Displaying items by tag: pollution
The new National Maritime Oil & HNS Spill Contingency Plan (NMOSCP) will establish “a national framework and strategy to co-ordinate marine pollution preparedness and response”, according to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.
Published yesterday (Friday 26 June), the plan aims to address all oil and HNS (hazardous and noxious substances) pollution in the waters of Ireland’s Exclusive Economic Zone, whether it originates from ships, harbours, offshore units, oil/HNS handling facilities or land-based sources.
An “essential feature” of the plan is co-ordination between the Irish Coast Guard and relevant Government and non-State bodies, and it provides “a platform to co-ordinate responses in the context of the Major Emergency Management Framework and separately under the Strategic Emergency Management National Structures and Framework”.
The department adds that the NMOSCP “will address Ireland’s obligation under international convention in respect to preparedness and response to maritime pollution incidents”, and will provide the coastguard with a benchmark for best international practice.
The contingency plan is available to download below, while various standard operating procedures can be found on gov.ie HERE.
The sheer amount of waste even prompted Medlow to purchase a dinghy which he tows behind his kayak to carry the rubbish he collects — and his one-man initiative has now won support from the local council.
BBC News has much more on the story HERE.
An Irish sailor and visual artist will join next month’s leg of an all-female sailing voyage that’s carrying out important research into the devastating impact of ocean plastic.
Claire McCluskey was a relative novice to sailing when in 2016 she and her partner took part in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC), the first of two transatlantic voyages she has under her belt.
Now she’s preparing to set out to sea once again, as she has been chosen from over 10,000 applicants to join the crew of eXXpedition Round The World 2019-2020.
The pioneering all-female sailing voyage and scientific research mission is circumnavigating the globe via four ocean gyres and the Arctic.
And Claire is one of 300 women to join the crew over the voyage’s 30 legs over more than 38,000 nautical miles, studying microplastic and toxins in our oceans.
In February and March, Claire will join Leg 7 of the eXXpedition mission to sail 2,000nm from the Galapagos to Easter Island, gathering samples en route from the South Pacific Gyre — a major plastic accumulation zone.
She will be part of an interdisciplinary team which, in addition to assisting with scientific research at sea, will bring together their unique expertise to think of new ways to tackle the problem of plastic pollution.
As a visual artist, this experience will contribute to Claire’s research into our relationship with the ocean, and will inform a new body of work on her return to Ireland. She will also be writing updates and blog posts for the duration of the four-week voyage.
You can Claire’s participation in the eXXpedition voyage via her GoFundMe fundraiser — for which she is also organising a table quiz next Tuesday 4 February from 7.30pm at Bloody Mary’s on South William St in Dublin — and find out more about the Pacific islands leg HERE.
Irish Water pleaded guilty to offences under the Waste Water Discharge (Authorisation) Regulations 2007 following the malfunction of a treatment plant in the north Co Dublin town on 28 April 2018.
The company was fined €1,500 and ordered to pay €850 for expenses and €5,000 towards legal costs.
Brendan Kissane, inspector for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which brought the case, told the court that the incident occurred after one of the plant’s three pumps had been removed, and the other two failed four days later on a day when the facility was not staffed full-time.
This resulted in raw sewage overflowing from tanks in the facility into the nearby marina.
It was also heard that the pump failure was not detected until the day after the pollution incident, a Sunday, and the pollution continued until a temporary pump was installed the following day.
TheJournal.ie has much more on the story HERE.
Marine Minister Michael Creed has welcomed the increase in trawlers and other fishing boats now signed up to Ireland’s Clean Oceans Initiative.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the initiative involves fishermen storing and returning to land marine plastics that come up in their nets daily as they fish, thereby removing this pollution from the marine environment.
The minister launched the Clean Oceans Initiative in January this year at Union Hall, setting a very ambitious target for the participation of the entire Irish trawl fishing fleet in the scheme by 31 December.
To date, 168 trawlers and 56 other fishing boats have signed up with 12 ports registered and involved in the initiative.
“It is heartening to see the numbers that have come on board and that we are now at 70% participation. I would like to thank every boat owner who has joined up,” said the minister.
“We need to get every single trawler on-board for this. This is good for the fishing industry and good for the environment.”
He added: “I’m delighted that the fisheries producer organisations endorsed this initiative and are encouraging their members to sign up and get involved.”
Protecting our oceans is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
By the end of the third quarter this year, approximately 70 tonnes of marine plastic waste had been collected from 12 of Ireland’s busiest fishing ports and 25.5 tonnes of used fishing nets have been collected for recycling by Bord Iascaigh Mhara’s (BIM) mobile shredder, the ‘Green Machine’.
Minister Creed expressed his thanks to BIM and to those leading the early brigade: “I must commend all those currently involved in the Clean Ocean’s Initiative being run by BIM and the longstanding commitment many in the fishing industry have to bringing ashore plastic waste from the sea.
