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Displaying items by tag: Lough foyle

A newly built 150m oil tanker which ran aground close to the mouth of Lough Foyle earlier this morning has been refloated.

As Afloat reported earlier, the 11,826 tonne Thun Liffey was leaving Lisahally terminal in Derry for Milford Haven when the incident occurred at about 9am. 

The ship grounded on the “Tuns” sandbank, running between the mouth of the Foyle and Magilligan Point. 

No pollution and no injuries have been reported. However, several tugs were dispatched to assist the vessel in refloating on the incoming tide.

The ship has returned to Derry, and it is expected it will be inspected for any damage before it is authorised to leave port again.

The Thun Liffey was built this year (2020) and is sailing under the Netherlands flag.

It had steamed frequently between Derry and Milford Haven this month, and had already discharged its cargo.

It was due to have berthed in Milford Haven at 10 am on Wednesday morning (Dec 30).

Published in Ports & Shipping
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Focusing her attention to the transport heritage on “God’s Side of the peninsula”, Rosie Moulden, Manager of the Inishowen Maritime Museum in Greencastle, revealed the first recorded steamer trip on Lough Foyle took place in 1816.

Speaking to Derry Now, Rosie said: “On August 25, 1816, a Clyde based steamer took an excursion of 30 passengers from Derry to Greencastle. Unfortunately, there is no mention of her name, only that she had come from the Clyde earlier in the month.

“There are reports that a steamer was brought from Glasgow to Derry to provide towage services for barges between Derry and Strabane. She was also used to provide towage services on Lough Foyle and is mentioned as having towed McCorkell’s ship, ‘Marcus Hill’, down-river to Greencastle to catch a fair wind for her outward passage. The ‘Marcus Hill’ was operated by McCorkell’s between 1815 and 1827.

“There may have been two steamers offering towage on the Lough at that time. The ‘Britannia’ was a wooden-hulled paddle steamer, built in Port Glasgow, in 1815.

“In 1820, she made an excursion voyage from the Clyde to the Giant’s Causeway. In 1821, she made another four-day excursion voyage from the Clyde, calling at Derry, Culmore, Redcastle, Moville and Greencastle,” said Rosie Moulden.

The ‘Britannia’ was then bought by Alexander A Laird and Company for the Glasgow and Londonderry Steam Packet Company.

It began a regular Glasgow to Derry service in 1822, with additional calls at Culmore, Quigley's Point, Moville, Greencastle and Portrush.

For more on the Foyle's historic paddle steamer era and photos click here.

Published in Historic Boats

The Loughs Agency is now inviting interested parties to apply for a licence to fish the 2020/2021 native oyster fishery in Lough Foyle.

Applicants will be required to submit a completed application form by post only (standard delivery, not recorded delivery) due to coronavirus restrictions to:

Loughs Agency Headquarters
22 Victoria Road
Derry~Londonderry
BT47 2AB
Northern Ireland

Applicants are also asked not to send additional documents or payment, only the application.

The licence fee is £150 or €166 with fees payable on receipt of licence.

Anyone who held a licence to fish the Lough Foyle native oyster fishery last season will receive an application pack via post.

If you do not receive a pack or you did not hold a licence last season but wish to apply this year, please either download a form or contact +44 (0) 28 71 342100 (lines open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) to receive a hard copy via post.

Interested parties must have completed applications with the Loughs Agency on or before Friday 31 July. No late applications will be accepted.

Published in Fishing

The Loughs Agency’s elicence website is now back online and anglers can purchase licences for the Foyle and Carlingford areas.

Anglers are individually responsible for compliance with their government’s advice and guidance. Anglers should keep up to date with the latest advice from the Public Health Agency (PHA) in Northern Ireland and the Health Service Executive (HSE) in Ireland.

Loughs Agency offices remain closed and the normal licence distributor network is also still under lockdown conditions. Therefore, anyone wishing to purchase a licence should do so through the elicence website.

For anglers requesting carcass tags when they purchase a licence online, these will be posted to your address. Anglers should take this into account when purchasing.

For anglers purchasing a Loughs Agency endorsement licence, please ensure you have already purchased a full season licence or concession licence from DAERA or a full season or district licence from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI). Loughs Agency carryout checks with our colleagues in DAERA and IFI to validate licence purchases.

If you require a Loughs Agency permit for Foyle, Finn or Greenbraes, please contact the Loughs Agency on +44 (0) 2871 342100 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm).

Illegal fishing or pollution concerns can be reported through the Loughs Agency’s Waterwatch reporting tool online or through the 24-hour response line on +44 (0) 2871 342100.

If you require any further assistance, call the Loughs Agency at the above number during normal weekday office hours or email [email protected]

Published in Angling

The postponement of the Clipper Race 2019 – 20 will have a huge effect on the City of Derry where the fleet was due to have its penultimate stop-over at the end of July. Derry City and Strabane District Council say the decision by Clipper Ventures to postpone the Clipper 2019-20 Race is “disappointing news but understandable” considering the current COVID-19 situation being faced across the globe.

As Afloat reported previously, crews were quarantined in the Philippines in mid-March.

The Mayor, Councillor Michaela Boyle said the decision to postpone the Race is the right one in the current climate. This postponement will have an impact on the timing of future races. As the 2019-20 edition’s remaining three legs will be resumed in approximately ten months when the circumnavigation will be completed, the next full edition of the Clipper Race will start in the summer of 2022.

And, again in light of the COVID -19 crisis, the Foyle Maritime Festival of which the Clipper event was a huge part, has also been postponed. Councillor Boyle commented “By working together and looking out for one another we can all do our bit to limit the spread of this virus and protect our local community by taking the necessary precautions to stay safe,”

The economic value of the Festival would have been expected to be substantial, with the 2018 event attracting 220,000 people and bringing in £2.20 for every pound invested by the Council. There were over 84 craft and eleven Clippers on the pontoons and quays in the heart of Derry.

