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There are reports from Brussels that, because fisheries are not seen as important as the City of London and its financial operations or even, as important as car manufacturing, Britain may get more immediate control over its fisheries once Brexit happens next year than was expected. That is the topic of this week's FISHERIES PODCAST by the Marine Times Deputy Editor. Listen Here



That’s one of the topics on the new edition of THIS ISLAND NATION. Also, sailor Enda O’Coineen explains why he is going to attempt to finish the solo yacht race around the world from which he had to find safety a year ago when his boat was dismasted. Presented by Tom MacSweeney, the programme also has a wonderful ballad about Dublin’s dockers and their ‘Shovels Number 9’ and reports how the world’s oldest lighthouse, Hook Head, is going to celebrate the Fire Goddess who is the patron saint of mariners. Always interesting items on the programme for MARITIME IRELAND.

12th January 2018: The High Court decision made yesterday, rejecting the application for an injunction, taken by fishermen Pat Fitzpatrick and Michael Flannery against the Minister for the Marine and the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority in the High Court , is being examined by legal representatives prior to a decision on further action.

The issue over which the injunction was sought involved the SFPA decision to unilaterally change the system for assessing prawn catches. Until this year, the catch estimate was based on vessel logs which were sent to the SFPA.This was changed when the SFPA decided it would be based on time at sea. Following this the Minister closed a section of the Porcupine Bank, off the West and South coasts to nephrops fishing (Dublin Bay prawns) on the advice of the SFPA.

The decision is not being regarded as a determination of the final question of whether the SFPA is allowed to disregard logbooks. The Judge apparently agreed with the applicants' legal representatives that an early trial of what is regarded as a serious matter is essential.

"This is a matter which is likely to go to Europe for clarification as to what the applicable law is and whether or not what the SFPA as done is permissible," the Marine Times has been told.

The High Court decision, made on injunction law, held that damages would be adequate in any resolution of the issue and that the balance of convenience was in the Minister and Department of the Marine and the SFPA's favour.

Islanders Call For Removal Of All Electric Pulse Fishing Provisions

8th January 2017: The Irish Islands Marine Resource Organisation (IIMRO) have joined with organisations from across Europe in calling for the removal of all electric pulse fishing provisions in regulations due to be voted on by the European Parliament on the 16 January.

Electric pulse fishing uses electricity to stun marine life so that it can be more easily caught in bottom trawls and has been used extensively by the Dutch Industrial Fishing fleet since its introduction.

Despite explicit advice by the European Scientific Body against the introduction of electric fishing the European Commission granted a derogation to this hugely harmful industrial fishing technique. The use of electricity in the marine environment has potentially disasterous consequences for complex marine ecosystems and the communities that depend on them.

IIMRO Chair Jerry Early: "Small fishermen are seeing first hand the damage to fish stocks where electric pulse fishing is used in European waters. We are strongly opposed to this type of damaging fishing and to hear that it was brought in against EU scientific advice is unbelievable. We are calling on our MEPs and the Commission to withdraw electric fishing from the January 16 vote."

SFPA Announces Sea-Fisheries and Seafood Safety Inspection Figures for 2017
· Provisional figures show low levels of non-compliance across sector
· Seafood sector identified as a major driver for growth of agri-food sector
· Regulator says public trust in quality, safety and provenance of seafood is vital to industry future

The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA), the independent regulator for the sea-fisheries and seafood sector, has released provisional inspection figures for 2017 which show continued low levels of non-compliance with sea-fisheries and seafood safety regulations across the sector.

Migrant Centre Did Not Consult With the Fishing Industry

Patrick Murphy, Chief Executive of the Irish South and West Fishermen’s Organisation, discusses the employment of migrant workers on Irish fishing vessels.

Committee Report Calls for New Measures to Halt Exploitation of Migrant Fishermen on Irish Trawlers

The Oireachtas Business, Enterprise & Innovation Committee published its ‘Report on the situation of non-EEA crew in the Irish Fishing Fleet under the Atypical Worker Permission Scheme.’ It called for “new measures to halt exploitation of migrant fishermen on Irish trawlers” and recommended that a single Minister / government department should be given overall responsibility for coordinating the oversight of the fishing industry, according to a new report by the Joint Committee on Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

When Will They Ever Learn?

Paraphrasing the words of a popular song from ten years ago, I wonder when ‘they will ever learn’ – that is the Department of the Marine, the Attorney General’s office, the Minister for the Marine and the Government in their attitude towards the fishing industry.

All of this plus plenty more news, views and opinions in our January issue

The Fisheries Podcast

Tom MacSweeney

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


There are reports from Brussels that, because fisheries are not seen as important as the City of London and its financial operations or even, as important as car manufacturing, Britain may get more immediate control over its fisheries once Brexit happens next year than was expected. That is the topic of this week's FISHERIES PODCAST by the Marine Times Deputy Editor.

