Joe Mahon is close to home in the next episode of the popular UTV programme, Mahon’s Way, as he visits Moville and Kinnego Bay, learning about oysters, seaweed and how to cope with seasickness!
Joe starts off at the shores of Lough Foyle at Carrickarory pier down from Moville, talking to Dr Sarah McClean, Head of Science at the Loughs Agency.
The focus of their conversation is the native Irish oyster, which used to be plentiful in the Lough, but whose stocks, due to centuries of overfishing, are severely depleted.
She describes to Joe how the agency is working with local fishing fleets to support a sustainable fishery. She explains how the Lough is now divided into fishing beds, and through careful stock taking, they can close beds, and manage areas under pressure.
She hopes that the native oyster can make a return to restaurants as a high end delicacy.
Sarah’s colleague Marine Scientist Ciaran McGonigle, then explains to Joe how vital the oyster is the overall eco-system of the lough, due to it inbuilt natural filtration system.
In part two of the programme, Joe is out on a less than calm lough in a wooden boat known as a Foyle punt. He meets William McElhinney and Robert Kelly who along with a group of other men, have made this replica.
Thankful to be back on dry land, Joe chats further to William about his enterprise called ‘Wild Strands’. William and Joe forage for seaweed in Kinnego Bay and come up with several varieties.
He explains to Joe it’s not only a valuable source of nutrition but also has great healing properties. William is happy that local oysters and local seaweed are back in the spotlight, after being forgotten for years.
Mahon’s Way is produced by Westway Film Productions for UTV and is sponsored by ‘Mid & East Antrim – A Place Shaped by Sea & Stone.’
You can watch this episode on Monday 8th November at 8pm on UTV and on catch up on www.itv.com/utvprogrammes