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Displaying items by tag: 2012

#FISHING - Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney briefed the Irish Skipper Expo in Galway last weekend on a new initiative promoting the use of selective conservation fishing nets, which allow young fish to escape.

Under the initiative in the Celtic Sea, additional quotas of up to 25% will be made available by the minister to skippers of Irish fishing boats which use an escape panel in their nets, allowing young whiting and haddock to escape.

The escape panel, developed by the Irish industry, has been endorsed at EU level and is expected to be a mandatory requirement later in the year.

Minister Coveney said on Saturday: “The use of this panel will significantly reduce discards of juvenile whiting and haddock in the Celtic Sea, allowing juvenile fish to grow and mature and contribute to increased stock size and returns for fishermen in future years.

"I believe that this offers an example of a practical approach to dealing effectively with the discards problem and retention of a flexible quota allocation system that we should take forward in the context of the Common Fisheries Policy Review."

In other news, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) announced €1.5 million in grant aid for the Irish fishing industry at the expo.

A spokesperson for BIM confirmed to the Galway Independent that the funding will be available to industry through a variety of schemes including fleet safety, seafood environmental management, lobster V-notching and coastal action groups.

Over 100 companies displayed their products and services to fishermen at the Irish Skipper Expo International 2012, held at the Galway Bay Hotel on 24-25 February.

Published in Fishing

#DEVELOPMENT - Representatives from the International Sailing Federation's member nations throughout the world will meet at Howth Yacht Club from 17-18 March for the inaugural ISAF Development Symposium.

The aim of the two-day conference is to develop the criteria and future strategy for sail training and development within the governing body of world sailing, based on three core requirements:

  • Fulfilling requirement set out in the ISAF Constitution to develop the sport and increase participation;
  • Providing a structure for the sport to grow to meet expectations of the International Olympic Committee; and
  • Supporting member nations in growing the sport in their own countries.

"Training is the key that will unlock and secure the future for our sport," said the ISAF in its development statement at the federation's annual conference last year.

Dublin was chosen as the host location for this first symposium as it will be hosting the ISAF Youth Worlds in July, just before the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The international delegates, chaired by event organiser and ISAF training and development manager Dan Jaspers, will be supported by a group of ISAF representatives such as vice president Nazli Imre, development and youth committee chairman Olivier Bovyn, ISAF-nominated experts and the World Youth Sailing Trust coach, as well as invited specialist technical advisors.

More information about the ISAF Development Symposium is available HERE.

Published in News Update

#KAYAKING - The University of Limerick were overall winners in the 2012 Irish Kayaking Intervarsities at GMIT Castlebar last weekend.

As the Mayo Advertiser reports, some 500 students were on hand for the three days of competition, which kicked off with canoe polo on Lough Conn (won by GMIT over DCU).

Saturday's action saw the whitewater contest on the Clydagh River, with Limerick emerging on top, and the freestyle event on the River Clare at Tuam Wave.

Sunday closed with the long distance event at Lough Lannagh, which clinched the weekend for UL's kayakers.

Mayo also hosted the Irish Intervarsity Sailing Championships in Rosmoney last week, which attracting 200 students to the Westport area.

Published in Kayaking

#MCIB - The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) has called for better safety awareness among leisure boat users in its report into the deaths of two men off Helvick Head in Co Waterford in May 2010.

John O'Brien and Pat Esmonde were lost overboard from their small RIB on 23 May 2010, and their remains were recovered two days later. Post-mortems confirmed that both died by drowning.

The report does not conclude exactly how the incident occurred. But accounts from eyewitnesses who sighted the men in the minutes before state that neither was wearing a lifejacket, despite the legal requirement to do so - and despite O'Brien having no seafaring experience and Esmonde being unable to swim, as confirmed by their families.

The MCIB also noted that while there were two lifejackets aboard the vessel, they were for emergencies and not suitable for constant wear as per the requirements for the vessel class.

Other safety issues highlighted include the kill-cord on the engine, which was not being used, and the fact that the initial distress call was made by mobile phone and not VHF radio.

Though neither had any bearing on this specific incident, the MCIB warned in particular that mobile phone calls are closed in nature, whereas VHF distress calls can be heard and answered by any vessel in the vicinity.

The board recommends that the Minister for Transport "undertakes a highly visible information poster campaign on piers and launching areas relating to lifejackets, VHF radio and emergency contact details" and also reminds boaters of their legal obligations.

The full report is available to download as a PDF from the MCIB website HERE.

Published in MCIB

#SURFING - A six-strong Irish team is in Peru to compete in the inaugural World Stand-Up Paddle and Paddleboarding Championships, which commence today (19 February).

The surfers have travelled at their own expense to the Peruvian capital Lima to take part in the International Surfing Association-sanctioned event, where they will contest against paddleboarders from 19 other countries.

“It is the first of its kind and we wouldn’t want to miss out," team member Paul Byrne told TheScore.ie. "The fact that it has been recognised enough to hold an international competition means stand-up padding (SUP) is here to stay.”

