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Tuesday 24 April 2018

In a pinch: Leo gets to grips with 'notching' a lobster at Seafest

TD Hildegarde Naughton with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Seamus Breathnach notching a lobster at Seafest 2017 in Galway. Photo: Andrew Downes
TD Hildegarde Naughton with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Seamus Breathnach notching a lobster at Seafest 2017 in Galway. Photo: Andrew Downes
Allison Bray

Allison Bray

Leo Varadkar doesn't appear to be rocking this lobster as he gets to grips with a feisty crustacean at the Seafest 2017 maritime festival in Galway at the weekend.

Despite being a qualified doctor, the Taoiseach appears to be a bit squeamish as Seamus Breathnach, from Ireland's seafood development agency BIM, shows him how to 'notch' a lobster.

The practice is used by commercial fishermen to protect egg-bearing female lobsters from being harvested.

Their tail flippers are cut into a v-shaped notch so they are left alone to continue to breed and increase sustainability of our lobster stocks.

The practice was pioneered by lobster fishermen in Maine in the 1940s and introduced here in 1994.

The demonstration was among a number of events Mr Varadkar took in on Saturday as he visited Galway Harbour and Docks on the second day of the three-day festival.

As part of the festival, attendees were dazzled by aerial acrobatics from Flyboarders who buzzed the harbour using jet packs.

Mr Varadkar also met local Sea Scouts and took part in boat-building demonstrations alongside thousands of spectators in the free annual event.

Irish Independent

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