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18th March 2011

Ports Must Not be Sold

The self-appointed group of 17 business, public and political figures who drew up their Blueprint for Ireland's Recovery were well-intentioned but appear to have lacked maritime awareness. To propose the sale of the country's ports is a nonsense which must be rejected. At a time when an Irish Government appears to have recovered its appreciation of the importance of the marine sphere it would be a travesty to turn control of the nation's primary channels of access and exit over to private interests. This would be akin to a householder, strapped for cash, selling the doorway to his home and then having to pay others for the right to enter and leave.

Over 90 per cent of the nation's exports and imports move by sea. Our ports are the essential avenue, the doors to Ireland. They are the property of the nation and must work for the people, whose future has been destroyed by the greed of private interests. To suggest that recovery can be achieved by sale of these vital assets is a nonsense and damaging to the interests of the nation.

What is needed is a clear, definitive national ports policy in which the government sets down what the ports are to do for the nation. Their role should be identified clearly, their boards and managements told what they are expected to achieve on behalf of the nation, with penalties for failure.

Fine Gael had committed in its election manifesto, to replacing the existing boards of all State Port companies and Harbour Commissioners within one year of entering government.

Fianna Fail and the Progressive Democrats in government had turned the port companies into semi-private entities, responsible for their own financial operations. While it was indicated that this would improve competitiveness and provide better and more cost-friendly services for users, who would be represented on the company boards, there are differing views about how effective this has been.

Competition is not necessarily always the harbinger of effective service or provision of choice. A small island nation with a limited number of primary ports could have a policy maximising effectiveness, delineating between primary and minor ports providing commercial services, supporting the fishing industry and leisure sectors. There must be containment of costs, efficiency of operation and the best services for exporters and importers. There should be investment where required and could even be provision for private investment. But the ownership should remain with the State on behalf of the people.

The ports are national resources, not to be sold off to private interests.

Those who drew up the recovery report which proposes the sale of the ports represented private interests and included are banking and speculative development interests. They echo, in regard to the ports, a similar proposal in the 'second coming' of Bord Snip Nua'. There are some aspects of their suggestions which merit further consideration, but it is regrettable that people at high levels of position in Ireland appear to not fully appreciate that the nation is a small island for whom the sea and its approaches are of vital importance.

Published in Island Nation
The Irish Wildlife Trust has welcomed the proposed EU ban on discarding fish as part of the Common Fisheries Policy.
The organisation said it was a "vital step" towards "restoring the ecological balance in Irish seas".
IWT chairman Pádraic Fogarty said: “Discarding is tremendously wasteful and is causing untold damage to our marine ecosystems."
EU fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki has described the practice of discarding as “unethical, a waste of natural resources and a waste of fishermen’s effort.”
The proposals to ban discards have come after a high-profile campaign against the practice of fishermen dumping dead fish, through which it emerged that half of all fish caught in the North Sea are thrown back.

The Irish Wildlife Trust has welcomed the proposed EU ban on discarding fish as part of the Common Fisheries Policy.

The organisation said it was a "vital step" towards "restoring the ecological balance in Irish seas".
IWT chairman Pádraic Fogarty said: “Discarding is tremendously wasteful and is causing untold damage to our marine ecosystems."

EU fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki has described the practice of discarding as “unethical, a waste of natural resources and a waste of fishermen’s effort.”

The proposals to ban discards have come after a high-profile campaign against the practice of fishermen dumping dead fish, through which it emerged that half of all fish caught in the North Sea are thrown back.

Published in Fishing

Fancy a pre-season boat bargain? It may well be on offer later this month at a 'liquidation sale of boats' due to take place in County Cork with a selection of unused and used power boats. The sale is by order of Mr. Barry Donohue, KPMG, Liquidator, HM Yachts Ltd (In Voluntary Liquidation).

The boats on offer include three unused Jeanneau motoboats inlcuding the popular Merry Fisher Legend. The vessel comes with Suzuki 50HP Four Stroke Engine and road trailer, ready for the season!

The sale will take place at 12 noon on Tuesday 29 March 2011. Viewing is from 10am - 4pm Monday 28 March 2011 or by appointment. The sale takes place at the Michael Murphy Yard, Mission Hill, Kinsale, Co. Cork. (Across from Bandon Co-Op)

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For sale: The Merry Fisher Legenda 585 Motor Boat

There are ten lots (including a van) but for the boats for sale include:

Unused Jeanneau Cap Camarat 715wa Motor Boat with a Hallmark Double Axle Trailer with Winch and Rollers, White / Blue.

