MSC Certification for Irish Bottom Mussel Dredging Industry

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MSC Certification for Irish Bottom Mussel Dredging Industry

Postby Ashley Hayden » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:37 pm

Bottom Mussel Dredging for spat/seed along Ireland's east coast has over the last 30 years caused widespread habitat destruction and biodiversity loss. This is particularly apparent off the coast of North County Wicklow.

The Irish Bottom Mussel Industry with the help of Bord Iascaigh Mhara are seeking a Marine Stewardship Council Certificate which in plain terms deems Bottom Mussel Industry products as sustainably produced and not environmentally damaging.

Over the last 30 years permanent mussel banks, which attracted many species of fish, crustaceans, invertabrates, worms and a host of other benthic creatures have been destroyed by "spat collection" dredging which is a key element in the supply chain to market of Bottom Mussels.

This "dredging" element is so invasive to the benthic environment that the once great mixed fishery off Greystones, Co. Wicklow presents today as a marine desert where thirty years ago it was a marine Garden of Eden which sustained both local artisan fishing jobs and a thriving recreational sea angling product.

If you feel that this MSC cert' should not be awarded submit your reasons through the following link https://fisheries.msc.org/en/fisheries/ireland-bottom-grown-mussel/@@view

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Re: MSC Certification for Irish Bottom Mussel Dredging Indus

Postby chuckaroo » Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:48 pm

Hi Ashley
Thanks for that. But on the link you provide, is there an actual allocated place to submit a statement or are you suggesting to simply email the Marine Stewardship Council via the 'Contact Us'?
2018 targets/hopes:
First tope
Specimen flounder 2.5lb+ or 40cm+
First bluefin tuna
A 30lb+ shore-caught halibut, a 20lb shore-caught cod, a 10lb+ coley. (Norway)
A Co.Antrim 4lb+ bass
6lb+ wild brown trout

Charlie

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Re: MSC Certification for Irish Bottom Mussel Dredging Indus

Postby Ashley Hayden » Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:23 pm

To access the documentation for submissions go to the "Fishery Latest" column at the bottom right of the page accessed by the link above, click on "assessment" which will open up the required MSC page.

Then click on "recently uploaded documents - then - Fishery Announcement Template - then - scroll down to find "Stakeholder Input into MSC Fishery assessments template". A word document, fill in file and send to the head of the MSC assessment team who would appear to be Sam Dignan - email: samuel.dignan@saiglobal.com

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Re: MSC Certification for Irish Bottom Mussel Dredging Indus

Postby chuckaroo » Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:36 pm

Ashley Hayden wrote:To access the documentation for submissions go to the "Fishery Latest" column at the bottom right of the page accessed by the link above, click on "assessment" which will open up the required MSC page.

Then click on "recently uploaded documents - then - Fishery Announcement Template - then - scroll down to find "Stakeholder Input into MSC Fishery assessments template". A word document, fill in file and send to the head of the MSC assessment team who would appear to be Sam Dignan - email: samuel.dignan@saiglobal.com

Sorry Ashley, I can get to the 'Fishery announcement template' no problem but there is no further options to then - scroll down to find "Stakeholder Input into MSC Fishery assessments template"
Plenty of pdf files everywhere but I can't find the word document in question
2018 targets/hopes:
First tope
Specimen flounder 2.5lb+ or 40cm+
First bluefin tuna
A 30lb+ shore-caught halibut, a 20lb shore-caught cod, a 10lb+ coley. (Norway)
A Co.Antrim 4lb+ bass
6lb+ wild brown trout

Charlie

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Re: MSC Certification for Irish Bottom Mussel Dredging Indus

Postby Ashley Hayden » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:26 am

Chuckaroo,

Send an email or call the MSC certification team leader Sam Dignan for info' on how to obtain the template: samuel.dignan@saiglobal.com. Ph: +353 (0)42 932 0912

Regards,

Ashley

By the way, the industry is seeking MSC re-certification, it was originally granted in 2013.

The irony as always when it comes to the commercial sea fishing sector is that there nearly always is an environmentally sound solution but it adds more cost. For example, the laying of seed mussel in an area such as Wexford harbour, regrowing and subsequent collection of mature mussels is a relatively benign environmental activity which in principal is worthy of MSC classification if for example the mussel seed was collected from the water column, as it can be.

As per usual though the cheaper method is chosen, in this case habitat destruction through removal of mature permanent seed beds, of which the industry is always seeking new sites to defile - which is the very reason MSC certification should not be granted.

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Re: MSC Certification for Irish Bottom Mussel Dredging Indus

Postby chuckaroo » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:02 pm

email sent to Samuel Dignan.
2018 targets/hopes:
First tope
Specimen flounder 2.5lb+ or 40cm+
First bluefin tuna
A 30lb+ shore-caught halibut, a 20lb shore-caught cod, a 10lb+ coley. (Norway)
A Co.Antrim 4lb+ bass
6lb+ wild brown trout

Charlie

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Re: MSC Certification for Irish Bottom Mussel Dredging Indus

Postby mickser » Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:12 pm

If everyone from here were to send or phone Samuel Dignan. on here = samuel.dignan@saisamuel.dignan@saiglobal.com. Ph: +353 (0)42 932 0912lobal.com. Ph: +353 (0)42 932 0912 Maybe we will get some action if not we will at least clog up his E-mails and phone
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Re: MSC Certification for Irish Bottom Mussel Dredging Indus

Postby chuckaroo » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:38 pm

For those of you who feel that this MSC certicate should not be awarded...

