Notice to all Shipowners, Fishing Vessel Owners, Agents, Shipmasters, Skippers, Fishermen, Yachtsmen and Seafarers

NOTICE OF DEMERSAL GROUNDFISH SURVEY OFF THE NORTHWEST COAST OF IRELAND

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has been advised by the Marine Institute that the annual Irish Groundfish Survey (IGFS2016) will be carried out off the North-west coast of Ireland between the 25th of September and 6th of October 2016 in fulfilment of Ireland’s Common Fisheries Policy obligations.

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                                           Map of IGFS2016 survey stations (red circles) labelled with Prime Station number

The IGFS is a demersal trawl survey consisting of a minimum of 45 fishing hauls of 30 min duration each. The approximate location for the hauls is given in Fig 1 and Appendix 1. Fishing in 2016 will take place within a 2 nautical mile radius of these indicative positions.

The survey will be conducted by the Rv Celtic Explorer (Callsign: EIGB). The vessel will display all appropriate lights and signal during the survey and will also be listening on VHF Channel 16. She will be towing a high headline GOV 36/47 demersal trawl during fishing operations.

The Marine Institute would request that commercial fishing and other marine operators keep a 2nmi area around the tow points clear of any gear or apparatus during the survey period outlined above. While there is no statutory provision for the loss of gear at sea, the Marine Institute will make every effort to avoid gear adequately marked according to legislation that may be encountered in the notified areas.

In the event that an operator has static gear or other obstructions within 2nmi of the points listed above it is the responsibility of the owner to notify the survey managers or vessel directly. This should be communicated by identifying specifically which ‘Prime Station’ is of concern using the Appendix and contact details provided. It is not required to provide positional details of commercial operations beyond 3-4 naut. mi. of the survey points provided.

Specifics of any fishing gear or other obstructions that are known and cannot be kept clear of these survey haul locations can be notified using the contact details below.

Contact:

Aodhan Fitzgerald, Marine Institute: 0872488765

David Stokes (Chief Scientist) [email protected]

Celtic Explorer email (for gear co-ordinates ) [email protected]

All mariners are reminded of their responsibilities under the International Collision Regulations and are reminded of Marine Notice No. 17 of 2007, which gives general advice in relation to the activities of vessels engaged in survey work for hydrographic, seismic, fishing research and underwater operations.

The International Regulations for Prevention of Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) are implemented in Irish law by the Merchant Shipping (Collision Regulations) (Ships and Water Craft on the Water) Order 2012 [S.I. No. 507 of 2012], and the Signals of Distress (Ships) Rules 2012 [S.I. No.170 of 2012]. See Marine Notice No. 06 of 2013.

These Statutory Instruments may be purchased by mail order from Government Publications, Office of Public Works, 52 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2. Tel: (01) 6476834/1890-213434. They are also available online at: www.irishstatutebook.ie.