Unused Jeanneau Cap Camarat 515 Style Motor Boat with a Suzuki 50HP Four Stroke Engine, Model DF50, Plus a Hallmark Single Axle Trailer with Winch and Rollers, White / Beige.

Unused Jeanneau Merry Fisher Legenda 585 Motor Boat with Enclosed Cabin with an Indspension Roller Coaster Single Axel Trailer with Winch and Rollers, White / Blue.

2006 Maxum 2400 SC3 26ft Motor Boat with 300Hp Petrol Inboard Engine with Double Axle Trailer, White / Blue.

2005 O'Sullivans Marine 710 23ft Fishing Boat with Cabin, Yanmar 27hp Diesel Inboard Engine, White / Blue, Name Mary-Linda.


For further details, please contact E-Auctions T: +353 45 883 554. More HERE.

Published in Boat Sales
A UK registered fishing vessel the Lynn Marie was detained by the L.E. Orla (P41) seven miles off Bray Head in the early hours of Tuesday for an alleged breach of fishing regulations.
L.E. Orla escorted the Lynn Marie into Dun Laoghaire Harbour at 07.00hrs where the vessel with a crew of four where handed over to the custody
of the Gardai. The L.E. Orla which berthed alongside the harbour's Carlisle Pier, is designated as a coastal patrol vessel (CPV) along with sistership L.E. Ciara (P42).

This is the second detention of a vessel this year. According to the Naval Service in 2010 there were 1666 boardings carried out which resulted in warnings to 70 vessels and eight detentions.

Published in Navy

If you fancy a rummage through a Bosun's locker then boat Jumble sales on three consecutive weekends and at three separate locations will satisfy all bargain hunters when the Irish boating season kicks off in a fortnight's time.

Each show is offering a range of boating, sailing and water sports equipment and accessories. There are new and used pitches and some familiar trade names in addition to second hand boats/dinghies and nautical “car boot” items.

The first opens on March 27th – the weekend when the clocks go forward – and it takes place on the Carlisle Pier in Dun Laoghaire Harbour from 10am to 4pm.

The next is across Dublin Bay when the RNLI stage a boat jumble at Howth Yacht Club on Saturday 2nd April from 10.30am to 1.30pm.

The last show is at Carrickfergus on Belfast Lough and this 'Irish Boat Jumble' is being promoted as the 'biggest' in Ireland. The Antrim show will be on Sunday 10th April starting at 10am.

All are offering economical rates and friends are being encouraged to team up and pool their surplus gear and share the selling task!


Published in Marine Trade
In the UK, National Fishing Month 2010 was a resounding success with 330 events taking place across the country attracting over 13,500 participants of all ages, ethnic backgrounds and social profiles. Research complied by Substance from a sample of 11% of these events showed that 24% of the participants were female, 75% were male, 51% fell into the 7-14 age range and 24% of participants came from the top 30% most deprived areas as listed by the 2007 Index of Multiple Deprivation.

National Fishing Month is believed to have encouraged over 200,000 new anglers into the sport through the events held over the last 19 years.

This year's event, 16th July to 14th August 2011, has already got off to a wonderful start with Dean Macey adding his endorsement to the initiative.

Dean commented: "I have been fishing for as long as I can remember and where ever I go in the world, I will always bump into someone that also loves fishing. It's such a great hobby - you get to spend time outdoors, appreciate Mother Nature, meet some great people and if you're really lucky, witness some marvelous creatures.
Dean continued: "When I was a kid, I found it hard to get my head around school work or any kind of discipline. If it wasn't for fishing and athletics I dread to think where I would be right now. Between them, they gave me something to focus on and keep me off the streets.
"Throughout my athletics career, fishing helped me mentally unwind and I'm sure without it, I would have burnt myself out. Whether it's a day on the rivers, sleeping under the stars on a still water for a few days or jumping on a plane to fuel my passion abroad, I don't mind. I love it all, and for the most part, I think almost everyone would if given the chance. That's why I support National Fishing Month and urge everyone to get involved and take part. Everyone I have ever taken fishing has loved it and you can't keep them off the bank now. Give it a go, you owe it to yourself!"
As in previous years, the focus is to encourage every family member to have a go at fishing from whatever cultural or social background they may be from. The initiative's timing continues to be deliberately planned to incorporate the end of the school terms and more of the school holidays to enable activities to be linked with both schools and families. Again, by extending the timetable, fishery owners, angling coaches and retailers will have a greater span of time to be able to take part and support events in their areas.

