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Displaying items by tag: Dundalk Bay

The Dundalk Bay cockle fishery is the subject of a public consultation opened this week by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Views of all those with an interest in the fishery are sought regarding the permits policy in this consultation which is being carried out in conjunction with the review of the relevant Fisheries Natura Plan.

The department says feedback received during the consultation will inform decisions on further development of the permits policy, in particular “a transparent set of criteria for issuing additional permits in future years where the fishery biomass and total allowable catch are sufficient to accommodate additional fishers”.

Submissions can be made online or by post — after downloading and completing the Consultation Submission Document available HERE — before the closing date of Friday 18 June.

Enquiries concerning this consultation are directed to [email protected]

Published in Marine Wildlife

Geotechnical surveys will take place in Outer Dundalk Bay from 6 March 2020, according to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport in Marine Notice No. 13 of 2020.

The survey will be completed using the “Geoquip Saentis” (Callsign: C6UM8) currently berthed in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The work is necessary to provide geotechnical data to facilitate the development of the Oriel Windfarm.

The survey is expected to start on 6 March 2020 and is expected to be completed by 27 March 2020 but dates provided are weather dependant and therefore subject to change.

When the survey vessel is engaged in survey operations, it will be restricted in its ability to manoeuvre. Other vessels are requested to leave a wide berth. The vessel will be operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during the survey works.

Download the full notice below.

Published in Marine Warning

A drilling-rig ship operated by a Swiss-based offshore geo technical data solutions company is currently berthed in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, writes Jehan Ashmore.

According to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, the drilling-rig ship Geoquip Saentis is in the harbour to mobilise for work on the Oriel Wind Farm project to the east of Dundalk Bay. The vessel is expected remain in port until tomorrow or Friday.

The 3,404 gross tonnage drill-ship run by Geoquip Marine Operations AG based in St. Gallen, in north-east Switzerland near Liechtenstein, specialises in diverse market segments among them Offshore Renewables, Oil & Gas and Mineral Extraction.

The Swiss shipping firm has a fleet of offshore geotechnical drilling rigs. As for Geoquip Saentis, this drilling rig ship has a Dynamic Positioning (DP2) system for navigational on-site high precision accuracy. In addition, the Multi-Purpose Offshore Support vessel has an on board soil laboratory where data is analysed for clients of projects that can be nearshore (as in project in Dundalk Bay) to waters of ultra-deep oceans.

Afloat tracked the Geoquip Saentic which sailed from Nigg on the Gromarty Forth in north-east Scotland. Also offshore of Aberdeen, the ship in October completed its first geotechnical site investigation in the North Sea involving drilling to over 2000 metres.

The arrival of Geoquip Saentis to the Irish Sea involved a transit through the North Channel. After anchoring in Dublin Bay yesterday, a pilot was transferred on board from Dublin Port Company's new cutter DPC Tolka as previously reported.

drill shipGeoquip Saentis along side in Dun Laoghaire Photo: Afloat

In observing the design of Geoquip Saentis, Afloat concluded the vessel was a former platform supply vessel (PSV) which has been identified as the former Toisa Viligant. The vessel built in 2005 was specially designed to supply offshore oil and gas platforms. Following the acquisition by Geoquip Marine which coincidentally took place on this date exactly a year ago, the ship received conversion overhaul works to enable offshore geotechnical operations.

The major overhaul of Geoquip Saentis took place in the UK at Cammell Laird, the shipyard on Merseyside (see yesterday's Afloat coverage) of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary's tanker RFA Fort Victoria.

The drilling ship was dry-docked at the facility in Birkenhead on the Wirral Peninsula, which included notably the installation of Geoquip’s GMR600 marine drill-rig situated amidships as demonstrated in the above photo. Underneath the rig is a 4m x 4m moon pool. 

Geoquip Saentis has accommodation and workspaces for 55 crew members. At 80m in length and an 18m beam, this provides a stable platform for offshore geotechnical operations which includes use of a Remotely Operated Vessel (ROV) to operate alongside the drill-rig.

Geophysical surveys are being undertaken in the Irish Sea in outer Dundalk Bay from this week.

The work is required to provide bathymetric and subsurface information for the development of the Oriel Wind Farm project.

Survey work was expected to start yesterday, Tuesday 20 August, with a view to completion by Monday 30 September, though these dates are weather dependent.

The surveys will be completed using the AMS Retriever (Callsign MEHI8), a versatile multi-purpose, shallow draft tug.

This vessel is towing survey equipment up to 100 metres astern and will be restricted in its ability to manoeuvre.

Other vessels are requested to leave a wide berth. The AMS Retriever will be operating from approximately 6am to 9pm during survey works.

Details of co-ordinates of the survey area are included in Marine Notice No 29 of 2019, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#Ophelia - Windsurfers on the Louth coast have been roundly criticised on social media as they prompted a major rescue operation before the arrival of Storm Ophelia, as TheJournal.ie reports.

The four windsurfers, originally thought to be kitesurfers, made their own way to shore after getting 'into difficulty' this morning — but not before Clogherhead RNLI, Greenore Coast Guard and the Dublin-based Irish Coast Guard rescue helicopter had launched to their location, off Blackrock in Dundalk Bay.

The Irish Coast Guard has repeated widespread calls to stay away from the coast during the current storm conditions throughout Ireland.

This article was changed to correct an error in the number of windsurfers involved in this morning's incident.

Published in Rescue
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has announced two new reports of whale spottings off the Irish coast in recent days.
On 14 October the east coast rescue helicopter spotted a group of at least five lunge-feeding whales just four miles off Dunany Point on the southern side of Dundalk Bay.
Their relatively small size, white banding on the pectoral fin and absense of any obvious blow confirmed them to be minkes - a marine wildlife record for the area.
"This is further proof, not that it is needed, that there is a growing list of places outside of the expected 'hotspots' where whale activity is now being documented," said the IWDG's Pádraig Whooley.
Yet more were spotted on the opposite coast the day after, when Nick Massett reported up to a dozen minke whales in a 1.5-mile box off Slea Head, near Dingle.
Meanwhile, this week a group of four killer whales was observed by the FV Celtic Cross on the prawn grounds off Co Louth, travelling in a north-westerly direction towards Dundalk Bay.
"There may well be something very interesting happening in this section of the Irish Sea that is attracting both baleen and toothed whale in the same area," said Whooley.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has announced two new reports of whale spottings off the Irish coast in recent days.

On 14 October the east coast rescue helicopter spotted a group of at least five lunge-feeding whales just four miles off Dunany Point on the southern side of Dundalk Bay. 

Their relatively small size, white banding on the pectoral fin and absense of any obvious blow confirmed them to be minkes - a marine wildlife record for the area.

"This is further proof, not that it is needed, that there is a growing list of places outside of the expected 'hotspots' where whale activity is now being documented," said the IWDG's Pádraig Whooley.

Yet more were spotted on the opposite coast the day after, when Nick Massett reported up to a dozen minke whales in a 1.5-mile box off Slea Head, near Dingle.

Meanwhile, this week a group of four killer whales was observed by the FV Celtic Cross on the prawn grounds off Co Louth, travelling in a north-westerly direction towards Dundalk Bay.

"There may well be something very interesting happening in this section of the Irish Sea that is attracting both baleen and toothed whale in the same area," said Whooley.

Published in Marine Wildlife

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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