I have had a helpful and informative response back from Sam Dignan.

Sam Dignan is 'Fisheries Assessment Officer' at the Irish department of SAI Global, where SAI Global are a company that seem to provide administrative support and advice to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), I guess, and where the MSC are the people who will, from under their own work and from the influence from the stakeholders (anyone with an interest, inc. anglers), ultimately decide whether to (re-)provide or not (re-)provide this mussel dredging certificate.

So anyone here can send an email to Sam Dignan. He should then offer advice on how to 'have your say' and add you to the list of stakeholders (so that you will receive information and updates). You can then go through the appropriate process to air your voice also -

The role of stakeholders in MSC assessments: https://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/have-your-say

Template for stakeholder comment: https://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/hav ... assessment
- there should be a link for download about halfway down the page in the “How to Comment” section. If you find that template difficult to use you can just submit in letter form.

Sam points out:
"The most important thing is that you should be aware of is that in order for comments to be as impactful as possible, the details provided are crucial. We can only consider information that is relevant, factual and substantiated (backed up by clear evidence)."

I assume then that if you do not have this 'clear substantiated evidence' of how mussel dredging destroys Maine habitats, or can't get any, then you will have to consider yourself as a member of the 'public' and so voice your concerns that way. Comments from the public are certainly taken into consideration too; the more voice from the public (anglers and friends) the better! Sam goes on..
"As we are already over a month after the site visit, if you would like us to consider any information you have at this stage of the process, it would be good if you could get it to us this week or early next week. If comments are submitted later than this they will of course be accepted but may not be considered until a later stage - during the Public Comment Draft Report stage"

So, as stated, the general public will have the opportunity to view their opinions ('comment') once a draft report is published - registered stakeholders will receive relevant notifications and updates directly (probably via email) of the process, otherwise you would have to keep track yourself.

I hope to put a my (stakeholder) opinion forward, hopefully backed by references to research highlighting the destructive habit of mussel dredging, over the next few days.

Thanks
2018 targets/hopes:
First tope
Specimen flounder 2.5lb+ or 40cm+
First bluefin tuna
A 30lb+ shore-caught halibut, a 20lb shore-caught cod, a 10lb+ coley. (Norway)
A Co.Antrim 4lb+ bass
6lb+ wild brown trout

Charlie

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Re: MSC Certification for Irish Bottom Mussel Dredging Indus

Postby Ashley Hayden » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:42 am

Great reply Charlie, I too found Sam very approachable. This process provides a real opportunity for positive change.
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Re: MSC Certification for Irish Bottom Mussel Dredging Indus

Postby chuckaroo » Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:36 pm

If anyone can make out were exactly I am meant to voice my concerns then please let me know. It's hard to make sense of it all, let alone find the appropriate documentation from the link!
And please get involved!

Email received from SAI Global:


Re: Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Fisheries Assessment – Stakeholder Notification, Release of Public Comment Draft Report for:
Ireland Bottom Grown fishery

Dear Stakeholder,
SAI Global would like to announce that that the Public Comment Draft Report (PCDR) for the 1st MSC re-assessment of the above fishery is now available for comment by stakeholders for a period of 30 days.
The Stakeholder Notification and the Public Comment Draft Report are both available on the MSC website at the following address:
https://fisheries.msc.org/en/fisheries/ ... sel/@@view
Stakeholders are invited to comment on the factual contents of the report, using the mechanism outlined in the Stakeholder Notification.
Following receipt of comments from stakeholders, SAI Global will consider all available information before making a determination on whether or not the fishery should be certified.
As detailed in the Stakeholder Notification comments on the report should be submitted by:
· 17:00 GMT, Thursday June 21st 2018

And should be sent to:
Niamh Connor
Client Services Administrator
SAI Global
Quayside Business Park, Mill Street,
Dundalk, Co. Louth, Ireland
T: +353 (0) 42 9320912
Email: niamh.connor@saiglobal.com
2018 targets/hopes:
First tope
Specimen flounder 2.5lb+ or 40cm+
First bluefin tuna
A 30lb+ shore-caught halibut, a 20lb shore-caught cod, a 10lb+ coley. (Norway)
A Co.Antrim 4lb+ bass
6lb+ wild brown trout

Charlie
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Re: MSC Certification for Irish Bottom Mussel Dredging Indus

Postby Ashley Hayden » Fri Jul 06, 2018 3:14 pm

To all those who are interested, the Final Report and Determination for the MSC re-assessment of the Irish Bottom Grown Mussel has been released by SAI Global.

It is quite clear that the report is pro re - certification which is a travesty given how the Bottom Mussel Industry with the full backing of the state has been involved in benthic habitat destruction of "permanent" mussel banks off the Wicklow coastline for thirty years.