“I look forward to seeing 100% participation by our trawling fleet by the end of this year.”
Applicants are advised to sign up on the BIM website or by contacting BIM directly at 01 214 4100.
The plastic shards were washed into the water during a concrete pour at the development last November, prompting a safety advisory for swimmers and beach-goers between the West Pier and the Forty Foot.
A clean-up operation was launched at the time which recovered 50kg of the 70kg of plastic strands released.
Now a volunteer clean-up group says some of the unrecovered plastic reappeared at Sandycove on Thursday ahead of Storm Lorenzo.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.
Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has prosecuted three businesses and landowners in the Lough Sheelin and River Camlin catchments between May and September 2019, for the discharge of harmful substances to nearby watercourses.
In June, Kiernan Milling of Granard, Co Longford was convicted in Longford District Court for the discharge of effluent to the River Camlin catchment.
Judge Hughes ordered the payment of €2,441.65 in fines and costs, for breaches under the 1959 Fisheries Consolidation Act.
On 23 July, in Virginia District Court, Mr Patrick Kiernan was convicted and ordered to pay €2,900 in fines and costs, for the discharge of effluent to the Kildorragh River in the Lough Sheelin catchment.
A third conviction was secured by IFI in Virginia District Court in September 2019.
Mr John Lynch, Mountnugent, Co Cavan was ordered to pay €2,500 in fines and costs for allowing the discharge of deleterious matter into the Schoolhouse River, also part of the Lough Sheelin catchment.
In a fourth case in May 2019 at Longford District Court, Judge Hughes disposed of a prosecution by IFI against Mr Derek Moorehead in relation to discharges to a tributary of the Camlin River and ordered Mr Moorehead to pay €500 to a wildlife charity.
Lough Sheelin is a well-known wild brown trout fishery in the Great Western Lakes and one of the most important brown trout angling locations in Ireland, while the River Camlin is an important spawning and nursery location for Lough Ree brown trout.
Amanda Mooney, director of the Shannon River Basin District, said: “Pollution events in the spawning and nursery tributaries along these catchments can threaten indigenous fish populations. The maintenance of the aquatic habitat is vital if we are to sustain and enable wild fish populations to thrive.
“Inland Fisheries Ireland is working to protect and conserve this natural resource to ensure its sustainability into the long term.
“Angling for brown trout in lakes in the Inny catchment and Lough Ree generates important economic activity for rural communities and any impact on fish populations in the area may also have negative impact in this regard.”
North Cork Creameries Co-operative Ltd pleaded guilty on two charges in relation to a pollution incident on the Allow River in Co Cork last year at a sitting of Mallow District Court on Tuesday 17 September.
The charges followed an investigation by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) in relation to a milk spillage into the river at Kanturk during August 2018.
The court heard that the incident occurred during a tanker loading process at the company’s production facility in Kanturk, which then discharged to the river.
Judge Brian Sheridan granted probation after hearing evidence that the defendant company had made a significant investment to upgrade their facilities in recent years and that a conviction would have a detrimental effect on the company’s wellbeing.
The court awarded €2,654 for costs and expenses to IFI and ordered the co-op to make a payment of €7,500 to the local angling club.
North Cork Creameries Co-operative was previously prosecuted by IFI in the Circuit Court in 2012 for similar offences, and it also received the benefit of the Probation Act in the District Court in 2018 following a prosecution by Cork County Council under the Local Government (Water Pollution) Act.
Commenting on the case, IFI senior fisheries environmental officer Andrew Gillespie said: “Protection of fish stocks is vital to maintaining an extremely valuable natural resource for the benefit of local and tourist anglers alike.
“The River Allow and its tributaries are a prized recreational angling resource with much of the catchment soon to benefit from the locally managed and Government-funded Duhallow Farming for Blue Dot Catchments project.
“The project aims to improve the river water quality and biodiversity via the implementation of beneficial measures by farmers and landowners.”
Wastewater overflows from Ringsend’s over-capacity treatment plant have made algal blooms in Dublin Bay much more likely, says one marine expert.
Speaking to The Green News, Karin Dubsky of Coastwatch Ireland said overflows from Ringsend which have occurred after heavy rainfalls provide the right nutrient-rich environment for algae to prosper.
Afloat.ie readers will remember the ‘orange slick’ seen on south Dublin beaches this past summer — and this past week the Shelly Banks adjacent to the Ringsend plant was blanketed in rotting seaweed many mistook for raw sewage.
But capacity issues at Ringsend are only one facet of the the problem, according to Dubsky.
“It’s not just one big Ringsend discharge as the treatment plant is struggling, it’s all those smaller stormwater overflows mixed with sewage water which are discharging right at high watermark onto the shore,” she said.
The Green News has more on the story HERE.
While efforts were made to contain the spill on the Al River, a tributary of the Shannon, locals say the slick has now spread to the old canal in Athlone town.
RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.