Posts Tagged ‘Environment’

This Is Our Natural World

Sunday, September 20th, 2020

Sunday the 20th of September 2020 was a lovely bright day, blue skies but chilly due to a brisk north east breeze. Having pre-planned to meet family south of Wicklow head, we all initially met up at Magheramore strand. Arriving down onto the beach it was a beautiful scene comprising surfers, swimmers and families all enjoying being out in it. However cop this…….

and this……….

Now, whoever left this pile of muck to include cans, plastic bottles, tent, kitchen utensils, wipes, nappies, you name it it was there, would appear to have put it into the black bags. WELL DONE, YOU OBVIOUSLY CARE FOR NATURE, PAT ON THE BACK. Then conveniently decided to leave it there for the next big storm to wash it all into the sea. But then again the idea that a high tide line can shift relative to weather conditions just would not enter the average persons head. That is how close to nature the average person is.

We are told to leave no trace, we should not need to be told, and when one considers the effort needed to bring all this stuff down to the beach, would it have been so difficult to carry it all back up again like responsible and considerate people would? No its just too much effort, lets just have the party and fuck the rest.

Ironically these same people probably do consider the environment when it comes to climate change etc which is sad, but reflective of the average person who will think nothing of purchasing a take away coffee (why?, the Italians don’t do take away coffee and they are the experts, instead they sit down with it) driving off and later chucking it out the window, as applies take away food, fizzy drink cans and bottles. I should know, just take a look in the hedgerows along the lane I live on.

Every single day there are new items of litter and wait for this, I know that it takes twenty minutes to eat a “happy meal” from McDonalds and also a snack box, because the nearest take away and McDonalds are both twenty minutes from my house and the wrappers/boxes end up outside my gate.

This is our world and I am being objective when I say that the average Joe or Josephine have no connection and do not give a shit about the environment. If so they would certainly not purchase baby wipes (plastic based so do not biodegrade), take away coffee cups (even if it is compostable it has to be placed in a compost bin, most will end up in a normal bin and so onto landfill), plastic bottles, body scrubs (the bits inside of many brands are plastic so get washed down the plug hole and eventually end up in the sea as micro plastics).

I could go on but you get the picture and no, I am not mad, crazy or on a rant, this hypocrisy, this double standard goes on every day of the week in most peoples lives. So yes, we should get rightly uptight at the gobshites that left the rubbish on Magheramore strand, Co. Wicklow, but we cannot let ourselves off the hook while we continue to buy into the convenience world of products that have become increasingly part of our lives over the last thirty years in particular.

A starting point for all would be to give up that take away coffee and instead sit down with it like an Italian, you would do yourself and the natural world a big favour………..

Ireland’s Sea Fisheries Belong to All its Citizens

Monday, January 18th, 2016

My Grandfather Willie Redmond built clinker design boats in his shed behind Killians Hall a stones throw from the harbour in Greystones, Co. Wicklow, which was a great benefit to yours truly an outdoors loving young lad who gained access to a boat from a very early age. In my tenth year dad taught me to row, initially in and out between the moored boats in the harbour only letting me leave the confines of the pier head when I could show him that I could maneuver the craft to his satisfaction. The litmus test being that I could row between the said moored boats without touching them.

A young Ashley Hayden at the harbour Greystones in 1984 with his first born daughter Emma - Claire.

Around the same time I helped dad construct a long line out of heavy cotton line imported from Hong Kong to which were attached 100 mustad spade end hooks on two foot snoods at 12′ intervals. Dad’s modus operandi became clear in the late summer of 1971 when in early September we shot the line in a zig zag pattern off St David’s school, me rowing with the last of the ebb tide while dad payed out the baited hooks before two hours later as the flood tide commenced roles reversed dad rowed and I hauled, a series of large red spotted plaice flapping over the gunnels. The boy was hooked.

Today 45 years later I would be hard pressed as a young 55 years old grandfather of two wonderful grandsons to repeat the above exercise such is the decline that has occurred in Ireland’s inshore sea fisheries. If this decline had occurred due to natural causes one would not lament so, however the damage is solely man made. In 2007 I wrote a piece, “An Angler’s Tale” about that first day off Greystones in 1971 and considered how we all could work towards improving our sea fisheries so that my Grand Children might experience in some way the marine wonders that I saw, smelled, heard and felt as a young boy and latterly teenager.

Given that my first born grandson Myles is now three and second born Dillan is two months old that day is well nigh upon us and sadly Ireland’s marine fisheries have not improved, in fact things have only gotten worse. In the early 1980′s I considered the idea of artisan sea fishing out of Greystones but buried the notion very quickly as the writing was on the wall even then with regard to sea fisheries decline and I was only going to enter the industry if I could run a stand alone operation with no reliance on state or EU subsidies, what I caught governing whether I would sink or swim.

Would that other people had thought like that because today the Irish Government props up a failing industry due to political ignorance of how to manage effectively Ireland’s marine resource, political cowardice when it comes to the acceptance that the marine stakeholder brief is far wider than just those who choose to sea fish commercially and through State/EU funding continues to fuel an industrial sector that is mining itself into oblivion while stoking the raging bush fire of marine fisheries decline. By supporting the grossly undemocratic present marine fisheries development and management status quo the Irish Government and its servents are  denying my grandsons Myles and Dillan and their peers what is their natural heritage and birthright.

The industry talks about “Grandfather Rights”, well my two Grandsons have great great grandfather rights and it is about time that they were recognised. At this juncture there is little chance that either Myles or Dillan will be able to forge a career in marine sea fisheries either as commercial fisherman, charter skippers or sea angling guides such is the Irish Governments inadequate response towards rectifying the wanton destruction of what is arguably Ireland’s greatest natural resource. Myles, Dillan and their peers deserve better………….