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Displaying items by tag: Shipping

#NEWS UPDATE - Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney has launched a public consultation process on harnessing the potential of Ireland's vast marine resources.

Our Ocean Wealth is calling for input into how Ireland can best capitalise on the trillion-euro global market for marine products and services, from seafood and tourism to shipping, oil and gas, renewable ocean energy and marine science.

Launching the consultation, Minister Coveney said: "We need to change the way we in Ireland think about the sea and look for new opportunities to harness the potential of our 220-million-acre marine resource.

"This government is determined to generate the momentum to drive forward a new era of sustainable economic development across the maritime sectors - we must avail of these opportunities to assist in our recovery. We want your help to shape our plan, to shape our future and to assist in our drive towards our nation's economic recovery."

The consultation process is a step towards developing an Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland intended to grow the percentage of GDP generated by the country's marine resource, which covers an area 10 times the size of Ireland's land mass.

The minister added: "We need an Integrated Marine Plan to harness our ocean wealth, get the environment right for investment and use the potential of our marine economy to create jobs in a sustainable manner."

The consultation phase will be open until 31 March with an aim to publish the Integrated Marine Plan during the summer. For more details visit www.ouroceanwealth.ie.

Published in News Update

 

#CORK – January 2012 kicked off to a good start for the Port of Cork with over 76,000 tons of dry bulk animal feeds unloaded in one week, a record for the Port. The high quantity of feed which was unloaded as part cargo from five large bulk carriers, gives a welcome boost to the quantities of dry bulk material handled by the Port of Cork.

In the Republic of Ireland bulk cargoes have seen an increase of 2% across all ports and this growth is a reflection of the growing confidence in the agricultural sector.

Commercial Manager, Captain Michael McCarthy said: "Unloading over 76,000tonnes of dry bulk animal feeds at Ringaskiddy Deep-water Terminal in five days is an excellent boost for the port. It demonstrates the port's capabilities when it comes to handling large ships with efficient and safe turnaround times. Many of the main feed importers are utilising the Port of Cork's deep-water capacity with Panamax vessels arriving fully laden to lighten before proceeding to other Irish or UK Ports"

Published in Port of Cork

#SHIPPING - The Greek-owned cargo ship which ran aground off New Zealand three months ago - described as the country's worst maritime disaster - has split in two in heavy seas.

In a scene thankfully avoided closer to home, with the successful tranfer of 54,000 tonnes of vacuum gas oil from the damaged tanker Germar Companion in Belfast Lough, rough conditions off the New Zealand coast have caused the stern section of the Rena to snap off.

As many as 300 containers were washed overboard, polluting the water with milk powder and other debris, and fears are growing of a new oil spill in the coming days posing a threat to marine wildlife.

According to BBC News, hundreds of tonnes of fuel have spilled into the sea since the ship first ran aground at the Atrolabe Reef off North Island on 5 October, causing the deaths of hundreds of seabirds.

Though more than 1,100 tonnes of oil have been removed from the stricken vessel, some 385 tonnes remain aboard.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#SHIPPING – The successful transfer of 54,305 tonnes of vacuum gas oil from the vessel Genmar Companion to the BW Seine in Belfast Lough is now complete.

The Genmar Companion had been sheltering off the Copeland Islands since reporting a crack on its deck on 16 December. In order for repairs to take place in Belfast Harbour it was necessary to remove the cargo of oil in Belfast Lough by ship to ship transfer; due to there being no shore reception facilities in Belfast Harbour for a tanker of this size. The operation to transfer the vacuum gas oil was delayed several times due to the extreme weather, but was able to commence yesterday (Friday 6 January).

Hugh Shaw, The Secretary of State's Representative (SOSREP) Maritime Salvage and Intervention, said:

"I am delighted that the ship to ship transfer operation has now been successfully completed, the exclusion zone that was in place will be removed at midnight tonight. I would like to take this opportunity to offer my thanks to all concerned with the operation. In particular I would like to thank Fendercare and the masters and crew of both the Genmar Companion and BW Seine for their professionalism in carrying out the transfer in extremely difficult weather conditions experienced over the past week. In addition the operation could not have taken place without the support of the ship owners/operators, Belfast Harbour, Svitzer Towage and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Finally, I would like to thank the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and Northern Ireland Assembly for supporting the decision to carry out the operation in Belfast Lough, which prevented any further risk to the Genmar Companion or the environment had it been necessary for the damaged ship to seek an alternative place of refuge in less sheltered waters."

Alex Attwood, Northern Ireland Environment Minister, said:

'I think we are all relieved that the operation has now been concluded successfully and that there has been no damage to the Northern Ireland coastline, one of our most beautiful assets.  There have been considerable challenges in managing an operation of this nature during the stormy conditions we have been having.  I would like to thank the Captains and crew of both vessels who worked throughout the night to achieve a successful outcome.  I would also like to commend the Secretary of State's Representative, Hugh Shaw, for his thoroughness and patience in handling this incident.  At all stages he has kept both me and my staff fully appraised of the developments in our combined efforts to ensure that our marine environment was protected.  Most importantly, I am delighted that the environmental sensitivities were recognised and took precedence over commercial considerations throughout the incident."

Published in Ports & Shipping

#GENMAR – After delays due to bad weather, the operation to remove 54,304 tonnes of Vacuum Gas Oil from the merchant vessel Genmar Companion is expected commence imminently (6th January).

Both ships are currently being manoeuvred together by tugs and are being held side- by-side 1.5miles out in Belfast Lough. The cargo is transferred from one to the other using specialist equipment.

The operation to berth, make lines secure and conduct final checks will take several hours before the actual transfer of the oil begins.

