Joined up thinking for the Irish Left
New Books Worth Reading Mon Sep 19, 2016 23:25 | Seán Sheehan
13 Billion ? Lucky for some? Mon Sep 05, 2016 13:04 | Tony Phillips
Rebuilding Ireland: Long on Promise, Short on Detail Mon Aug 29, 2016 22:20 | Eoin O'Mahony
Brexit and Other Issues: Comments on the Current Situation Mon Aug 29, 2016 21:52 | Brendan Young
Bin Charges: From Private Circus to Public Service Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:38 | Michael Taft
Irish Left Review >>
Electoralism vs Abstentionism (Or: Why You Should Run For Office) Fri Aug 26, 2016 17:07 | Slyvia Smith
Centrism extremism: how horseshoe-politics silences brutality Sat Jul 02, 2016 18:25 | yeksmesh
Of Tankies, Trots and Social Democrats Thu May 12, 2016 23:41 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason
Avatars of the Advanced-Capitalist Psyche â€“ Capitain America: Civil War Mon May 09, 2016 00:07 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason
Wailings about Left Unity Sat Feb 13, 2016 01:13 | James O'Brien
Spirit of Contradiction >>
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005
An Garda Siochana is a corrupt police force
Catholic Church: The brutal truth Anthony
Catholic Church: Crimes against humanity Anthony
Fergus Finlay: Damaged by vile corruption? Anthony
Zimbabwe – Ireland: Same difference Anthony
Public Inquiry >>
A bird's eye view of the vineyard
Syrian War Report ? March 28, 2017: ISIS Retreats From Northeastern Sweida Tue Mar 28, 2017 15:35 | Scott
https://southfront.org/syrian-war-rep... If you?re able, and if you like our content and approach, please support the project. Our work wouldn?t be possible without your help: PayPal: email@example.com or via: http://southfront.org/donate/ or
World SITREP Heads and Tails Mon Mar 27, 2017 17:51 | Scott
Pentagon has finally discovered a “link between Russia and Libyan commander Haftar” Marine General Thomas Waldhauser, the head of U.S. forces in Africa told reporters on Friday March 24 that
Moveable Feast Cafe 2017/03/26 ? Open Thread Sun Mar 26, 2017 19:00 | Herb Swanson
2017/03/26 18:00:01Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of
Belarus March 2017 SITREP Sun Mar 26, 2017 00:49 | Scott
I haven’t written much about Belarus, and many reliable analysts also have been careful not to say anything, because everyone understood that Belarus would be next to be hit by
Israeli Airstrikes Contribute To Further Escalation Of Syrian Conflict Sat Mar 25, 2017 15:44 | Scott
https://southfront.org/israeli-airstr... If you?re able, and if you like our content and approach, please support the project. Our work wouldn?t be possible without your help: PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org or via: http://southfront.org/donate/ or
The Saker >>
Life on the Edge: Seabirds and Fisheries in Irish waters
Friday December 23, 2016 22:44 by 1 of Indymedia
Press Release - 23rd Dec 2016 - Birdwatch Ireland
BirdWatch Ireland remains steadfast in calling for the sustainable management of Ireland's fish stocks. Our recently-published report, Life on The Edge, provides the background to some of the key issues and concerns we have regarding management of fisheries and protection of seabirds in Irish waters.
With mixed outcomes from this year's December Council in Brussels, in 2017 BirdWatch Ireland will continue to urge Minister Michael Creed to listen to the science and set sustainable catch limits for all stocks. He must provide justification for any decisions not to listen to the science, including the longer-term impact on the health of fish stocks and the social and economic well-being of coastal communities.
Cover Image © Mark Carmody
Seabirds in Ireland
Seabirds can provide vital clues as to what is happening beyond our horizons, beneath the seas surface, highlighting a pressure or threat that may otherwise go undetected. Ireland supports a rich maritime biodiversity and heritage located on the Atlantic edge of Europe, with an extensive coastline, many offshore islands and vast marine waters, fed by the Gulf Stream. Supporting some of the most iconic seabird colonies in Europe, seabirds can be found along Ireland’s coastline, inshore waters and right out beyond the shelf edge, with many species occurring in numbers of international importance.
Research has shown the availability and distribution of fish and other marine organisms are known to be important factors driving seabird distribution and abundance; with seabird survival, breeding success and chick growth all linked to food availability. Fish are integral to the life cycle of most seabirds making up a large component of their diet, using different strategies to catch fish, from the plunge-diving of the Northern Gannet from a height of tens of metres above the water, to shallow plunges used by terns and gulls, the pursuit-plunging of shearwaters and Northern Fulmars and the pursuit-diving of the auks. Some, such as Black-legged Kittiwakes, gulls, terns and European Storm-petrels dip and patter across the ocean surface while in flight feeding on items such as zooplankton, small fish and squid.