The report states that mussel populations on the east coast are ephemeral, ie: transient of short duration, this is a lie because I know that they were permanent because my grandfather, father, uncles and latterly myself used to fish them up until the dredgers came sometime in the late seventies early 1980's and ripped them all up. I WATCHED THIS DESTRUCTION FIRST HAND WHILE FISHING FOR PLAICE ON THE KILCOOLE BANK.

Of course today the mussel populations are ephemeral because the Industry dredged up the permanent beds replacing hard substrate with sand upon which mussel cannot fix to.

The report is full of holes and is an indictment of both the assessment process and the MSC as an organisation.

The report is too big to attach but contact SAI Global Dundalk through the address given in one of the replies i this thread and a copy will be sent out forthwith.

There is a right to object but I am not bothering, when you know the truth and have it overlooked due to expedience to a destructive industry it leaves a bad taste. A case of save your breath to cool your porridge.

God forbid, what will our grandchildren say to us when they cop on to what we did to their heritage.

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Re: MSC Certification for Irish Bottom Mussel Dredging Indus

Postby mickser » Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:36 am

I have not fished in two years hoping to change that this year with anything ?

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Re: MSC Certification for Irish Bottom Mussel Dredging Indus

Postby chuckaroo » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:08 pm

Thanks Mickser

Signed

And posted onto my Facebook page
2018 targets/hopes:
First tope
Specimen flounder 2.5lb+ or 40cm+
First bluefin tuna
A 30lb+ shore-caught halibut, a 20lb shore-caught cod, a 10lb+ coley. (Norway)
A Co.Antrim 4lb+ bass
6lb+ wild brown trout

Charlie

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Re: MSC Certification for Irish Bottom Mussel Dredging Indus

Postby corbyeire » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:13 am

ditto, keep up the good fight
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Re: MSC Certification for Irish Bottom Mussel Dredging Indus

Postby mickser » Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:08 pm

I have not fished in two years hoping to change that this year with anything ?
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Re: MSC Certification for Irish Bottom Mussel Dredging Indus

Postby mickser » Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:31 pm

There still after the Irish courts ruling =Conservationists have claimed industrial mussel seed dredging will leave Ireland's coastal waters "full of jellyfish and little else".

Four of the industrial trawlers worked in Dublin Bay over three days beginning last Sunday.

The Government permits industrial dredging for young mussels but last Thursday the Supreme Court ruled that the contents of the seabed inside our six-mile territorial limit are State "assets" and should be protected.

Two of the trawlers operating in Dublin Bay last week are understood to have been collecting seed mussel for "finishing" grounds in Welsh waters.

Two others, registered in the Republic, are believed to have been dredging for mussel farms on the west coast of Ireland.

The sea area being dredged, like much of the coastal area of Ireland, has seen major declines in many types of sea life, with anglers and small commercial fishing operations reporting falls in catches year after year.

And this summer, as in other recent years, beaches and bathing places around Irish inshore waters have been closed due to swarms of stinging jellyfish.

The few people still earning a living from inshore fishing said that the dredging was causing huge and long-term damage to our fisheries. "The damage caused by the dredgers is absolutely enormous," said Dalkey lobster fisherwoman and boat-hire operator Dolores Smith.

"There are stretches of seabed just over there that have been obliterated. The Dublin Bay prawn is extinct now. There are none in the bay any more. People may call prawns Dublin Bay but they're from somewhere else because there are none left here."

Ms Smith also said there was a foul smell around Dalkey Sound and the other dredged areas.

"It smelt like rotting corpses; it was horrible out there," she added.

She pointed out that Dalkey Sound is officially designated a "specially protected area", yet this has not prevented the trawling of the seabed.

Padraic Fogarty, of the Irish Wildlife Trust, had also been told about the dredgers and said it was likely that they were mussel seed vessels. "There is no control on it. They are literally scraping the bottom of the sea," he said.

"We believe there should not be any dredging within six miles."

Mr Fogarty wrote on the trust's website: "Despite all the talk, it is business as usual for the Irish Sea and there's to be no political will to restore it to its previous wealth.

"The ecosystem is on course to be so damaged that we could be looking at a sea full of jellyfish and little else in the not-too-distant future."

In their successful Supreme Court action, four mussel fishermen - Paul Barlow, of Dunmore East, Co Waterford; Michael Crowley, of Killinick, Co Wexford; Gerard Kelly, of Greencastle, Co Donegal; and Alex McCarthy, of Kildimo, Co Limerick - claimed "aggressive and unsympathetic" fishing by NI vessels has caused the loss of a sustainable Irish mussel industry which could have employed hundreds of people.

The court heard they invested €16m in four dredging vessels designed to allow sustainable mussel farming.

The Supreme Court found that Article 10 of the Constitution, which provides that all natural resources belong to the State, means regulation of fishing for mussel seed in the State's territorial waters "is the management of a natural resource, and therefore property belonging to the State, which must be provided for by law".

Sunday Independent But they are still at it
I have not fished in two years hoping to change that this year with anything ?

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