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News Roundup for the Week

Aquaculture Shows ‘High Level of Compliance’ With Fish Health

Irish aquaculture businesses have 'a high level of compliance with statutory requirements,” according to the Marine Institute's fish health inspection.

IFA Aquaculture has welcomed the Institute's fish health inspection and monitoring activities for 2018 and 2019. It says that Irish aquaculture businesses have 'a high level of compliance with statutory requirements in the EU Fish Health Directive and associated national legislation'. Ireland continues to maintain its high health status for aquatic animals, with 98% of the 384 aquaculture sites inspected having 'no compliance issues' or compliance issues considered 'minor'.

IFA Aquaculture Chairman Michael Mulloy said, "Aquatic animal health regulations apply to all Irish aquaculture operators, finfish farms, shellfish farms and put-and- take fisheries. The regulations require these businesses to obtain a Fish Health Authorisation from the Marine Institute. It's of great credit to Irish aquaculture producers that there is such a high level of compliance with these obligations acknowledged by the competent authority".

The report is the first published record of activities related to aquatic animal health. It summarises the activities undertaken by the Fish Health Unit (FHU) of the Marine Institute (MI) in 2018 and 2019.

“The aquaculture industry hopes to build a greater understanding of the issues relating to aquatic animal health in Ireland to increase engagement with all stakeholders,” says the IFA.

A full copy of the report is available on the Marine Institute website:

Cape Clear Nautically Labels Its Gin!

Cape Clear in West Cork, the southernmost offshore island, says that its Island Distillery has been “extremely hard hit by the collapse in the pub, hotel and duty free trades” due to Covid 19.

“Showing innovation and agility,” the island Co-op says “our distillery is the first in Ireland to offer its gin in engraved and personalized bottles.” To do this it has developed “nautical labels” naming ‘The Fastnet’ (Rock); ‘The Beacon’ (at nearby Baltimore) and ‘The Cléire’ (for the island).

Cape Clear has “always been good for developing ideas,” say the islanders!

German Vessel Arrested

The Naval Service Vessel LÉ William Butler Yeats detained a German-registered fishing vessel approximately 250 nautical miles north-west of Malin Head on Friday morning. The detention was “in relation to alleged breaches of fishing regulations,” according to the Defence Forces Press Office. The vessel was escorted to port.

This is the seventh vessel detained by the Naval Service in 2020. The Defence Forces conducts at sea fishery inspections in line with the service level agreement with the Sea Fishery Protection Authority.

Baltimore RNLI Called Out to a Medical Evacuation from Sherkin Island

Baltimore RNLI were called out to provide a medical evacuation late Thursday night, 16th July from Sherkin Island off the coast of Baltimore, West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew, under Coxswain Kieran Cotter, launched their all-weather lifeboat at 11.50pm, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to provide medical assistance and evacuation to a boy who had sustained an injury earlier that day.

The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew along with two HSE paramedics arrived at Sherkin Island a few minutes after launching. The paramedics did an initial assessment before the voluntary lifeboat crew brought the casualty onboard the lifeboat.

The lifeboat then returned to the station in Baltimore at 00.21am where the casualty was transferred to the ambulance and brought to hospital.

Conditions at sea during the call out were calm with a westerly force 2-3 wind, no sea swell but visibility was poor.

Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘This is the second call out to a medical evacuation on an island for Baltimore lifeboat in the past week. If you find yourself in need of medical assistance whilst at sea or on an island, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard. We wish the casualty a speedy recovery.’

First ‘Shout’ for Peter During Late Night Callout for Wicklow RNLI

RNLI Volunteer Peter Byrne participated in his first callout as Wicklow all-weather lifeboat launched shortly after 10:05pm on Wednesday night (15 July), after a member of the public reported seeing a wind surfer having problems getting ashore near Brittas Bay beach as darkness fell.

As the lifeboat proceeded south to the last known reported position, more information was relayed from the Coast Guard and it was confirmed that the craft was in fact a trimaran.

The lifeboat was on scene at 10:23pm and began a search, conditions in the area were calm with good visibility. At 10:35pm contact was made with a solo sailor on a 16-foot trimaran near Potter’s Point. He had secured his boat on the beach and was waiting for the tide to turn before resuming passage north and no assistance was required.

Once Coxswain Nick Keogh was satisfied the sailor required no further assistance, the lifeboat was stood down by the Coast Guard and returned to station.

Following the call out, Wicklow RNLI Press Officer Tommy Dover said: ‘We would like to commend the vigilant member of the public who contacted the Coast Guard, fortunately the sailor did not require assistance.’

The crew on the callout were Coxswain Nick Keogh, Mechanic Brendan Copeland, Tommy MacAulay, Graham Fitzgerald, Connie ‘O Gara and Peter Byrne.