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Displaying items by tag: Galway Bay

#AranIslands - Appointing a senior minister with day-to-day responsibility for the Aran Islands is one proposal in a 12-point plan for the Galway Bay island community being launched on Inis Mór today (Thursday 26 November).

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin is joined by Galway West TD Eamon O’Cuiv to launch the plan, which also includes promises to provide 24/7 health coverage and expand the islands' air service to the mainland, as Galway Bay FM reports.

The latter has been a source of concern for residents who recently faced the replacement of their decades-long airplane service with helicopter flights. Aer Arann is continuing its flights as a new tender for the public service obligation air route continues.

According to the Galway Advertiser, another priority in the plan is proving for primary education services, should Fianna Fáil get into Government in next spring's General Election.

Martin said that the Aran Islands and other offshore communities "are an important part of our heritage and culture and represent a unique way of life. They are important to the nation and also are in many cases, such as the Aran Islands, major international brands."

Published in Island News

#MarineScience - A live camera feed from the new 'ocean observatory' in Galway Bay is now online, providing a bounty of information for marine scientists.

The Marine Institute is hosting both live and archived data from the Atlantic Ocean cabled undersea observatory off Spiddal on its website, including data from sea temperature and salinity to the concentration of chlorophyll.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the observatory comprises a range of sensors and monitoring equipment attached to the 4km subsea cable connecting the new Galway Bay Ocean Energy Test Site with the mainland.

The test site was in the news recently as computer giant Apple pledged €1 million to help ocean energy start-ups put their devices through their paces.

Click HERE the live feed and other data from the ocean observatory.

Published in Marine Science

#MarineScience - Apple's latest investment will mean more than a jobs boost as the technology giant has also committed to marine energy prototypes at Galway Bay's 'ocean observatory'.

Yesterday (Wednesday 11 November) Apple announced an expansion of its Cork campus to increase its staff by 1,000 by mid 2017, according to RTÉ News.

But hidden in the headlines was news that the company has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) to assist its grant recipients on marine research and development.

As renewable energy site reNews reports, Apple is providing a total of €1 million – €250,000 a year over four years starting in 2016 – to help ocean energy start-ups put their devices through their paces at the Galway Bay Ocean Energy Test Site.

Apple's vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives Lisa Jackson said the company is "excited by the potential of ocean energy to someday serve as a source of clean power for the data centre we are building in Athenry."

reNEWS has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Science

The McSwiggans' October League concluded at Galway Bay Sailing Club last Sunday with a return to blustery conditions more commonly associated with the West coast and spin-offs from Caribbean hurricanes at this time of year writes Liam Burke.

The first four races took place with fickle offshore breezes where Corby 25 Tribal could not be caught after flying starts from the pin end and superior speed around the course. The trend for the bigger boats to rate under a non-overlapping jib was costly as they struggled to power up in the light airs. The unusual presence of Tommy Smyth's Dragonfly 25 trimaran crewed by sailors from the Dart and Hobie fleet kept tacticians busy as she accelerated away but at lower angles and costly tacking manoeuvers. Also large numbers of shrimp pots in the shallow areas of the bay made it difficult for boats to get relief from any unfavourable tides.

GBSC Oct Series racing

So after four races run and two abandoned, Tribal's four bullets looked a sufficient cushion going into last Sunday's final two races but a 'no show' by the lead boat threw the game wide open. Race officer Dave Vinnell continued with his policy of Committee Boat starts on the bay, but as the twenty knot breeze was forecast to build into the afternoon, and he sent the fleet 'around the cans' . Barry Heskin's Now What and Mike Guilfoyle's Ibaraki were 'jockeyed-up' with Ronan Grealish of North Sails  and Des McWilliam of UK Sailmakers  respectively.

A two way battle ensued in the twenty knots plus conditions. But as they scored a win and a second place each, it wasn't enough, and despite including a DNS in their score, Tribal, equal on points with Now What, took the series on countback.

Published in Galway Harbour
Tagged under

#AranIslands - Aer Arann has said it will continue to fly to the Aran Islands despite no agreement being reached in its contract negotiations with Government, according to Galway Bay FM.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, talks got under way earlier this week after the Government's sudden cancellation of its tender for the public service obligation air route to the Galway Bay islands.

