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Fingal Council Urges Vigilance Over Palm Oil ‘Fatbergs’

16th February 2017
One of the palm oil ‘fatbergs’ washed up at Hoare’s Rock in Skerries last weekend One of the palm oil ‘fatbergs’ washed up at Hoare’s Rock in Skerries last weekend Photo: Fingal County Council

#CoastalNotes - Fingal County Council has issued a warning for people to be vigilant for palm oil ‘fatbergs’ along the North Dublin coast as they can be particularly dangerous to dogs.

A number of fatty balls were found on Sunday (12 February) at Hoare’s Rock in Skerries, Co Dublin, and results from laboratory tests have showed that the substance was palm oil.

It’s thought that the oil was part of a consignment which came off a ship in the English Channel about 18 months ago and was washed ashore by the weekend storm.

The congealed substance has been turning up sporadically on beaches and coasts in England but this is the first time it has been recorded in Fingal.

Similar fatty deposits washed up on Mayo beaches last November, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

“We believe the discovery of this material in Skerries on Sunday is an isolated incident as we have not had any other sightings along the Fingal coastline,” said a council spokesperson.

“The material is a solid white substance which is known as a ‘palm oil fatberg’ and they can range in size from being as  small as a golf ball to as big as a boulder.

“We are asking the public to be vigilant as this substance can be harmful to dogs.”

Published in Coastal Notes
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

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