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A Harbour Seal photographed at Dun Laoghaire Marina on Dublin Bay, Ireland. Also known as the common seal, is a true seal found along temperate and Arctic marine coastlines of the Northern Hemisphere. The most widely distributed species of pinnipeds, they are found in coastal waters of the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans, Baltic and North seas. Photo: AfloatA photograph of a Harbour Seal taken at Dun Laoghaire Marina on Dublin Bay, Ireland. Also known as the common seal, this species can be found along temperate and Arctic marine coastlines throughout the Northern Hemisphere. They are the most widely distributed species of pinnipeds and can be found in the coastal waters of the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as the Baltic and North Seas. Photo: Afloat

Displaying items by tag: New Zealand

New Zealand's marine industry is thriving, contributing $3 billion annually to the country's economy. The industry achieved $2.2 billion in local sales and $800 million in exports, according to new statistics released at the NZ Marine Industry conference by Executive Director Peter Busfield.

The conference, held in Tauranga, saw more than 130 people from New Zealand and Australia's marine industry come together for two days of presentations, panel discussions, networking, and brainstorming. Attendees brought with them innovative ideas, and the conference vibe demonstrated the New Zealand marine industry is in good health and is facing an exciting future.

President Garry Lock, who opened the conference, said it was great to finally have so many of the industry gathered in one place to celebrate successes and look into the future. "Although we have remained a tight group throughout all the disruptions of the past few years, it was fantastic to finally be back together in one place, talking about all aspects of our industry," Lock said.

Keynote speakers at the event included Darren Vaux, president of the International Council of Marine Industry Associations, and Andrew Fielding, president of Australia's Boating Industry Association, who shared valuable insights from a global perspective. There was also great interest in a panel session by representatives of marine companies active in the alternative power-source field, such as hydrogen and electric power, and new exciting boating forms such as foiling.

The conference also saw the presentation of NZ Marine's international and local events and promotions planned for the next 12 months, ensuring export and local sales growth opportunities for New Zealand manufacturers.

The marine industry is also facing technological changes in manufacturing processes, which will mean its 100%-owned Marine and Specialised Technology Academy training arm (MAST Academy) will continue to provide state-of-the-art industry-led apprenticeship training, providing good career pathways for school leavers and older learners alike.

The new generation of boaties want quick and easy access to go boating, cleaner power sources, and sustainable build materials in the boats they are using. They are also interested in maximising technology to achieve those goals.

The marine industry's growth is expected to continue, with more than 5500 boats expected to be built this year. The vast majority of these boats are trailer boats between 3.5 and 8m. The number of apprentices in boatbuilding and related trades has also reached 650.

"These are exciting times, and no doubt some major developments lie ahead," said Busfield. "One thing that hasn't changed, though, is how much Kiwis value their boating healthy lifestyle — 1.9 million people are regularly out on the water making boating New Zealand's most popular recreational activity. Our industry is in good heart, and we're ready to push ahead into the future and build on our tradition of innovation and success."

Published in Marine Trade

The Government is considering carrying out a public naming competition for two inshore patrol cutters that the State has acquired from New Zealand. The pair of 'Lake' class cutters were originally commissioned for the Royal New Zealand Navy in 2009.

Simon Coveney, the Minister of Defence has proposed the innovative idea, however there will be safeguards implemented to prevent a recurrence of what took place in the UK of the 'Boaty McBoatface' debacle when the outcome of a public online vote turned farcical, however the research vessel was officially named the RRS Sir David Attenborough

The new patrol cutters will be introduced into the Naval Service where the majority of the fleet reflects the names of famous male Irish writers, they are the L.E.Samuel Beckett, James Joyce and George Bernard Shaw. In addition the third of the OPV90 class L.E. William Butler Yeats, Afloat adds is similarly named to that of Irish Ferries cruiseferry, the W.B. Yeats.

The Independent.ie which has more on the story, reports that Mr Coveney is believed to favour that at least one of the warships be named after a woman. This would enable the public to be offered a slate of options – from Maria Edgeworth, Lady Gregory, Katharine Tynan or Peig Sayers.

