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Displaying items by tag: petition

Just 34 breeding pairs of curlew were confirmed in the fifth year of the Curlew Conservation Programme, according to figures in its 2021 report.

And of that number — recorded across nine important breeding areas — only nine pairs were confirmed to have produced fledglings, a breeding success rate of just 26%.

While the breeding productivity rate of 0.50 fledglings/breeding pair is above the threshold of 0.43 required for a stable population, it continues a significant trend of decline since 2019 when the rate was 0.81.

The figures have prompted an online petition to Minister of State Malcolm Noonan amid fears that the Irish breeding curlew “is headed to extinction” due to human activity.

It calls on the minister and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to take action on a number of points, including an immediate increase in funding for curlew conservation, and establishing an integrated stakeholder emergency taskforce” led by the current conservation programme.

It also appeals for allocating former Bord na Mona peatlands as priority habitats for curlews, and initiating a review of commercial forestry licensing “where the habitat is favourable to ground-nesting birds”.

“If these actions are not taken, the Irish curlew will be lost within the next decade,” the petition organisers say. “This will be a preventable tragedy we can not stand idly by and let happen.”

The wading birds are winter visitors to Ireland’s inland and coastal wetlands, but also breed in inland floodplains and bogland, in rough pastures, meadows and heather.

However, according to Birdwatch Ireland their numbers and range “have declined substantially in recent decades. It is likely that increased afforestation and agricultural improvement are responsible for these declines.”

Curlew in Ireland are red-listed as a threatened species.

Published in Marine Wildlife

A plan to store fracked gas in Cork could be illegal a Cork TD has claimed.

It comes as more than 2,000 signatures writes EchoLive.ie, have been gathered on an online petition opposing the potential Cork Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminal.

If it goes ahead, fracked gas from the United States would be imported into Cork harbour.

In 2017 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Port of Cork with US company NextDecade as Afloat previously reported..

It could see an LNG terminal built, using a floating storage and regasification unit.

An online petition was created by the group ‘Not Here Not Anywhere’ who are a grassroots campaign against drilling for oil and gas off the Irish coasts and the development of any new fossil fuel infrastructure in Ireland.

For more click here 

Published in Cork Harbour

A former Fine Gael candidate Julie O’Leary has started a petition in favour of high-rise, high-density development in the docklands.

The petition, reports EchoLive, was signed by close to 400 people in its first few hours online, comes after a flurry of planning applications for tower complexes in the docklands area.

Though the scale and design of the planned towers have been controversial, Ms O’Leary said that developments like these are key for Cork to grow.

“The key to unlocking Cork’s potential is building high density and high rise development in and near the city centre,” she said.

“The Docklands and Tivoli will be key areas for this type of development, but we need to look at all our options within a reasonable distance of the city centre.”

She said that high-density developments would lead to less traffic, greater availability of housing, better public transport, and less urban sprawl.

For further reading on this development click here. 

Published in Waterfront Property

#FerryNews - The animal rights Group Compassion in World Farming Ireland is to target key ferry operators in their latest bid to halt live exports.

The group writes Independent.ie is to target Niclas Martensson CEO of Stena Line and Eamonn Rothwell CEO of Irish Ferries Limited with a petition signed by 4,000 people.

In the petition the Group call on Stena Line and Irish Ferries to stop what they describe as ‘profiting from this inhumane industry’ by allowing their ferries to carry young calves and cattle destined for fattening and slaughter on the continent.

The live export trade is generally seen in the farming community as vital in stimulating price competition and providing an alternative market outlet for farmers.

Indeed the Minister for Agriculture, Michael has said the ongoing search for new third country markets is a priority for his Department, particularly in the context of Brexit.

The Minister has said that his Department attaches the highest significance to animal welfare in the context of the live export trade.

To read comments by the Minister click here in addition Stena RoRo's operated Stena Carrier which earlier this year carried calves to the continent

Published in Ferry

#LobsterPots - Are lobster pots a danger to yachts? That’s the question posed by Yachting Monthly as the UK’s Cruising Association relaunches its campaign to make static-gear fishing safer for small vessels.

The CA has already received nearly 4,000 signatures on its online petition to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to seek “views regarding forceable regulation among other options” for improving the way static fishing gear is marked.

Before its original petition was shut down until after this summer’s UK general election, nearly 6,000 people had signalled their support for the initiative which also has the backing of CA patron and yachting legend Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.

The RYA has additionally launched an online reporting form for boaters to identify incidents of entanglement with poorly marked static fishing gear.