Aer Arann's current contract for its plane service between the islands and the Co Galway mainland expired yesterday (Wednesday 30 September) and staff are still on protective notice until an agreement has been reached.

However, the airline confirmed it was offering flights today as a goodwill gesture to Aran Islanders as talks continue. Galway Bay FM has more HERE.

Published in Island News

#GalwayPort - Parts of the current expansion plan for Galway Harbour would have a significant adverse impact on Galway Bay, according to An Bord Pleanála - a week ahead of the expected decision that has already been delayed for many months.

As RTÉ News reports, the planning body has invited the Galway Harbour Company to suggest moves it can make to offset any lasting damage to habitats in what is a candidate for designation as a Special Area of Conservation.

It has been confirmed that the €126 million redevelopment scheme, which involves reclaiming 24 hectares from the sea, would destroy a number of reef, mud and sand habitats.

Pending that feedback, planners will then decide whether to refer the expansion scheme to Brussels under the Derogation of the Habitats Directive for projects of overriding public interest.

Published in Galway Harbour

#AranIslands - The Government last night cancelled the tender process for flights to the Aran Islands amid weeks of concern over changes to the Galway Bay islands' air service.

As RTÉ News reports, Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs Joe McHugh said the European Commission would be notified before beginning a new tender process, and his department would enter talks with the existing provider Aer Arann about continuing their service after their current contract expires next week.

The decision means that the decades-long airplane service will now not be replaced by helicopter flights out of Carnmore, which were to be provided by the State's preferred tenderer Executive Helicopters.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, residents had expressed worry and anger over the change, with dismay over the distance between Carnmore and the ferry link at Rossaveal, and concerns over the reliability of helicopter service in often severe weather around the islands.

Only last week public meetings has been held on Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oirr to address the uncertainty over the future of the air service.

It since emerged that the Department of the Gaeltacht itself had no confirmation that Galway Airport could be used as a hub for the helicopter service - until Galway councillors passed a motion against it.

As of yesterday (Friday 25 September), Aer Arann had issued no statement over the situation under legal advice after mounting a High Court challenge to the original tender.

And Galway Bay FM adds that helicopters are expected to be eliminated as an option from any new tender contract for Aran Islands flights.

Published in Island News

#Festivals - Nimmo's Pier in the Claddagh is the focus of the 2015 Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival that kicks off today (Friday 25 September) with the oyster shucking nationals, as the Galway Independent reports.

And the big event is tomorrow, as 17 competitors from around the world vie for the World Oyster Opening Championship, following the Festival Parade from Eyre Square in the heart of the City of the Tribes.

But even those not in competition will be able to sample from a variety of local seafood vendors and restaurants at the Féile Bia Na Mara's Wild Atlantic Tastes event on Sunday.

The Galway Independent has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Maritime Festivals

#AranIslands - Public meetings will take place across the Aran Islands today over changes to the islands' air service.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, residents of the Galway Bay island chain have expressed concerns over the replacement of their longtime daily plane services to the mainland with helicopter flights that are set to begin next month.

Later today (Wednesday 16 September) Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oirr will host a number of TDs, senators and Galway city and county councillors to address the "ongoing uncertainty" about the future of the air service, which will continue to fly for the time being till February 2016, as Galway Bay FM reports.

In other Galway news, the city is making preparations to deal with what are feared to be the highest tides in two decades.

Waters are expected to rise as much as 20 feet on Sunday 27 September - well above the Spanish Arch quay wall. Galway Bay FM has more on the story HERE.

Published in Galway Harbour
Tagged under

#GalwayBay - Dead fish allegedly dumped off Spiddal beach on Galway Bay recently are the subject of an investigation by fisheries protection officials, as The Irish Times reports.

Local campaigners against the proposed salmon farm off the Aran Islands said last week's discovery comprised carcasses of farmed salmon - claiming a tag with the Marine Harvest Island label was found on one of the fish.

Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages also expressed its fears that the fish dump could have "infected" Galway Bay's migrating wild salmon with viruses associated with fish farms.

However, Marine Harvest – which last year was in the news over a controversial freshwater pipeline to treat a disease outbreak at a farm in Kilkieran Bay – said it had no involvement in the alleged fish dump, and no reports of viruses at its aquaculture sites.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Galway Harbour
Page 10 of 25

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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