As for male writers they could include such legendary figures as Bram Stoker, Seamus Heaney, Austin Clarke and Padraic Colum.

Published in Navy

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Irish Government has announced the purchase of two naval vessels from New Zealand.

The two inshore patrol vessels — formerly the HMNZS Rotoiti and HMNZS Pukaki — will bolster Ireland’s maritime security as the Naval Service continues its recruitment drive.

Announcing the deal today, Sunday 13 March, Foreign Affairs and Defence Minister Simon Coveney said the purchase is part of plans to address “ongoing challenges” and regenerate the Naval Service.

“The investment of some €26 million in these two inshore patrol vessels will provide replacements for LÉ Orla and LÉ Ciara,” he added.

“These inshore patrol vessels have a lesser crewing requirement than the ships they replace, and will provide the Naval Service with an enhanced capacity to operate and undertake patrols in the Irish Sea on the East and South East Coast. This will allow the remaining fleet to focus on operations elsewhere.”

The minister said the two ships are expected to arrive in Ireland next year following works to restore them to Lloyd’s Classification.

He also reiterated that plans for the replacement of the flagship LÉ Eithne with a new multi-role vessel are under way “with consultants having been engaged with a view to initiating a tender competition in due course”.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Seán Clancy said: “The changing face of maritime security in the Irish Sea has highlighted a requirement for a specialist inshore capability in order to protect Irish interests.

“The procurement of these vessels strengthens the ability of the Naval Service to fulfil its role in protecting our national sovereignty and constitutes a strong vote of confidence in the Defence Forces by the minister and Government.”

Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Service, Commodore Michael Malone added: “The acquisition of the IPVs will allow the Naval Service to continue to modernise and tackle the dynamic and ever changing maritime environment that we operate in 365 days a year.”

Published in Navy
Tagged under

Tributes have been paid to a Dublin-born woman who drowned off a coastal town on New Zealand’s South Island.

As Stuff reports, 56-year-old Eve Parkin was reported missing in South Bay off Kaikōura on Tuesday 12 January.

After a multi-agency search and rescue operation was launched, her body was found in the water the following morning.

Parkin was a keen ocean swimmer, who reportedly swam in Dublin Bay year-round in her youth.

After taking up sea swimming again nine years ago, she became a fixture in the water at Kaikōura and in competitions around her adopted country.

Stuff has more on the story HERE.

Published in Sea Swim
Tagged under

Homing in on her second anniversary Down Under, West Cork sailor Mia Connolly reports to Afloat.ie that she recently completed one of New Zealand’s biggest coastal races.

Mia crews on trim as well as bow, mid-bow and pit for the Auckland-based Miss Scarlet, a Reichel/Pugh IRC52, which finished 11th overall in the Coastal Classic on Saturday 24 October.

She tells us: “Trimming the code zero at the start was the highlight for me — and the second highlight was the dolphins almost touching my sea boots while on the rail.

“We may not have been the best 52 footer but we certainly were one of very few boats who stuck it out until the end.”

The race was one more remarkable achievement for the former self-confessed “home bird” who upped sticks for Australia in November 2018 in the hopes of “that Sydney Harbour dream life”.

And for the first year it was indeed a dream come true — as the experienced pitman and trimmer quickly joined the crew of Zen, Gordon Ketelbey’s TP52 which that took the IRC Division 1 title in the 2019 Garmin NSW IRC Championship.

But her time in Australia came to an abrupt halt just 12 months into her adventure when “someone in the visa office decide they were having a bad day and declined my road to residency”.

Mia was given just one week to leave the country — during the most crucial training period ahead of the 2019 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.

“So, I had to [pack up] lock, stock and barrel once again on my own and move to New Zealand, but with a lot more hard work and stress,” she says — though she did return for one last hurrah in the Sydney-Hobart.

“Almost a year later and I still can’t believe I completed it and on one of the most popular TP52s in Australia.”