“We think it is time for everybody with an interest to work together to find a solution, particularly one that is cheap and practical for our fishermen,” said a CA spokesperson.

Yachting Monthly has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing

#DALKEY ISLAND PROSPECT - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has joined the chorus of opposition to the proposed oil and gas exploration off Dalkey Island in Co Dublin.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Providence Resources has applied for a foreshore licence to search for oil or gas about 6km out to sea on the Kish Bank Basin.

But the prospect has provoked a split in the local community over the potential risks and benefits, with many calling for a public enquiry into the licence before it is granted.

This evening an urgent meeting in Dun Laoghaire will address the public's concerns, which have been echoed by the IWDG.

"The Kish Bank and adjacent waters are important for cetaceans," said the group in a statement. "In addition, sightings of bottlenose dolphins have increased dramatically in the area following the presence of a group of three individuals since August 2010."

The IWDG is concerned about the potential effects on dolphins and porpoises that "could due to noise generated from the drilling process", noting that "there is little published data on the intensity and effects of sound generated by drilling".

Protest group Protect Our Coast has launched a online petition against the Dalkey Island Prospect citing concerns over the proximity of the drilling area to the mainland as well as the Special Protection Area of Dalkey Island, which is a haven for marine wildlife.

Published in Coastal Notes
A campaigner on Twitter is encouraging supporters to sign an online petition against the closure of coastguard stations across the UK.
So far almost 7,000 signatures have been added to the petition started by Twitter user @Coastguard_SOS in protest at the UK government's plans to streamline the Maritime and Coastguard Agency's nationwide network of rescue centres from 19 to 11.
As previously reportd on Afloat.ie, campaigners in Scotland have made a desperate plea to save the Clyde station from closure in a public consultation.
Northern Ireland's rescue command centre at Bangor on Belfast Lough is among those saved from the chop following a review of reform proposals this past summer.
But concerns remain that resources will be stretched too thin if fewer stations are responsible for broader areas.
"The revised proposals are also unacceptable not least on the basis that vital local knowledge will continue be lost and therefore lives will continue to be out at risk on our coastlines," the petition warns.

A campaigner on Twitter is encouraging supporters to sign an online petition against the closure of coastguard stations across the UK.

So far almost 7,000 signatures have been added to the petition started by Twitter user @Coastguard_SOS in protest at the UK government's plans to streamline the Maritime and Coastguard Agency's nationwide network of rescue centres from 19 to 11.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, campaigners in Scotland have made a desperate plea to save the Clyde station from closure in a public consultation.

Northern Ireland's rescue command centre at Bangor on Belfast Lough is among those saved from the chop following a review of reform proposals this past summer. 

But concerns remain that resources will be stretched too thin if fewer stations are responsible for broader areas.

"The revised proposals are also unacceptable not least on the basis that vital local knowledge will continue be lost and therefore lives will continue to be out at risk on our coastlines," the petition warns.

Published in Coastguard
The Government has three months to start cleaning the toxic waste site in Haulbowline or risk court action by the European Commission, the Irish Examiner reports.
The site at the former Irish Steel plant contains an estimated 500,000 tonnes of waste, including toxic heavy metals and cancer causing materials, and has been blamed for the area's notoriety in having one of the highest cancer rates in Ireland.
Two petitions from local groups totalling 5,500 signatures were presented to the European Parliament's petitions committee in Brussels on Wednesday, according to The Irish Times.
Mary O'Leary, chair of the Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (Chase), outlined to the committe that in spite of four reports between 1998 and 2005 highlighting the dangers of contamination from the site, the Irish State has failed to regulate it or take clean-up action.
Petitions committee member Jean-Francoise Brakland said he "fully agreed" with locals' concerns over the "dangerous mess".
He also commended Environment Minister Phil Hogan for understanding "the difficulties and the challenges of environmental implementation" but cautioned that "we are not going to wait for the next 10 years."
Brakland promised that if no real action was taken on Haulbowline after three months, the commitee would seek a court judgement againt the State.
The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

The Government has three months to start cleaning the toxic waste site in Haulbowline or risk court action by the European Commission, the Irish Examiner reports.

The site at the former Irish Steel plant contains an estimated 500,000 tonnes of waste, including toxic heavy metals and cancer causing materials, and has been blamed for the area's notoriety in having one of the highest cancer rates in Ireland.

Two petitions from local groups totalling 5,500 signatures were presented to the European Parliament's petitions committee in Brussels on Wednesday, according to The Irish Times.