National Fishing Month aims to highlight and celebrate angling, bringing the sport to the attention of the general public, generate positive PR in all forms of media and to encourage would-be anglers of all ages and from all backgrounds to try angling and to take it up as an environmentally based recreation. There will be hundreds of events all over the country organised by coaches from the PAA and the ADB, on behalf of the Angling Trust, independent fishery owners, the Environment Agency, fishing tackle retailers and manufacturers who give their time, their fishery pegs and loads of products for free.

Richard Wightman from the Environment Agency added: "We are really pleased to be able to continue our support for NFM in 2011 and beyond. This year offers a fantastic opportunity in the shape of a prolonged and well-timed Easter, May Bank Holiday, plus the additional Royal Wedding break at the end of April. What better time to help more people get into and stay in fishing. Let's all do what we can to make the most out of it."

If you would like to take part and have a go at fishing, take a look at the events that are already listed on the National Fishing Month website www.nationalfishingmonth.com <http://www.nationalfishingmonth.com> and enter your postcode. The events closest to you will then be listed and you can find out more details from there.

Published in Angling
Tagged under
A search for a missing 18 year old boy that was launched after his friends feared he had fallen from Central Pier was stood down at 01.50 this morning after he was found hiding in the crew accommodation of a nearby fishing vessel.

The call came in at 23.40 from a member of the marina staff after the boy's two friends had told him that all three of them had climbed over the gate into the pier, but that their friend had not come back and they were concerned that he must have fallen into the water.

Belfast Coastguard sent the Bangor Coastguard Rescue Team to begin a search, as well as requesting the launch of the Bangor RNLI lifeboat. Members of the Police, Ambulance and Fire Service are also on scene.

At 01.50, the boy was found hiding in a compartment in the crew accommodation of a fishing vessel near the pier, and the search was stood down.

Belfast Coastguard Watch Manager Alan Pritchard said:

"This group of three boys had been at a birthday party in the town before climbing the gate this evening to access the pier.  Incidents such as these remind of us of the dangers of being in proximity to the water when you have been drinking alcohol – be it going swimming, or walking along cliffs or piers.  Although on this occasion the boy has been found safe and well, this could easily have been a much more serious incident."

Published in Coastguard
The Irish Skipper Expo 2011 will be held on the first weekend in March at the Galway Bay Hotel, Salthill. An added attraction to the trade-only show will be the appearance of T.V.s 'The Deadliest Catch' star and acclaimed photographer Corey Arnold.
Last year the show drew over 5,000 fishermen and their families to over 100 exhibitor display stands. Again exhibitors will be selling a wide range of products over the two-day event which is to be held next month.

The exhibition times are Friday 4th March (10:00am - 5:30pm) and on Saturday 5th March the opening hours are repeated (10:00am - 5:30pm). For further information on the trade-only show Tel: (053) 74 954 8037 / 954 8935 or by clicking here

Published in Boating Fixtures

Crosshaven RNLI Lifeboat report that they have recovered the body of a missing fisherman from the sea at Ringabella Bay after information received from a person on shore. The fisherman was lost when the fishing boat sank almost four weeks ago.

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats

RNLI Bangor Lifeboat launched at 1:20 pm on Monday 17th January to assist 1 person aboard a 21ft crab fishing boat which had experienced gearbox mechanical failure close to shore.

Within minutes of the rescue pagers being activated, volunteer crew had launched RNLI Bangor Lifeboat and quickly located the crab fishing boat close to shore near Ballymacormick Point which is 1 ½ nautical miles north east of Bangor Harbour.

Calm weather conditions had allowed the skipper of the fishing vessel to make emergency repairs to the gearbox.

RNLI Bangor Lifeboat escorted the fishing vessel to the safety of Bangor Harbour and assisted the skipper with docking manoeuvres.

This is the first rescue call for RNLI Bangor Lifeboat in 2011.

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Page 71 of 73

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.

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