Dubliner Byrne first got involved in SUP in Australia, and found on his return to Ireland that he and his friends didn't need to seek out the popular surf out west to keep up with the sport - the swell produced by ferries in Dublin Port is just what they needed (see video of Dave Owens above).

Byrne joins Owens, Finn Mullen, Ed O'Farrell, Keith Gorman and Jane Downes in South America for the World Championships, which run till 25 February.

“We been competing in Europe," he says, "but it is sure to be tough against surfers who are sponsored to do it for a living.”

Published in Surfing

#TALL SHIPS - The organisers of the Tall Ships Races visit to Dublin are inviting young people to get involved by becoming 'trainees' aboard the fleet as they race from Spain to Ireland this summer.

The 18 ships (as of last November) are set to sail from A Coruña in northern Spain to Dublin on the final leg of this year's race over an estimated ten-day period from 13-23 August.

Young people across Ireland can now apply to be trainees on board the tall ships and take part in a voyage as crew. No previous experience is necessary.

Open information days are planned for this weekend from tomorrow (Friday) 17 February to Sunday 19 February from 12pm to 6pm daily at the CHQ building in the IFSC, close to the Jeannie Johnston museum.

Anyone that is interested in taking part or receiving further information can register at www.dublintallships.ie/trainees/

Meanwhile, organisers are also making funding available for the young people of the capital.

The Dublin City Tall Ships Funding will cover the costs of 25 trainees from Dublin to sail on the ships as they race from Spain.

Any youth organisation within Dublin City Council Administrative Area can nominate members of their organisation. Alternatively, individuals may apply and seek the nomination of a youth organisation such as a youth group or community group; school or college; sports club or Scouts group.

Details about this funding programme and other opportunities are included in the information bulletin attached below.

For further information contact trainee recruitment officer Michael Byrne at [email protected]

Published in Tall Ships

#OLYMPICS - Yesterday Ireland's Olympic hopefuls celebrated recognition of their success in the 2012 round of funding.

But cuts to the budget of the Irish Sports Council (ISC) have prompted a "major" review of high performance programmes from 2013 onwards, the Irish Independent reports.

Finbarr Kirwan, director of high performance at the ISC, said: "Changes are coming, things are tight and we will have to make strategic cuts in the next two years."

The result could be fewer grant awards of lesser value for athletes, as Olympic qualification standards are set to get tougher from here on out.

The two tiers below 'podium class' - in which individuals receive awards of €20,000 and €12,000 respectively - are expected to be hardest hit in the review.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, canoeing's Eoin Rheinisch, swimmer Grainne Murphy and sailors Annalise Murphy, Peter O'Leary and David Burrows each received the top level of funding of €40,000 each, which is on a par with last year's support.

The Irish Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in Olympics 2012

#ANGLING - Two Newtownabbey anglers are part of a six-man Northern Ireland team competing at the 2012 Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championships, which started yesterday in Tasmania.

The Newtonabbey Times reports that Kenny Ferguson and team captain Alan R McDade set out for the Australian island last Wednesday for the competition that runs till 19 February.

They join Campbell Baird and Harvey Hutchinson from Carrickfergus, Banbridge angler Neil Cardwell and Harry McAteer Jr from Belfast for the week-long contest.

The six - who qualified from contests held throughout Ireland organised by the Trout Anglers Federation of Ireland - also comprise the first full team that Northern Ireland has entered in the competition.

Published in Angling

#VOLVO OCEAN RACE - The producer of Jameson whiskey has been announced as the spirit and wine sponsor of the Volvo Ocean Race Festival in Galway this summer.

The Galway Independent repors that Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard will be represented at the festival by their brands Jameson, GH Mumm champagne and Brancott Estate wine.

Managing director Pat Magee said: “We are delighted to be the spirits sponsor of the Volvo Ocean Race.

"It is a huge honour for Galway and Ireland to be chosen as the final destination, and a real opportunity for Ireland to show to an international audience our capabilities and successes."

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, organisers of the Volvo Ocean Race stopover this July have promised the event will be "bigger and better" than the previous visit in 2009.

The City of the Tribes competed with 81 locations around the world to be given the honour of hosting the final leg and the closing ceremony of the classic race.

The Galway Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in Volvo Ocean Race

#KITESURFING - Ireland will be one of four stops on the 2012 Kite Surf Pro World Championship Tour to decide the best wave kitesurfers in the world, Surfer Today reports.

Kicking off in Cascais, Portugal in June before heading to Mauritius in September, the tour will come to Ireland's west coast - described as "Europe's secret kite surfing jewel and home to one of the planet's biggest waves" - from 19-28 October.

According to Surfer Today: "Ireland's Kite Surf Pro will incorporate a unique mobile format, capable of showcasing each day's action at the choicest of locations on the country's wild and swell-abundant west coast."

The tour will wrap up in Maui, Hawaii from 29 November to 8 December, where the €15,000 prize purse wil be up for grabs at the famed surfing venue of Ho'okipa.

Surfer Today has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kitesurfing
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Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.

 

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

©Afloat 2020

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