Last week the Loughs Agency visited local primary schools in the Foyle and Carlingford areas as part of the Salmon Ambassadors programme.

The programme, which forms part of the legacy of 2019’s International Year of the Salmon, will see the agency working with eight schools (six in Foyle and two in the Carlingford catchmen) to connect pupils with their local river habitats, and use the lifecycle of the salmon to teach them about the broader themes of biodiversity and ecology.

Loughs Agency education officer Michael Cosgrove said: “Through the Salmon Ambassadors we hope to create an informed generation that will value salmon as they should be valued and most importantly, value the environment we share with the ‘King of the Fish’.”

In their journey to becoming a Salmon Ambassador, pupils will learn about issues effecting the Atlantic salmon from local to global level and reflect upon how modern lifestyles have an impact on local wildlife.

Through a range of activities in class and on the banks of local rivers, pupils will be encouraged to take ownership of wild places and wild things so that they can be better conserved for future generations.

Allan Bogle, community engagement officer, said: “Wach school will also look after around 100 salmonid eggs until they hatch. This a participative education programme which is really hands-on so that each pupil can connect with the salmon and their local river.”

Over the next few months, 163 pupils will undertake a range of activities as they research the migration routes, threats and life cycle of the salmon, before presenting their findings and results at a salmon conference in June.

The Loughs Agency has organised two morning seminars around the theme of maritime heritage in the Foyle and Carlingford areas later this month.

The first will take place at Greencastle Golf Club next Friday 22 November from 9.30am to 12.30pm, while Carlingford Marina will host its seminar the following Friday 29 November at the same times.

Both events will include contributions from Patrick Fitzgerald, a professional historian with a long career in researching genealogy and uncovering the story of migration through the centuries, who will take attendees on a journey of migration through the Foyle and Carlingford loughs.

The Greencastle seminar will also hear from Gerald Crawford, former secretary of the Foyle Fisheries Commission, who will tell the story of commercial salmon fishing across two decades Fishing for Salmon in the Foyle.

Retired mariner Seamus Bovaird will be presenting on paddle steamers on Lough Foyle, while Edward Montgomery, secretary of The Honourable The Irish Society, will speak about the society and the Foyle fisheries, and Wes Forsythe, a career archaeologist with an interest in the Foyle area, will presenting on ;Salt and the Sea;.

In Carlingford, Brendan McSherry, Louth County Council’s heritage officer with a passionate awareness of Carlingford Lough, its shores, hinterland and communities, will present on Carlingford Lough, a barrier or a highway?

Kirstin Lemon, geologist by profession with a broader intent to inform communities about their geology and the influence on their culture, will speak about ‘Mountains, Myths and Maritime: a UNESCO Global Geopark in Mourne Gullion Strangford’.

Finally, Liam Campbell, a researcher with an intense interest in exploring the development of cultures within distinct catchments, will present on the ‘Culture of the Catchment – Source to Sea’.

Admission is free free of charge for both events, however tickets must be obtained through Eventbrite to ensure a place at the Foyle and Carlingford seminars respectively.

In other heritage news, the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has published its report on the public and sectoral meetings held earlier this year on Heritage Ireland 2030, Ireland’s national heritage plan.

Among the issues raised at the sessions in Kilkenny and Galway in February were a lack of joined-up thinking across Government departments with relation to heritage issues, and a recognition of the need to understand heritage in a holistic sense encompassing everything from regional traditions to built heritage and wildlife.

Collective work between scientists and the angling community for the survival of salmon in the cross-border catchments of Foyle and Carlingford was to the fore at the recent conference in Omagh hosted by the Loughs Agency.

Stark warnings over the decline of the species were heard along with presentations from the likes of Dr Diego Del Villar, who discussed the new SeaMonitor project that is currently studying the seas around Ireland, Northern Ireland and western Scotland, and will in time help produce a salmon management plan for the River Foyle.

The Loughs Agency says it will soon launch a public consultation to gauge the views of the public in managing the salmon fishery.

John McCartney, Loughs Agency director of conservation and protection, said: “We value the input and opinion of the public when reviewing our salmon management programme. I would encourage everyone take time to consider and respond to the questions.”

Published in Angling

#Fishing - The UK Government has been accused of “coasting” on plans for Britain’s and in particular Northern Ireland’s fisheries post-Brexit, as the News Letter reports.

MPs on the Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee have written to fisheries secretary Michael Gove for solutions to “the crushing shortage of labour, illegal oyster farming in Lough Foyle and Ireland’s continued suspension of fishing rights under the Voisinage Arrangement.”

The Voisinage Arrangement has existed since the mid 1960s and allowed for mutual access to vessels from the Republic and Northern Ireland up to six miles off the coast of each country.

But the arrangements was suspended in the Republic in 2016 after the Supreme Court ruled that it had not been properly incorporated into Irish law.

The committee have also demanded immediate “timescales” to resolve territorial claims on Lough Foyle, which have not been a practical issue since both countries have been EU member states.

The News Letter has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing

#Oysters - Unauthorised oysters farms have exploded in number on Lough Foyle amid a continued dispute over its ownership, as the Belfast Telegraph reports.

The estuary between the counties of Donegal and Derry remains a point of contention as Brexit looms, with both the UK and Irish governments claiming dominion over its waters.

As a result, there has been a proliferation of unregulated oyster farming that could be worth £20 million or €22.89 million each year, according to the Loughs Agency.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on this story HERE.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under
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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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