Listen to the latest edition of the Fisheries Podcast here

THIS ISLAND NATION radio programme is produced with the support of the Marine Times and presented by Deputy Editor, Tom MacSweeney, reporting on the culture, history, tradition and developments of MARITIME IRELAND. Listen to the latest programme here.


For the festive season, a special edition of THIS ISLAND NATION, the Maritime Programme, a trip around Ireland with the music of the sea.

As always, intriguing and interesting stories on THIS ISLAND NATION, the maritime programme for MARITIME IRELAND.

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

Dunmore East RNLI rescue a 23m trawler drifting onto rocks

Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat launched today (Tuesday, January 9) to assist a 23m trawler with four crew on board. The trawler had suffered engine trouble and was drifting onto rocks. The vessel was located 1 mile North East of Dunmore East Harbour.

At 1.58pm the Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat launched on service to assist a 23m trawler which suffered engine trouble and was drifting onto rocks. The trawler with four people on board was located 1 mile North East of Dunmore Harbour close to the shoreline.

Minutes after launch the All-Weather Trent Class Dunmore East lifeboat ’Windsor Runner’ arrived on scene to find the trawler drifting close to the rocks. In difficult sea conditions and high winds, the Dunmore East RNLI crew managed to get a line to the stricken vessel and established a tow. The vessel was then towed to the safety of Dunmore East Harbour at 2.40pm. Irish Coast Guard Helicopter R117 and Dunmore East Coast Guard were also launched.

Dunmore East RNLI Operations Manager Ciaran O’ Mullain says: ‘A quick response from our volunteer crew today ensured we got to the vessel before it drifted onto the rocks. Sea conditions made the rescue difficult today but thankfully our highly trained crew were able to bring the trawler and its crew to the safety of Dunmore East Harbour’.

Jimmy’s Take Away running year long fundraiser for Skerries RNLI

Dec 1st 2017: Skerries RNLI volunteers visited Jimmy’s Take Away and Pizzeria in Skerries last week, for the launch of a generous 12 month long fundraising campaign.

As well as being the owner and manager of Jimmy’s Take Away and Pizzeria in Skerries Point, Jimmy is well known in the town for his spectacular aerial and landscape photography. As he spends a lot of his time near the coast capturing his images, Jimmy is very aware of the work that the lifeboat volunteers do and wanted to do something to help Skerries RNLI continue saving lives at sea. After some brainstorming he came up with a plan to donate 50c for every single meal deal sold for an entire year.

Speaking about the fundraising campaign, Lifeboat Press Officer for Skerries RNLI, Gerry Canning said: ‘The RNLI is funded entirely by voluntary contributions, and we have a team of fundraisers working really hard behind the scenes to keep things moving. It’s really appreciated when people from the community approach us to offer their support. Jimmy is well known around Skerries, not just for his great food and excellent photography, but for his community spirit. He is always looking for a way to give back to the community and this is just another example of his generosity’

Skerries RNLI volunteer crew with Jimmy from Jimmy’s Take Away and Pizzeria. Front row (Left to right): AJ Hughes, Marian Kennedy, Steven Johnston. Back row (Left to right): Ian Guildea, Paddy Dillon, Xhemajl Abdullahu(Jimmy), Conor Walsh.


Once again the State has lost its legal battle against fishermen over the system of imposition of penalty points to which the industry has fought the Government, claiming that the system is unfair to fishermen and pointing out that no other section of the community was being subjected to a system where, even if proved innocent in Court of any offence, the State still imposed penalty for an alleged offence.

The Supreme Court has made two judgments related to the fishing industry and to procedures in the EU's Common Fisheries Policy 2014 regulations for imposing points on a fishing licence. The first case - O'Sullivan v the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority - related to a fishing vessel owner who was charged with under recording his catch. The High Court found the regulations were invalid as they breached Article 15.2.1 of the constitution which states that the only authority that can make law is the Oireachtas. In the second - Crayden Fisheries v the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority - the High Court found the procedures for imposing points on a licence were contrary to fair procedures.

The Supreme Court ruled the 2014 regulations did not afford fair procedures to the fishing licence holders. The Minister for the Marine had announced the introduction of a new, slightly amended, system without awaiting the Supreme Court decision. It appears that the Minister and his Department will now have to reconsider their attempts to introduce a penalty points system. The industry has said that it accepts that there has to be a system to meet EU requirements, but that it should not unfairly penalise fishermen in a manner in which no other citizen is treated.


This being the season of goodwill to all men - and women too of course - I am going to defer comments about Penalty Points, the Sea Fisheries Amendment Bill and other issues to the New Year and the January edition of the MARINE TIMES which will be published at the start of the month.

Instead, a lesson on what it's really like aboard a trawler, fishing on the tough area of the Porcupine Bank which, for non-fishermen, will also be interesting.

Listen here to Paul McDonald who fished out of Galway onto the Porcupine and who describes his experience.

