World's Second-Largest Trawler Fishing North of Mayo16th Jan 2015
The world's second largest supertrawler, the Margiris is currently fishing in waters north of Mayo and west of Donegal. At 143m long, this vessel has the capacity to fish using enormous trawl nets and IWDG are concerned at the possibility of interraction between nets such as these and cetaceans, particularly common dolphins. The Irish Fish Producer's Association also has concerns about vessels of this size operating in Irish waters - see:
In January 2013, 13 common dolphins washed ashore dead on the Mayo coastline. This was a very unusual event and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht commissioned a veterinary team to conduct post mortem investigations on five of the animals. To quote from the report;
"In all five cases the examined dolphins were found to be in good nutritional condition at death, with no evidence of significant diseases or conditions that might have explained their deaths. However, a number of findings consistent with entanglement in fishing gear were apparent in each animal (e.g. netmarks on fins/flukes and body wall; haemorrhaging in the lungs; evidence of recently ingested prey). Overall, the post-mortem findings in all five animals are thought to be most consistent with bycatch in trawl type fishery gear.