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Displaying items by tag: Inland Fisheries Ireland

Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels and water users on the Shannon-Erne Waterway that Inland Fisheries Ireland will be conducting a fish stock survey on Lough Garadice in Co Leitrim next week between Monday 4 and Thursday 7 September.

All nets will be clearly marked by orange buoys marked “IFI Survey”, adds the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways.

Masters of vessels and all water users should proceed with additional caution when operating on Lough Garadice during this period.

Published in Inland Waterways

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is seeking submissions in relation to a proposal to reduce the daily bag limit of four brown trout to two brown trout on the rivers Clare, Abbert, Dalgan, Grange and Sinking in the Galway Fishery District.

The current daily bag limit of four brown trout for these rivers is included in the Western Fisheries Region Conservation of Trout Bye-law no. 840, 2008.

Having reviewed the existing bye-law, IFI propose to put in place a separate new bye-law for the aforementioned rivers.

A copy of the existing and proposed new bye-law are available for public inspection at the IFI offices in Galway. The draft bye-law is also available on the IFI website.

The public consultation period will run for the next four weeks and the closing date for receipt of submissions is 5pm on Thursday 14 September.

Submissions should be marked “Public Consultation – Clare River brown trout bag limit” and be submitted by email to [email protected] or by post to:

The Director,
Inland Fisheries Ireland,
Teach Breac,
Earl’s Island,
Galway, H91 E2A2

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) says it is investigating a water pollution incident which took place Monday morning (14 August) east of Cork city.

The incident occurred on the tidal section of the Glashaboy River downstream from the bridge in Glanmire, Co Cork.

IFI was first alerted to the incident by multiple calls to its hotline number at 0818 34 74 24 and staff were on the scene shortly afterwards.

The pollution appeared to have impacted between one and one-and-a-half kilometres of river and caused a blue/grey discolouration of the water.

The freshwater part of the Glashaboy River upstream was unaffected. No fish fatalities have been recorded so far.

IFI staff have taken water samples for analysis.

The State agency for Ireland’s inland fisheries and sea angling resources says is not in a position to confirm the specific cause of the pollution incident at this early stage, but investigations are continuing.

Published in Environment

Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels on and other users of the Shannon-Erne Waterway that Inland Fisheries Ireland will be conducting a fish stock survey on Lough Scur between Monday 14 and Thursday 17 August.

All nets will be clearly marked by orange buoys marked ‘IFI Survey’, adds the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways.

Masters of vessels and all water users should proceed with additional caution when operating on Lough Scur during this period.

Published in Inland Waterways

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has secured combined fines of €8,500 against two separate landowners for destroying stretches of their local rivers in Laois and Tipperary.

In Co Laois, Michael Hosey was convicted of carrying out works on 800 metres of river channel at Trumera, Mountrath, thereby impacting the habitats of trout, lamprey and eels along the river.

In Co Tipperary, Milo Cuddihy was convicted of carrying out instream works on 300 metres of the Lingaun River at Breanormore, affecting the habitats of salmon, trout, lamprey and eel populations.

Cuddihy was fined a total of €4,000, and directed to pay a further €750 in costs to IFI.

IFI became aware of the issue on 28 January this year and the case was heard at Carrick-on-Suir District Court on 5 July.

Separately, Hosey was also found guilty of two breaches of fisheries legislation for the destruction of a local river.

Portlaoise District Court heard Hosey’s motivation for carrying out the work was to drain land to alleviate flooding.

At a sitting on 16 June, the court was told that 800 metres of river channel on Hosey’s property and on an adjoining property had been dug out, deepened, re-profiled and the river bank vegetation removed.

Realignment of the Lingaun River with river-bed material on the bankside | Credit: IFIRealignment of the Lingaun River with river-bed material on the bankside | Credit: IFI

He carried out these extensive instream works in the closed season at his farm in Trumera, Mountrath, Co Laois in December 2022.

Hosey received total fines of €3,000, and was also ordered to contribute €750 towards the costs of the prosecution.

Commenting on both cases, Lynda Connor, South-Eastern River Basin District director at IFI said: “These were acts of ecological destruction. The actions of the defendants demonstrated a real disregard for the rivers, their fish species and habitats.

“IFI will continue to prosecute such illegal activity in fulfilment of its remit to protect and conserve Ireland’s important inland fisheries resource.

“The decimation and removal of a river’s habitat can be devastating in terms of its effects on fish. It can also impact instream biodiversity such as vegetation and insects.”