In hindsight, Mia’s unplanned relocation across the Tasman Sea was the right move at the right time — just weeks before the coronavirus pandemic and its associated restrictions wreaked havoc across the world’s sailing communities.

In the months since the pandemic’s first wave, New Zealand emerged as one of the few countries to get the virus under control, with life there more or less returning to normal — and now Mia finds herself “in the heart of it all”.

Mia captures the sunset from the rail of Miss ScarletMia captures the sunset from the rail of Miss Scarlet

“Sailing and racing is continuing here; I am lucky to be in Auckland,” she says. “Everything is happening here with the America’s Cup. I am in the heart of it all.”

However, as she comes up on her second anniversary in the antipodes, Mia can’t help missing the connection with her loved ones back home.

“I left Ireland November 5th, 2018. It’s coming up to my two-year mark after leaving home,” she tells us.

“I’m dying to see my family as I didn’t get home the first year because I was racing so much and this year, well, if I left New Zealand I wouldn’t be getting back anytime soon.”

Afloat looks forward to further updates from Mia as she continues her sailing exploits in New Zealand.

Published in West Cork

Royal Irish Yacht Club cadet member Niall Malone has sent the club an update of his recent competitions in New Zealand, where he currently lives and races.

First up was two weeks of racing in Sydney, Australia last month — at the Harken International Youth Match Racing Championships hosted by the Royal Prince Alfred from 18-22 November, and the Musto Youth Match Racing Internationals at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia from 26-29 November.

“We had a good two weeks racing in a very close fleet in Sydney,” Niall says, hailing the “extremely high level of sailors” at both events.

Musto was his team’s first ever Grade 1 event, the helm says, so it was “a great opportunity just to be among such a good fleet and we were able to learn a lot”.

Despite neither event seeing him get the results hoped for, the young Irishman is proud that he “had some very close races, finishing less than half a boat length behind the world number two [New Zealand youth Nick Egnot-Johnson] and taking two wins of the Musto Youth International defending champion Frankie Dair”.

Next up for Niall will be the first ever New Zealand Foiling Match Racing Championships, being held at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron from 13-17 January, in which he will be representing the RIYC.

Published in Match Racing

#Rowing: New Zealand have chosen Tony O’Connor to coach their senior men’s eight. The 49-year-old former oarsman has been a successful coach at junior level, with the school at which he teaches, Christ’s College, Christchurch, and in the international set-up. He coached the New Zealand junior four which took silver at the World Junior Championships in 2017.

 O’Connor represented Ireland at two Olympic Games (1996 and 2000), and was part of the lightweight four which finished fourth in 1996. He won gold in the lightweight pair in 2001 World Championships with Gearóid Towey. He partnered Neville Maxwell in the lightweight pair which set the world’s best time in 1994.  

Published in Rowing

#Rower of the Month: The Afloat Rower of the Month for February is Paul O’Donovan. The Skibbereen quartet of Mark O’Donovan, Shane O’Driscoll, Paul O’Donovan and Gary O’Donovan warmed slowly to their task in competing in the New Zealand Rowing Championships. The arrival of coach Dominic Casey helped. When finals came around, they won a bronze medal as a four. But topping this achievement was that of Paul O’Donovan in the Premier Single Sculls. The lightweight world champion mixed it with two of the top heavyweights in the world: O’Donovan finished third, just a few boat lengths behind Robbie Manson, who in 2017 set the world’s fastest time, and ahead of Olympic champion Mahe Drysdale.

 The achievement makes Paul O’Donovan the Afloat Rower of the Month.

Rower of the Month awards: The judging panel is made up of Liam Gorman, rowing correspondent of The Irish Times and David O'Brien, Editor of Afloat magazine. Monthly awards for achievements during the year will appear on afloat.ie. Keep a monthly eye on progress and watch our 2018 champions list grow.

https://www.facebook.com/WorldRowing/videos/10160199271930651/

Published in Rower of Month

#Rowing: An Irish crew have taken a medal in the Premier grade at the New Zealand Rowing Championships. The Skibberen four of Gary O’Donovan, Paul O’Donovan, Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll finished third in the Premier four, just a second ahead of fourth.