Mary O'Leary, chair of the Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (Chase), outlined to the committe that in spite of four reports between 1998 and 2005 highlighting the dangers of contamination from the site, the Irish State has failed to regulate it or take clean-up action.

Petitions committee member Jean-Francoise Brakland said he "fully agreed" with locals' concerns over the "dangerous mess". 

He also commended Environment Minister Phil Hogan for understanding "the difficulties and the challenges of environmental implementation" but cautioned that "we are not going to wait for the next 10 years".

Brakland promised that if no real action was taken on Haulbowline after three months, the commitee would seek a court judgement againt the State.

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Cork Harbour

Sharks in Irish waters

Irish waters are home to 71 species of shark, skates and rays, 58 of which have been studied in detail and listed on the Ireland Red List of Cartilaginous fish. Irish sharks range from small Sleeper sharks, Dogfish and Catsharks, to larger species like Frilled, Mackerel and Cow sharks, all the way to the second largest shark in the world, the Basking shark. 

Irish waters provide a refuge for an array of shark species. Tralee Bay, Co. Kerry provides a habitat for several rare and endangered sharks and their relatives, including the migratory tope shark, angel shark and undulate ray. This area is also the last European refuge for the extremely rare white skate. Through a European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) project, Marine Institute scientists have been working with fishermen to assess the distribution, diversity, and monthly relative abundance of skates and rays in Tralee, Brandon and Dingle Bays.

“These areas off the southwest coast of Ireland are important internationally as they hold some of the last remaining refuges for angel shark and white skate,” said Dr Maurice Clarke of the Marine Institute. “This EMFF project has provided data confirming the critically endangered status of some species and provides up-to-date information for the development of fishery measures to eliminate by-catch.” 

Irish waters are also home to the Black Mouthed Catshark, Galeus melastomus, one of Ireland’s smallest shark species which can be found in the deep sea along the continental shelf. In 2018, Irish scientists discovered a very rare shark-nursery 200 nautical miles off the west coast by the Marine Institute’s ROV Holland 1 on a shelf sloping to 750 metres deep. 

There are two ways that sharks are born, either as live young or from egg casings. In the ‘case’ of Black Mouthed Catsharks, the nursery discovered in 2018, was notable by the abundance of egg casings or ‘mermaid’s purses’. Many sharks, rays and skate lay eggs, the cases of which often wash ashore. If you find an egg casing along the seashore, take a photo for Purse Search Ireland, a citizen science project focusing on monitoring the shark, ray and skate species around Ireland.

Another species also found by Irish scientists using the ROV Holland 1 in 2018 was a very rare type of dogfish, the Sail Fin Rough Shark, Oxynotus paradoxus. These sharks are named after their long fins which resemble the trailing sails of a boat, and live in the deep sea in waters up to 750m deep. Like all sharks, skates and rays, they have no bones. Their skeleton is composed of cartilage, much like what our noses and ears are made from! This material is much more flexible and lighter than bone which is perfect for these animals living without the weight of gravity.

Throughout history sharks have been portrayed as the monsters of the sea, a concept that science is continuously debunking. Basking sharks were named in 1765 as Cetorhinus maximus, roughly translated to the ‘big-nosed sea monster’. Basking sharks are filter feeders, often swimming with their mouths agape, they filter plankton from the water.

They are very slow moving and like to bask in the sun in shallow water and are often seen in Irish waters around Spring and early Summer. To help understand the migration of these animals to be better able to understand and conserve these species, the Irish Basking Shark Group have tagged and mapped their travels.

Remarkably, many sharks like the Angel Shark, Squatina squatina have the ability to sense electricity. They do this via small pores in their skin called the ‘Ampullae of Lorenzini’ which are able to detect the tiny electrical impulses of a fish breathing, moving or even its heartbeat from distances of over a kilometre! Angel sharks, often referred to as Monkfish have a distinctively angelic shape, with flattened, large fins appearing like the wings of an angel. They live on the seafloor in the coastal waters of Ireland and much like a cat are nocturnal, primarily active at night.

The intricate complexity of shark adaptations is particularly noticeable in the texture of their skin. Composed of miniscule, perfectly shaped overlapping scales, the skin of shark provides them with protection. Often shark scales have been compared to teeth due to their hard enamel structure. They are strong, but also due to their intricate shape, these scales reduce drag and allow water to glide past them so that the shark can swim more effortlessly and silently. This natural flawless design has been used as inspiration for new neoprene fabric designs to help swimmers glide through the water. Although all sharks have this feature, the Leafscale Gulper Shark, Centrophorus squamosus, found in Ireland are specifically named due to the ornate leaf-shape of their scales.

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