With so much else going on right now - the Brexit negotiations - the 'Battle of Britain' as it might be called and that other annual 'battle' - as it might also be called - over fishing quotas, it is, the talk of the fishing ports and the industry that Minister Michael Creed has indicated he is determined to reintroduce a Penalty Points system which is again being strongly criticised on the grounds that it will deny fishermen equal treatment with other Irish citizens.

Arthur Griffith, the only Statesman who, at the foundation of this State, emphasised the economic importance of fishing, summed it up in a way which Minister Creed might consider.

· Listen to the Podcast to hear more about this issue and the relevance of what Arthur Griffith said.


On this week's FISHERIES PODCAST, Marine Times Deputy Editor, Tom MacSweeney, says that it's not only in times of tragedy that RTE, other national radio stations and the national press, should recognise the value of coastal communities.

Listen to the latest edition of the Fisheries Podcast here

On this FISHERIES PODCAST, Marine Times Deputy Editor, Tom MacSweeney, suggests that you take a test to see how you would feel about being held to be guilty by the State even if a Court found you innocent and no - it's not happening in a foreign despot State. This is what the Minister for the Marine is proposing to do to Irish fishermen.

Listen to the latest edition of the Fisheries Podcast here

On this FISHERIES PODCAST, how much real interest does the Government have in preserving the offshore island communities? The Secretary of Comhdháil Oleán na hÉireann, Rhoda Twombly, tells Marine Times Deputy Editor, Tom MacSweeney, that it hasn't enough commitment to even use the word 'Islands'.

Listen to the latest edition of the Fisheries Podcast here

Marine Times Deputy Editor, Tom MacSweeney, recommends a book to the Minister for the Marine, his Department officials and politicians who made decisions which so heavily and badly affected coastal fishing communities. Preserving fishing and coastal communities does not get enough official support from Government and State. This book tells of the short-sighted policies and maritime blindness inside national agencies and how they rejected the cultural importance of fishing communities..

Listen to the latest edition of the Fisheries Podcast, by Marine Times Deputy Editor, Tom MacSweeney.

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


Returning Irish holidaymakers impressed by European seafood, but did it come from Irish waters and could it be part of BIM's figures for increased landings, but not by Irish boats?

The topic of this edition of the FISHERIES PODCAST by Marine Times Deputy Editor, Tom MacSweeney

Ireland Could Learn a Spanish Lesson

The Marine Time's Deputy Editor reports that when the Spanish don't like Irish boats fishing off their coast, they don't hesitate to make it difficult for them. Ireland could take this as an example of how to control Spanish boats in Irish waters.

Listen to this edition of the Fisheries Podcast here.


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

January 2018 Issue - Vol 30 No.08

January 2018 issue in all good stockists

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Marine Times Newspaper
Editor: Mark Mc Carthy
Deputy Editor: Tom MacSweeney

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The Marine Times Newspaper is published by Marine Media Ltd.
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Ros Ard fishing for sprat in Inver Bay - Photo by John Cunningham

Francis O'Donnell

Incapacity to Buy Capacity

The Chief Executive of the Irish Fish Producers’ Organisation discusses current difficulties in the purchase of fishing capacity.

“In my opinion a fundamental change in the demand for fishing capacity could have a very significant negative impact on our industry.”

Art Kavanagh

“Lads – you wouldn’t see it in a Play!!!”
Times passes quickly they say when you are enjoying yourself. I often wonder about the enjoyment bit. Stress can make time fly also I think.
We have certainly had our share of stress in recent months with the alleged over catching issue on the Porcupine Bank and the proposed reintroduction of the Penalty Points system for inflicting punishment without hearing or trial.
I have often used the simile of “Spain under Franco” to describe things but maybe some of that may be starting to ring true now.

What’s another year .....

4th January 2018: Somewhere deep down I’d like to think that the supreme court read our wee piece last month ‘Ho ho ho, no no no Minister’ when reflecting upon their decision to reject the Department’s punitive penalty points plans - I doubt it, but thankfully it was a nice change for a positive result in favour of the industry and community as a whole.

As one comment on social media said; “Would a "Yeehaw" be appropriate?”

Interestingly feedback on our social media feeds make for interesting reading. They encapsulate the mood of an industry that feels constantly under pressure and neglected in government plans and sadly by Joe Public who are often misled by mainstream media into the real day to day workings of our fishing industry.

Regarding the alleged mistreatment of migrant workers on Irish fishing vessels, one comment summed it up; “You will find that if a skipper is known to be an @sshole, he is typically an @sshole to everyone. Someone should start asking the Irish and EU crews are they ok!!”

In relation to the Brussels quota circus and the Supreme Court hearing which were both happening at the same time; “Ironic - Minister and his team in Brussels 'fighting' for Irish fishermen meanwhile back in Ireland Minister's team FIGHTING to punish Irish fishermen.”

Anyway - Happy New Year and let’s keep up the good fight!

Mark Mc Carthy, Editor

Email us at editor@marinetimes.ie

Rogues Gallery - see page 34 & 35 of our January 2018 issue to see if you made the cut ;0) Photo above courtesy of William Power