Connor added: “Landowners need to seek all necessary and relevant information from their advisors, and from Inland Fisheries Ireland, before carrying out any works near, or on, a watercourse adjacent to their land.

“The appropriate window for any instream works is between July and September, but only with the guidance and permission of IFI. During the closed season, from October to June, no works should take place in a river.

“IFI continues to encourage members of the public to report incidents such as this, and those of water pollution, fish kills, and illegal fishing to its 24/7 phone number, 0818 34 74 24.”

Landowners can refer to further guidance on minding Ireland’s watercourses from Teagasc.

Published in Environment

Mackerel, pollack, dogfish, seabass and whiting were the most-widely caught fish species by Ireland’s 250,000 sea anglers in 2022, according to new data from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).

The results are taken from IFI’s Irish Marine Recreational Angling Survey (IMREC) app, which enables anglers to log their catch details on their phones as they fish.

Other data revealed by Irish shore and boat anglers — fishing along more than 3,000km of coastline — during 2022, reveals that:

  • Counties Cork, Clare, Donegal, Kerry and Wexford were hotspots for marine angling;
  • During 2022 anglers spent an average of 42 hours each, fishing by the/at sea;
  • An average of just over 80 fish were caught by recreational fishermen/women annually;
  • During a single trip anglers caught more than six fish;
  • Catch and release rates were over 80%;
  • Approximately six different species were caught per angler annually.

Flounder, poor cod, dab, ballan wrasse and smooth hound were also among the top 10 most-caught fish species brought ashore around Ireland’s coasts last year.

A survey of 1,200 sea anglers by IFI in 2021 showed that more than 90% of respondents said they primarily fished to relax and unwind, and be in the outdoors.

In addition, they reported spending an average of €100 per fishing trip on food and drink, transport and bait.

They paid a further €970 annually on items such as rods, reels and clothing, and on fishing and boating expenses.

Sea anglers of any experience are invited to sign up to the IFI IMREC app, and a explanatory how-to video guide to IMREC is also available.

Commenting on the 2022 figures, Dr Diarmuid Ryan, research officer with IFI said: “We are very keen for more anglers in this community to sign up to our anonymous, free and easy-to-use app.

“Recreational anglers can become citizen scientists by recording information from their own fishing sessions.

“The app provides invaluable intelligence, in the form of pooled and anonymised information, that feeds into a broader European project that monitors marine fish stocks.

“IFI recognises anglers as critical stakeholders that effectively act as environmental stewards in helping to maintain Ireland’s rich marine life resources.”

Hobby fishermen/women who use the online diary tool can easily log their trips; attach photos of their catches; record details such as tide, weather and bait used; and look back over previous sessions on their own interactive map.

The IMREC app is not available via Google Play or Apple App Store but is a web-based app that is accessed through a web browser.

Earlier this week, IFI revealed that a record percentage of wild salmon were placed back in the water after being hooked by fishermen/women in 2022, as reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Angling

A newly published report by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) reveals a record percentage of wild salmon were placed back in the water after being hooked by fishermen/women in 2022.

And IFI’s Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Statistics Report 2022 shows that five rivers in four counties accounted for more than half of all salmon caught in 2022.

Last year, anglers in Ireland released back 54 per cent of their wild salmon catch compared to 52 per cent in 2021 and 51 per cent in 2020.

The Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Statistics Report 2022 outlines the total number of fish caught by all methods (commercial and angling, including catch and release) was 26,715 salmon and 2,082 sea trout.

This is a reduction of 14 per cent on the total salmon catch recorded in 2021 (31,148) but an increase of 30pc of the total sea trout catch recorded that year (1,595).

The report highlights that 53 per cent of all salmon caught last year were taken on just five rivers across four counties: the River Moy in Co Mayo (18%), the River Blackwater (Lismore) in Co Cork (16.1%), the River Laune in Co Kerry (7.3%), the River Corrib in Co Galway (5.9%) and the Lower River Lee in Co Cork (5.4%).

In other notable statistics from the 2022 report, anglers from 42 different countries held salmon rod licences in Ireland in 2022.

Most of these licences were sold to residents of the Republic of Ireland (66.5%), followed by Northern Ireland (11%) and Great Britain (6.6%). Hundreds of anglers from France, Germany and the United States also bought salmon licences in 2022 during trips here.

Commercial fishers caught 15 per cent of the salmon catch in 2022, compared to 21 per cent in 2021 and recreational anglers caught 85 per cent in 2022 compared to 79 per cent in 2021.

