co. Donegal, will provide high quality sea survival training for those working in the fishing industry around Ireland. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine investment of €2.16 million means BIM will now be able to deliver more sea survival training courses to students on-site, ensuring additional people working in the seafood sector will have access to these safety training courses. The 12-metre pool is equipped with modern training equipment, and can simulate sea conditions, such as cold, dark water, wind and rain. Full story here

#Fight4Fishing Campaign Launched at Killybegs Hustings

Over 200 people turned up to hear Midlands North West European election candidates’ views on fishing at a meeting in Killybegs on Wednesday night, 22nd May.

The event was hosted by the Irish Fish Producers Organisation, the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation and the Irish Fish Processors and Exporters Association. Full story here

News 23rd May:
‘Drowning in Debt’ Fisherman Pleads with Government to Honour Its Promise to Bring in Scheme Which Would Allow Him Fish

A Cork fisherman who says he is ‘drowning in debt’ has today spoken of his despair as his boat is tied to the pier preventing him from fishing, as a result of what he says is the Irish Government’s absolute and utter sloth in enacting a long-promised scheme that would allow him to bring in his crew from abroad.

48-year-old Noel O’ Sullivan from Castletownbeare says that in 2020 the Government changed the rules around bringing in international fishing crews and that despite repeated assurances, there is no sign of the long promised new changes being enacted. Full story here

News 22nd May:
Pringle calls on Government to support fish factory workers

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, has called on Government to support fish factory workers.

Addressing the Taoiseach in the Dáil today, Deputy Pringle said: “The fishing industry in Ireland has been in serious and rapid decline since the introduction of the Common Fisheries Policy. Because of this, fish factory workers, who once worked 10 months of the year, are now lucky to get six weeks of work in the factories. Full story here

News 16th May:
Government inaction has left the Irish inshore fishing industry on brink of collapse

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Fisheries and the Marine, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD has again called on the Minister for the Marine Charlie Mc Conalogue and the Government to urgently intervene to stop the collapse of the inshore fishing industry in Ireland.

The Donegal based TD is reiterating the extreme seriousness of the crisis being faced by the inshore fishing sector and the complete lack of action by the Government to put in place supporting measures. Full story here

News 15th May:
MEP Hopefuls to Address Fishing Community as Election Candidates Confirmed for Fishing Sector Hustings on 22nd May

Fishing and seafood organisations have come together to launch a pre-election campaign for change at EU level. They are asking MEPs to fight for the survival of their industry and for a fair share of EU fishing quotas.

Aodh O Donnell of the Irish Fish Producers Organisation (IFPO) says they are launching their #fight4fishing campaign today and urging the public to support it. As part of the campaign, they’ve invited the Midlands North-West candidates to a public meeting in Killybegs, Ireland's largest fishing port, next Wednesday 22nd May. Full story here

News 14th May:
Time to Bang Heads in Department Say Fishermen

Fishermen have called for a Working Group between the fishing industry and officials in Environment Minister Eamon Ryan's Department to "knock heads together" to sort out problems with offshore renewable energy.

Recognition that fishing, aquaculture and processing are vital socio-economic activities and sources of income and employment for coastal communities, along with Government acknowledgement of the potential socio-economic impacts of ORE on the communities have been welcomed by the Seafood Industry Representatives Forum. This is a collective of eight Irish fishing and aquaculture industry representative organisations, formed to deal with the issues associated with ORE development and its impacts on the seafood sector. Full story here

News 10th May:
Clogherhead RNLI celebrates 125 years in service!

The RNLI is celebrating its bicentenary this year having been founded in 1824 by Sir William Hillary who had a vision for a service dedicated to saving lives at sea.

At a local level, Clogherhead RNLI is celebrating a significant birthday this year also. It is 125 years in service having come into existence in 1899 when, under the auspices of the RNLI, a corrugated galvanised iron boathouse, on a concrete foundation with a short slipway, was built near the beach, close to where the existing boathouse stands today. Full story here

News 23rd April:
Muireann Brings Her Fight to Europe

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus is to host 14 year old fisherwoman Muireann Kavanagh and her family in the European Parliament, Strasbourg on Wednesday 24th April.

Muireann Kavanagh gives MEP Chris MacManus the fishing line which the EU has stopped her from using

Muireann Kavanagh is a young fisherwoman from the island of Arranmore, County Donegal and has been vocal on the need to ensure a future for young people in coastal and fishing communities. She is leading a fight for fair play for fishing communities, to ensure that they are not abandoned by EU policy making. Full story here

Dooagh National School sends shark message to visitors to Achill Island on Earth Day

The Basking Sharks are back and the children of Dooagh NS on Achill Island, completing the Marine Institute’s Explorers Healthy Ocean Project, created a message for the locals and tourists at Keel beach on Earth Day (22nd April 2024), to respect our wildlife and keep your distance from these gentle giants.

Irene Patten, Dooagh NS Principal, congratulated the children on their life size basking shark measuring 8 metres long made of sand and rocks and importantly, the message using rocks for everyone to see: “Please respect our Sharks”. Full story here

News 19th April:
Iniúchadh TG4 documentary reveals that Scottish Government believe that Rockall dispute over fishing rights could be resolved

TG4 (& Wednesday 24 April at 9:30pm

A long-running dispute over fishing rights around Rockall could be resolved following fresh discussions with the Irish authorities, the Scottish Government has told TG4 current affairs documentary that airs on Wednesday 24th of April at 9.30 pm. Full story here

Kilmore Quay RNLI assist five people aboard angling charter as lifeboat crew leave family confirmations to help

Kilmore Quay RNLI launched this afternoon (19 April) to assist five people aboard an angling charter boat southeast of the Saltee Islands, when rope had become entangled in the propellor. A number of the responding volunteer lifeboat crew left family confirmation celebrations to answer the call for help.

The all-weather Tamar class relief lifeboat, Victor Freeman, was requested to launch by the Coast Guard at 1.00pm today. The lifeboat was under the command of Coxswain Trevor Devereux with four crew members onboard and it arrived on scene at 13:30pm. Having checked all onboard were safe and well, it was decided that the safest course of action was to establish a tow. Full story here

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