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Clarity needed on fishing issues in Brexit talks

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, says he fears those in Donegal’s fishing industry “will be hung out to dry” in Brexit negotiations between the EU and the UK.

In the Dáil debate on Wednesday about Brexit negotiations Deputy Pringle said: “One area that I am very concerned about and that has been widely reported as a sticking point, is that of fisheries. With the apparent slowing of negotiations and possible deadlock on certain issues, I fear that those in Donegal’s fishing industry will be hung out to dry.”

He cited a Bloomberg news report that it was possible the UK could claim, “it has won back control of its seas and pave the way for that country’s fishing industry to catch more than it does. By conceding on fishing and fisheries, it is possible that the EU would make headway on the other sticking points. This would be disastrous for our island and particular for the fisheries in Donegal.”

Colourful Cod caught off South-West

Declan Quigley of SFPA reports that an unusual xanthochromic (red-orange-yellow coloured) Cod was landed into Castletownbere and delivered to Niall Sabongi (Sustainable Seafood Ireland Ltd., Dublin). “Apart from its abnormal skin and greyish flesh colouration, the specimen, measuring c.65 cm TL and weighing c.2.7 kg, exhibited the morphometric characteristics of a normally coloured Atlantic Cod. Since the early 17th century, atypically coloured phenotypes of Atlantic Cod, including red, brown, bronze, and gold, have been reported from both sides of the North Atlantic. Indeed, on the basis of their aberrant colouration, early ichthyologists considered that these colour-morphs represented separate species.

Dorse (Gadus callarias) from Castletownbere, Co Cork (September 2020)

“During 1834, William Thompson (Belfast) obtained two small specimens of atypically coloured Cod from Youghal, Co Cork, and another from Larne Lough, Co Antrim, which he identified as ‘Dorse’. During 1864, Jonathan Couch (Polperro) noted that ‘Dorse’ were not uncommon in Cornwall. Although the current specimen from Castletownbere is very similar in colouration to Couch’s ‘Dorse’, its identity was confirmed as Gadus DNA barcoding analysis. Indeed, since 1948, all previously described species of Cod in the North Atlantic were lumped together as a single species – Gadus morhua. Nevertheless, on the basis of subtle morphological and meristic differences, some ichthyologists still regard specific populations of Atlantic Cod as sub-species of Gadus morhua e.g. Gadus morhua morhua (NE Atlantic), Gadus morhua callarias (Baltic Sea), and Gadus morhua marisalbi (White Sea).”

Irish Arctic charr is at serious risk of extinction due to climate change

The warming of lake temperatures across Ireland and central Europe poses major risk to rare Arctic charr fish populations which date back to before the last Ice Age. A new study led by the Centre for Environmental and Freshwater Science at Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT), in conjunction with the Marine Institute, says it has uncovered evidence that identifies climate change as a major risk to increasingly rare populations of Arctic charr found in Irish lakes and other regions across Europe.

Male Arctic charr from Lake Windermere. Photo credit Ian Winfield

The Arctic charr is a cold-water fish which is native to alpine lakes and Arctic and subarctic coastal waters. The species is remarkable because it has the most northerly geographic distribution of any freshwater fish and can survive in lakes high in the Arctic circle, even living under ice for up to 9 months of the year. It is therefore curious that it is also found at warmer, southern regions, including here in Ireland.

"The results are sobering", said Dr Seán Kelly, post-doctoral research fellow with the Centre for Environmental and Freshwater Science in Dundalk Institute of Technology, lead author of the study.

Irish Wind Farm Vessel

Incat Crowther has announced construction of a 27-metre Catamaran Wind Farm Service Vessel. which has been sold to Irish operator Farra Marine. It features two working decks. A large working deck forward can accommodate up to 4 x 10ft containers of 2 x 20 ft and is equipped with a deck crane. The aft deck can accommodate a 10ft container. Both decks have multiple tie-down points for flexibility, accommodating spares and equipment. The vessel has a deadweight above 50 tons.

Submarines May Challenge Navy

The Naval Service has been warned that drug traffickers are using what are described as “narco submarines” to transport drugs into Europe.

The EU Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre, of which Ireland is part, has discovered that semi-submersibles are being used and described it as “an alarming development” which must be combated by defence forces throughout Europe.