Making up almost 16% of the total extent of EU waters, Ireland’s natural marine habitats are vast. Fisheries in Irish waters are diverse, with many different techniques employed depending on the target species with most fish landed by Irish Vessels, being horse mackerel and mackerel, along with blue whiting, hake and herring (The Atlas of Commercial Fisheries Around Ireland, 2nd Edition).
The range of species caught in the waters of the continental shelf (up to 200m depth) include Nephrops (prawns), cod, haddock, whiting, megrim, plaice, black sole, herring and boarfish. Shelf edge species include anglerfish and hake with mackerel and horse mackerel caught on migration to the shelf edge to spawn. Pelagic species account for 71% of all fish landed and 35% of their value, with demersal species representing 38% of the total value of species landed into Irish Ports (Annual Report 2014 of the Sea Fisheries Protection Agency). Nephrops is the most lucrative stock in terms of landed value at almost €50 million in 2014.
Marine food webs risk collapse
The slippery slope of overfishing is changing the composition of our seas. By fishing down the food web and removing predatory fish from marine systems, fisheries have been transitioning to smaller plankton feeding fish including sandeels, young mackerel, sardines and sprats (collectively known as forage-fish). When fisheries target these smaller fish species, it not only puts pressure on seabirds that depend upon them, but effects the food abundance of the larger predatory fish species with the overall effect of hindering their recovery and unbalancing the entire marine ecosystem.
Setting correct fishing limits is fundamental to achieving the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Multi-Annual Plans (MAPs) are the vehicle to deliver these objectives, through the adoption of an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management, to ensure the long-term sustainable management of fisheries and end the focus on short-term gains that has long plagued EU fisheries. In Ireland, with its mixed fisheries, this may mean setting quotas (TAC) according to the most vulnerable stock.
The accidental bycatch of seabirds in fishing gears is the single greatest threat facing many seabird populations (BirdLife International), with very little information published on seabird bycatch in the waters around Ireland. Some fishing techniques adversely affect seabirds through increased risk of incidental drowning in fishing gear or collision with gear cables or where adults carry materials from discarded gears to nests where young chicks can become entangled. Fishing gears which are known to be problematic for seabirds (BirdLife International Seabird Programme) include gill nets, with more than 300 vessels ( <10m) using these gears in the Irish Fleet.
One less understood impact of fisheries, with indirect impacts upon seabirds, is the habitat damage caused by fishing gear with subsequent effects on benthic community structure and changes to marine food webs. Ideally seabird monitoring programmes should include measures of adult survival as well as breeding productivity in order ascertain the level of impact pressures such as overfishing and fishing methods will have on seabird populations in the longer term.
Restoring fish stocks and resilient seas
A better future for fisheries, fishing communities and marine wildlife, including seabirds, requires delivery of the ambitions of the CFP along with delivery of the provisions outlined in the Habitats and Birds Directives and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
The CFP success will depend on the commitment of Ministers and the fishing industry across Europe to take on board scientific advice and harvest fish at levels that will ensure the long-term survival and recovery of fish stocks. There is also a significant role for civil society to ensure the ambition for fisheries management is achieved.
Outlook for seabirds & Irish Fisheries
Annual monitoring of seabirds in Ireland is largely restricted to a few species at colonies along Ireland’s east coast. Detecting changes in seabird populations nationally, requires a more national-based monitoring scheme that will encompass key breeding colonies around the Irish coast. The frequency of monitoring for most seabirds is such, that detecting changes in populations is hampered by lack of up-to-date information on colony sizes and overall breeding success.
Where possible, seabird bycatch should be eliminated in fisheries operating in the EU and by EU fishing vessels. The CFP reform includes an obligation to collect and report data on seabird bycatch under the Multi-Annual Programme for Data Collection. National at-sea observer schemes, working to an effective protocol, need to play a key role.
Ireland, along with all Member States, must act without delay and recover all fish stocks above healthy levels as the positive consequences of sustainable exploiting fish resources are clear: better management can increase catches and hence deliver greater socioeconomic benefit to the fishing sector and help to better support the marine wildlife that depend on fish for their survival.
Download full report: http://www.birdwatchireland.ie/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=SlJ1VfMzL6g%3d&tabid=1575
Feeding methods of Irish seabirds. © Michael O'Clery
Location of main fishing ports (blue), fishing grounds (black) and major seabird colonies (red) in Irish waters
Cormorant bycatch in fishing net. ©Paddy Dwan