A total of 17,318 salmon licences were bought by fishermen and women in 2022 — up some 11 per cent on the corresponding figure for 2021.

Barry Fox, head of operations at IFI said: “Catch-and-release of salmonids in Irelands rivers and lakes is becoming the norm.

“It is very encouraging to see the year-on-year increase in the catch-and-release of salmon. This method supports the angling community to sustainably fish, and conserves our salmon stocks.

“Wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout continue to face numerous risks, including climate change, water pollution and illegal fishing.

“I commend all our stakeholders who participate in the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme, which limits the number of fish that can be retained, and helps ensure its continued success.”

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has secured a prosecution against Uisce Éireann for pollution of the River Liffey at a water treatment plant in Ballymore Eustace, Co Kildare.

At a recent sitting of Naas District Court, Judge Desmond Zaidan convicted Uisce Éireann (formerly Irish Water) of water pollution offences in the Liffey, which dated to June 2022.

The conviction was secured against Uisce Éireann on Monday 3 July under Section 171 of the Fisheries (Consolidation) Act 1959, for allowing deleterious matter to enter the River Liffey’s main channel upstream of Ballymore Eustace.

Uisce Éireann pleaded guilty to the charges and was fined €5,000, and ordered to pay an additional €5,500 in costs and expenses.

Commenting on the case, Brian Beckett, Eastern River Basin District Director at IFI said: “Point-source pollution events such as this are entirely avoidable through good on-site management, regular visual checks, and monitoring of discharge points.

“Effluent discharges can significantly impact fish populations and other aquatic life of receiving waters. River Liffey fish populations, comprising several fish species, are under significant ecological pressure.

“Despite this pressure, the River Liffey remains one of only a handful of European capital cities through which a self-sustaining population of Atlantic salmon migrate.

“Fines imposed in this case will be invested in water quality and habitat improvements in the River Liffey catchment.

“IFI is currently working on a number of initiatives in the River Liffey catchment with regulatory and non-regulatory stakeholders with a view to maximising the sustainability of all fish — including Atlantic salmon — and their habitat.”

Members of the public are encouraged to report instances of water pollution, illegal fishing or fish kills to IFI’s confidential number at 0818 34 74 24.

Published in River Liffey

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is investigating a serious incident near Kinsale in Co Cork in which at least 2,000 fish have died.

The fish kill occurred on the Brownsmills stream in Co Cork and spread over a 4-5km stretch, flowing into the estuary at Kinsale.

Species of fish discovered dead include brown trout and eel. IFI says it first became aware of the issue on Wednesday (12 July) when a member of the public informed staff of seeing dead fish in the stream.

IFI have taken fish and water samples for analysis; Cork County Council Environmental Department are assisting with the investigation.

The State agency responsible for the protection, management and conservation of Ireland’s freshwater fish and habitats says it is not in a position to confirm the specific cause of the fish kill at this early stage, but investigations are continuing.

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has opened the final draw of 2023 for anglers who wish to catch and keep wild salmon and sea trout greater than 40cm from the Lower River Lee in Cork this year.

A further 45 brown tags are being allocated on Monday 24 July, following the first lottery for 45 tags in January, the second for 40 tags in March and the third for 45 tags in May. A total of 180 brown tags are being made available for the season via this series of online lotteries.

The pool system allocates brown tags to anglers who are successful in the lottery system. The tags must be placed on harvested fish along with a blue tag as proof it was lawfully caught and may be retained for private use.

These essential identification rules for salmon angling are in force until the season closes on 30 September 2023.

Commenting on the requirements, Sean Long, director of the Southwest River Basin District at IFI said: “Brown tag regulations for salmon and sea trout are required on the Lower River Lee in Cork to conserve stocks and avoid accidental over-harvesting.

“Where there is a modest harvestable surplus with a risk of over exploitation, this brown gill tag system is introduced to closely monitor the angling quotas.

“The numbers of wild Atlantic salmon returning to our rivers is declining and the risk of over-fishing puts stocks in further jeopardy. Conservation measures such as brown tags are necessary and very effective.”

Three quarters of the available 180 tags have been issued to anglers with a valid 2023 rod licence. Any anglers that are interested in entering the final draw are being asked to apply before the closing date of 5pm on Thursday 20 July.

Anglers with a 2023 rod licence who are not allocated a brown tag are only permitted to fish for salmon and sea trout greater than 40cm on a catch-and-release basis on the Lower River Lee, where the salmon is returned safely to the same waterbody.

Published in Angling
Page 5 of 47

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