The operation to offload the cargo to the tanker BW Seine is expected to take between 24 and 36 hours. For the duration of the operation there will be a one- mile exclusion zone around the Genmar Companion and BW Seine to give the tugs a safe working area.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Tagged under

#SHIPPING - The transfer of hazardous cargo from the stricken tanker at the entrance to Belfast Lough has been delayed yet again due to winds nearing hurricane strength.

The Belfast Telegraph reports that the Genmar Conpanion - which was redirected to Belfast after reporting a cracked hull en route from Rotterdam to New York - will remain sheltering off the Copeland Islands until the weather improves.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the ship-to-ship transfer of 54,000 tonnes of vacuum gas oil was originally scheduled to take place on 31 December last, but the task was pushed back as the receiving ship, BW Seine, was delayed by weather in the North Sea.

It had then been hoped to begin the transfer early yesterday with the receiving ship's arrival, but the strong storm-force winds that have increasingly battered Ireland in the last 36 hours put paid to those plans.

Ship-to-ship transfers can take place in wind speeds of up to 35 knots, but yesterday the wind speed in Belfast Lough was reported as more than double that.

Hugh Shaw, the NI Secretary of State's representative for maritime salvage and intervention, told the Belfast Telegraph: "As soon as we have a window to do the ship-to-ship transfer safely we will take it.

"Winds have been dropping a bit, but it looks unlikely the operation will take place on Wednesday."

Published in Ports & Shipping

#SHIPPING – After delays due to bad weather, the operation to remove 54,304 tonnes of Vacuum Gas Oil from the merchant vessel Genmar Companion is now scheduled to commence later today (2nd January).  The offload tanker BW Seine has now arrived on scene and is anchored close to the Genmar Companion in Belfast Lough.

The Genmar Companion has been sheltering off the Copeland Islands at the entrance to Belfast Lough since 16 December. It was 40 miles west of Tory Island, Co. Donegal, on its journey from Rotterdam to New York, when the Master reported a crack on its upper deck. This crack did not appear to extend to any of the oil cargo holding structures but, as a precautionary measure, the vessel's Master chose to seek both shelter and advice before continuing passage.

The Bermudan-flagged product tanker made its way to the Lough to enable surveyors to inspect the ship. The inspection, by the owners, a representative of the classification society (American Bureau of Shipping) and the MCA took place on 18 December.

Following this inspection all parties agreed that, as a precautionary measure, the cargo should be removed and the ship repaired. As there are no shore reception facilities at Belfast Harbour for a tanker of this size the only option is to transfer the cargo to another vessel (known as Ship To Ship Transfer).

Hugh Shaw, The Secretary of State's Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention said:

"The Ship to Ship transfer operation was originally scheduled to commence on the 31 December, but was delayed primarily due to poor weather conditions experienced by BW Seine en route from Sweden to Northern Ireland. It is also essential that the operation does not impact on the day to day operations of Belfast Harbour.

Subject to availability of tugs, and providing conditions are suitable, both vessels will be placed alongside each other later today and the actual oil transfer will commence shortly thereafter.

This ship to ship transfer will be carried out by Fendercare Marine and the process is expected to take approximately 24-36 hours.

On completion of the operation the Genmar Companion will enter Belfast Harbour for repairs."

Northern Ireland Environment Minister, Alex Attwood, said:

"I have been advised that the transfer operation will be started later today, weather permitting.  Over the period of this incident, I have been actively seeking reassurances that there is no threat to our marine environment.  It is good to see that the plan is now coming together, despite the weather over the last few days.  I am continuing to keep a close eye on all the developments.  My officials are working closely with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and are keeping me fully briefed."

Published in Ports & Shipping
Tagged under

#SHIPPING - The transfer of cargo from the damaged oil tanker sheltering at the entrance to Belfast Lough has been posponed for at least two more days.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the 228-metre Germar Companion - which is carrying 54,000 tonnes of vacuum gas oil - was redirected to Belfast after reporting a cracked hull en route from Rotterdam to New York.

The merchant vessel has been sheltering off the Copeland Islands since 16 December, where an official examination recommended removal of the cargo.

Today (31 December 2011) had been the scheduled start date for the move of the tanker's hazardous cargo by ship-to-ship tranfer. But the move has been delayed as the second ship, the BW Seine, is still en route to Belfast Lough.

"It is currently in the North Sea and could take another two days before it reaches the vessel and starts to transfer the cargo," a coastguard spokesperson told the Belfast Telegraph.

The transfer will be managed by specialist company Fendercare Marine in the lough, and could take between 24 and 36 hours. Once finished, the Germar Companion will sail into Belfast for repairs.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#SHIPPING - The Irish Times reports that a tanker carrying hazardous cargo has been allowed to berth at Belfast Port after it reported a cracked hull off the north-west coast.

The 228-metre Germar Companion, which is is carrying 54,000 tonnes of vacuum gas oil, was on route from Rotterdam to New York when its crew discovered cracking in its upper deck some 25 miles off Tory Island.

The Air Corps and Naval Service were stood down after the cargo ship was granted permission to berth at Belfast, where its hull will be inspected.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#MARINE WILDLIFE - Some 46 reports of stranded whales and dolphins in Northern Ireland are among the thousands recorded across the UK over the last six years, according to BBC News.

A new study co-ordinated by the Zoological Socoety of London (ZSL) shows that some 3,500 cetaceans were stranded on the British coastline between 2005 and 2010.

Though year-on-year figures have fallen overall, is presumed that many more strandings have gone undetected.

Many were found to have died of disease or starvation – particular harbour dolphins.

But human activity such as fishing, shipping and chemical pollution also poses a significant threat to marine wildlife in the waters around the British Isles, said Rob Deaville of the ZSL.

The public is being encouraged to report stranded marine mammals to help create a more accurate picture.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

 

At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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