New Zealand Rowing Championships, Lake Karapiro, Day Five (Irish interest)

Men

Four – Premier

A Final:  3 Skibbereen (G O’Donovan, P O’Donovan, M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 5:58.82.

Published in Rowing
16th February 2018

Murphy Adds Gold in New Zealand

#Rowing: Max Murphy added a gold medal to the silver he had won in the men’s senior pair at the New Zealand Rowing Championships today. The UCD oarsman was part of the Waikato senior eight which were clear winners, beating a crew from their own club into second. Kevin Neville and Eamon Power of NUIG were in the Wellington crew which took bronze.

 In warm and calm conditions, Paul O’Donovan and Gary O’Donovan finished fourth in the Premier double sculls, an elite event won by Chris Harris and Robbie Manson.

New Zealand Rowing Championships, Lake Karapiro, Day Four (Irish interest)

Men

Eight – Senior

Final: 1 Waikato (3 M Murphy) 5:56.41; 3 Wellington (7: K Neville; 8 E Power) 6:00.28.  

Pair - Senior

Final: 2 Waikato (M Murphy, T Bedford) 6:59.41.

Sculling,

Double – Premier

Final: 4 Skibbereen (P O’Donovan, G O’Donovan) 6:38.66. Senior – B Final: 1 Wairau (2 K Neville) 6:46.04.

Single – Club

B Final: 5 Wairau (E Power) 8:11.15.

Published in Rowing
Page 1 of 3

For all you need on the Marine Environment - covering the latest news and updates on marine science and wildlife, weather and climate, power from the sea and Ireland's coastal regions and communities - the place to be is Afloat.ie.

Coastal Notes

The Coastal Notes category covers a broad range of stories, events and developments that have an impact on Ireland's coastal regions and communities, whose lives and livelihoods are directly linked with the sea and Ireland's coastal waters.

Topics covered in Coastal Notes can be as varied as the rare finding of sea-life creatures, an historic shipwreck with secrets to tell, or even a trawler's net caught hauling much more than just fish.

Other angles focusing the attention of Coastal Notes are Ireland's maritime museums, which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of our nautical heritage, and those who harvest the sea using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety pose an issue, plying their trade along the rugged wild western seaboard.

Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied as the environment they come from, and which shape people's interaction with the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

Marine Wildlife

One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with Marine Wildlife. It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. And as boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify, even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat. Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse, it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to our location in the North Atlantic, there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe. From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals, the Marine Wildlife category documents the most interesting accounts around our shores. And we're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and video clips, too!

Also valuable is the unique perspective of all those who go afloat, from coastal sailing to sea angling to inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing, as what they encounter can be of great importance to organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG). Thanks to their work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. But as impressive as the list is, the experts believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves, keep a sharp look out!

Weather

As an island in the North Atlantic, Ireland's fate is decided by Weather more so than many other European countries. When storm-force winds race across the Irish Sea, ferry and shipping services are cut off, disrupting our economy. When swollen waves crash on our shores, communities are flooded and fishermen brace for impact - both to their vessels and to their livelihoods.

Keeping abreast of the weather, therefore, is as important to leisure cruisers and fishing crews alike - for whom a small craft warning can mean the difference between life and death - as it is to the communities lining the coast, where timely weather alerts can help protect homes and lives.

Weather affects us all, and Afloat.ie will keep you informed on the hows and the whys.

Marine Science

Perhaps it's the work of the Irish research vessels RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of Marine Science for the future growth of Ireland's emerging 'blue economy'.

From marine research to development and sustainable management, Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. Whether it's Wavebob ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration, the Marine Science category documents the work of Irish marine scientists and researchers and how they have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

Power From The Sea

The message from the experts is clear: offshore wind and wave energy is the future. And as Ireland looks towards the potential of the renewable energy sector, generating Power From The Sea will become a greater priority in the State's 'blue growth' strategy.

