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THE MARINE INSTITUTE’S RESEARCH SHIP TOM CREAN SYMBOLISES THE PROGRESSION OF IRELAND’S MARITIME SECTOR

For 25 years I presented SEASCAPES, the maritime programme which I introduced to and developed on RTE Radio 1. Having left RTE I am now an independent marine correspondent, one of the few in Ireland, an island nation where, unfortunately, reportage of the maritime sphere in the national media is not a priority. I write a weekly column on Wednesdays for THE ECHO, Cork’s morning daily newspaper, under the title MARITIME CORK. It is the only daily newspaper in Ireland which gives regular coverage to maritime matters. I write a weekly SAILING column for THE ECHO on Thursdays. Again, it is the only daily newspaper in Ireland which gives weekly coverage to the sport of sailing. I am also a correspondent for Afloat, the national maritime website and I am Deputy Editor at the MARINE TIMES, the monthly newspaper dedicated to Irish fishing and coastal community interests.

And I present my monthly Podcast, MARITIME IRELAND, on all the major Podcast services sites. It is also broadcast on Community Radio Stations around Ireland. Check the transmission times on the schedule of your local community station. This is a 3-minute enjoyable and pleasant voyage through Ireland’s maritime development, culture, history and tradition.

Here on the website you can also hear the programme, just go to the Podcast section and there is also an archive of previous programmes.

This section is my weekly blog on maritime topics and there is also the section MARITIME SEASCAPES PERSPECTIVES, with photographs, to which you are welcome to contribute. Your opinions are always very welcome and I would be most pleased to hear from you. Email me to: maritimeirelandradioshow@gmail.com

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There are many great people working in the maritime sphere in Ireland and many fine achievements being made. Do please join the MARITIME IRELAND community, be part of the maritime sphere in this island nation. There is also a WEEKEND NEWSLETTER on Facebook and daily news on Twitter. Follow me, if you wish on: @TomMacSweeney.

KILLYBEGS LOOKING FOR ALTERNATIVES TO DIESEL – Photo: Marine Times

An interesting development is being studied in the major fishing port of Donegal, Killybegs, where on-going efforts by fishermen to reduce their environmental impact, increase their efficiency and contribute to scientific data collection is continuing to enhance the sustainability credentials of seafood. So Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation has claimed.The major Donegal-based fishing group is also looking for “ways and means of weaning the vessels off diesel.”

“While the fishing industry sometimes struggles to get the recognition it deserves for its importance to the Irish economy or as producers of highly nutritious low impact food, this is proof positive of the sustained work which KFO members are investing into long-term sustainability,” the Organisation’s Chief Scientific and Sustainability Officer, Dr Edward Farrell, has said. A report commissioned by the State’s seafood development agency, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) earlier this year to which the KFO had significant input, found that carbon emissions for the sector are less than 2% of those produced in other key food sectors. It also stated that the carbon footprint of small pelagic species, such as mackerel and herring, is a mere fraction of that of land-based animal protein production. “The KFO participated in a ground-breaking project called NEPTUNUS, the primary objective of which was to develop a life-cycle inventory database of seafood for the Atlantic Area. In addition to analysing fuel use and catch, the project has provided a carbon footprint for pelagic species which reflects very positively on the industry here,” according to Dr.Farrell. “Killybegs’ close proximity to the main fishing grounds and the seasonal, targeted and selective fishing approach used by our vessels distinguishes them from foreign fleets landing the same species. While fuel accounts for the majority of the industry’s emissions, it is important to put this into context and look at the return on that energy investment, which in the case of small pelagic species was considerably higher than for land-based animal protein production.

Dr.Farrell also revealed that the KFO is looking fo ralternatives to diesel as the fuel for its fleet: “We are probing ways and means of weaning the vessels off diesel. The KFO is working with a number of interested parties and research groups to explore the options, potential and realities of decarbonisation and the energy transition for our members’ vessels. As an industry which is wholly reliant on natural ecosystems for sustainable food production, the KFO is fully committed to sustainable fishing and ongoing reduction of its carbon footprint. “

Tom MacSweeney

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