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Cuan Beo in Association with Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Fáilte Ireland and the Heritage Office in Galway Co Co have collected some unique and remarkable footage of fishermen dredging for Wild Native Oysters in Galway Bay at the opening of the 2017 season. This important aspect of Galway heritage is captured using on-board cameras, an underwater camera mounted on the dredge and an overhead camera mounted on a drone. As viewers will see, the quality of the footage is remarkable with weather quality and visibility at its best on this December morning.
Fisherman PJ Martyn talks viewers through the changes in the dredging process since he first began fishing in Galway Bay more than 40 years ago. Significant changes in the abundance of shellfish is noted and the recording clearly illustrates the challenges facing the livelihoods of local oyster fishermen and the continuance of this aspect of coastal life in rural Galway. One of the areas that Cuan Beo is actively focusing its efforts on is addressing the continued demise of water quality in the Bay, its impact on sentinel and protected species such as the Native oyster and subsequent effects on the quality of life, environment, economy and heritage around Galway Bay.
Video by Alec Reid
Short documentary by Philippa Larkin
Farmers Turn Fishermen for Oysters 1962 RTÉ