Developments and activities in existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector, and those of the energy exploration industry, point to the future of energy requirements for the whole world, not just in Ireland. And that's not to mention the supplementary industries that sea power projects can support in coastal communities.

Irish ports are already in a good position to capitalise on investments in offshore renewable energy services. And Power From The Sea can even be good for marine wildlife if done properly.

Aside from the green sector, our coastal waters also hold a wealth of oil and gas resources that numerous prospectors are hoping to exploit, even if people in coastal and island areas are as yet unsure of the potential benefits or pitfalls for their communities.

Changing Ocean Climate

Our ocean and climate are inextricably linked - the ocean plays a crucial role in the global climate system in a number of ways. These include absorbing excess heat from the atmosphere and absorbing 30 per cent of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity. But our marine ecosystems are coming under increasing pressure due to climate change.

The Marine Institute, with its national and international partners, works to observe and understand how our ocean is changing and analyses, models and projects the impacts of our changing oceans. Advice and forecasting projections of our changing oceans and climate are essential to create effective policies and management decisions to safeguard our ocean.

Dr Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute, said, “Our ocean is fundamental to life on earth and affects so many facets of our everyday activities. One of the greatest challenges we face as a society is that of our changing climate. The strong international collaborations that the Marine Institute has built up over decades facilitates a shared focusing on our changing ocean climate and developing new and enhanced ways of monitoring it and tracking changes over time.

“Our knowledge and services help us to observe these patterns of change and identify the steps to safeguard our marine ecosystems for future generations.”

The Marine Institute’s annual ocean climate research survey, which has been running since 2004, facilitates long term monitoring of the deep water environment to the west of Ireland. This repeat survey, which takes place on board RV Celtic Explorer, enables scientists to establish baseline oceanic conditions in Irish waters that can be used as a benchmark for future changes.

Scientists collect data on temperature, salinity, water currents, oxygen and carbon dioxide in the Atlantic Ocean. This high quality oceanographic data contributes to the Atlantic Ocean Observing System. Physical oceanographic data from the survey is submitted to the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) and, in addition, the survey contributes to national research such as the VOCAB ocean acidification and biogeochemistry project, the ‘Clean Atlantic’ project on marine litter and the A4 marine climate change project.

Dr Caroline Cusack, who co-ordinates scientific activities on board the RV Celtic Explorer for the annual survey, said, “The generation of long-term series to monitor ocean climate is vital to allow us understand the likely impact of future changes in ocean climate on ecosystems and other marine resources.”

Other activities during the survey in 2019 included the deployment of oceanographic gliders, two Argo floats (Ireland’s contribution to EuroArgo) and four surface drifters (Interreg Atlantic Area Clean Atlantic project). The new Argo floats have the capacity to measure dissolved ocean and biogeochemical parameters from the ocean surface down to a depth of 2,000 metres continuously for up to four years, providing important information as to the health of our oceans.

During the 2019 survey, the RV Celtic Explorer retrieved a string of oceanographic sensors from the deep ocean at an adjacent subsurface moored station and deployed a replacement M6 weather buoy, as part of the Irish Marine Data Buoy Observation Network (IMDBON).

Funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the IMDBON is managed by the Marine Institute in collaboration with Met Éireann and is designed to improve weather forecasts and safety at sea around Ireland. The data buoys have instruments which collect weather and ocean data including wind speed and direction, pressure, air and sea surface temperature and wave statistics. This data provides vital information for weather forecasts, shipping bulletins, gale and swell warnings as well as data for general public information and research.

“It is only in the last 20 years, meteorologists and climatologists have really began to understood the pivotal role the ocean plays in determining our climate and weather,” said Evelyn Cusack, Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann. “The real-time information provided by the Irish data buoy network is particularly important for our mariners and rescue services. The M6 data buoy in the Atlantic provides vital information on swell waves generated by Atlantic storms. Even though the weather and winds may be calm around our shores, there could be some very high swells coming in from Atlantic storms.”