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Displaying items by tag: Salmon

#MarineScience - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has officially opened a new laboratory at its research facility on its National Index Sea Trout Catchment (River Erriff) at Aasleagh Lodge in Leenane, Co Galway.

IFI says it will continue to invest resources in the Erriff research station, as the outputs from research conducted here will be vital for the future conservation and management of sea trout.

International sea trout expert Dr Graeme Harris, who gave the keynote address at the launch, congratulated IFI on its renewed focus on sea trout and emphasised the importance of world class science on this iconic species.

While research and data collection on both salmon and sea trout has taken place at the Erriff research facilities for over 30 years, a significant new research programme was initiated at the Erriff in 2014.

This new study, which saw the release of sea trout fitted with acoustic tags to sea, aims to investigate migration, distribution, habitat usage and survival of sea trout and salmon smolts in the marine environment on the west coast of Ireland.

Speaking at the launch, IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne said his organisation "is committed to applied scientific research that is designed to answer important conservation and management questions.

"We have prioritised research on sea trout and are fortunate to have these excellent facilities at this location. We rely on excellent data and scientific analysis which informs future management decisions.”

The Erriff fishery is located at the head of Killary Harbour near the village of Leenane in Connemara. The fishery was purchased by the Irish State from Lord Brabourne in 1982 and has since operated as a salmon and sea trout angling and research fishery.

The river has a large lake in its headwaters, Tawnyard Lough, and a downstream fish trap has operated at the lake exit since 1983. This facility allows assessment of sea trout stocks on an annual basis.

Published in Marine Science

#FishFarm - Undercurrent News reports that Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) is seeking a High Court injunction against Marine Harvest Ireland over an unauthorised pipeline used to extract water from a freshwater lough to treat salmon at its farm on the Galway coast.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the operators of the salmon farm at Kilkiernan Bay installed a pipeline more than 3km long connected to nearby Loughaunore in order to treat an outbreak of amoebic gill disease.

But Galway County Council had not yet made any decision on permitting the pipeline, which was proposed for exemption from standard planning requirements.

The council has since ruled that the development was unauthorised and did require planning permission.

Yet the pipeline remains in place - prompting FIE to seek an injunction against the Irish branch of the Norwegian seafood giant under Section 160 of the Planning and Development Act. More on the story HERE.

Meanwhile, Marine Harvest has been identified as the "most likely" foreign investor to be attracted by the controversial fish farm proposals for Galway Bay and elsewhere, as Victoria White writes in the Irish Examiner.

The columnist visited Inishbofin in Co Galway and Inishturk in Co Mayo, close to the latest proposed location for massive farmed salmon operations, to get the local perspective, and found some vociferous arguments against the shape of BIM's plans - particularly the damaging effects of large-scale monoculture as opposed to smaller but widespread sustainable schemes.

Published in Fishing
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#Angling - Joe McHugh, Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resources, has announced €230,000 in funding for the rehabilitation of wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout stocks under the Salmon Conservation Fund, managed by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).


Some 24 projects have been approved under the fund, and beneficiaries of this year's scheme include angling clubs, private fishery owners, riparian owners and tourism organisations.

Funds will be distributed across the country with the main beneficiaries undertaking projects on the rivers and tributaries of Castletown, Fane, Dee, Boyne, Vartry, Nore, Suir, Cork Blackwater, Lower Shannon, Newport, Glen and Crana.

The fund was open to contributors to the scheme with works to include: fish passage improvement; spawning enhancement; in-stream structures (such as repairs to weirs, insertion of deflectors, rubble mats, random boulders); river bank protection; fencing to restrict livestock access to the river; and tree pruning, along with the removal and control of exotic invasive species.

These works will contribute towards the rejuvenation of Ireland's wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout stocks with a view to opening further rivers in the coming years to facilitate angling and commercial fishing activities.

The works are seen as an important initiative to conserve, develop and protect the country's valuable natural resources, especially in light of the continued decline of salmon stocks, among other key species, in the Irish Sea.

Minister McHugh commented: "The Salmon Conservation Fund is an annual fund open to contributors to the scheme and I would encourage all those interested in the promotion of our wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout fisheries to consider suitable projects for consideration under the fund for 2015 and beyond."

Full details of the Salmon Conservation Fund can be obtained on the IFI website HERE.

Published in Angling
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#salmon – Salmon and sea trout from the North Sea will create Yorkshire's most valuable fishery worth at least £12 million a year - in a river barred to them for nearly 40 years.

A barrage on the Derwent river, at Barmby on the Marsh, will be opened eight hours a day from next Saturday (May 24) instead of always being closed. It will allow thousands of salmon and sea trout migrating along the Ouse from the sea to enter the 72-mile river and its tributaries.

It is Yorkshire's biggest river system covering 2,057 square kilometres (794 square miles) and ideal for spawning.

East Yorkshire Rivers Trust masterminded the plan and estimates anglers will now catch 500 salmon and 1,400 sea trout in the river each year.

"That will add £12.5 million to the local economies in Ryedale and districts along the river," said John Shannon, the trust's Derwent restoration project officer.

The barrier was built in the mid 1970s where the river joins the Ouse near Drax power station, to help abstract water. Its boat lock was only opened occasionally so closing off the river to the tidal Ouse and migrating fish.

Mr. Shannon said opening it eight hours a day would safeguard the water supply. Later it was expected to be always open. "With more fish each year there will eventually be ten times more anglers further increasing the benefit to the local economy."

The last time salmon were reported in any numbers in the Derwent was 1976 at Stamford Bridge.

The formal opening of the barrage on Saturday is one of several events in Britain marking World Fish Migration Day.

There will also be an eel stocking when thousands of baby eels will be released. Other fish populations in the river including flounder, lamprey and shad are expected to increase.

At present Yorkshire's most valuable river is the Esk where anglers land 200 salmon and 600 sea trout each year.

East Yorkshire Rivers Trust will be partnered at the event by the Institute of Fisheries Management, the Environment Agency, Natural England and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

Space is limited and anyone wishing to attend should e-mail Mr. Shannon at [email protected] to reserve place.

Published in Angling
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#Angling - The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources has issued new bye-laws for anglers on conservation of salmon and sea trout on three rivers in the West of Ireland.

Bye-law No 917 provides for catch and release in respect of salmon and sea trout over 40cm in length in the Newport River including the waters of Lough Beltra and the Crumpaun River, Co Mayo during the period 20 March to 11 May 2014. More details HERE.

Bye-law No 918 provides for catch and release in respect of salmon and sea trout over 40cm in length in the portion of the Lower Shannon from O’Brien’s Bridge downstream, on the downstream face of the bridge, to Thomond Bridge in Limerick City during the period 1 March to 30 September 2014.

This bye-law also prohibits the use of worms as bait and any fish hooks other than single barbless hooks in angling for salmon and trout in those waters. More details HERE.

And Bye-law No 919 provides for catch and release in angling of salmon and sea trout over 40cm in length in the River Feale, including the Galy and Brick, from 1 March to 11 May 2014, and a bag limit of four fish during the period of 12 May to 30 September subject to a daily limit of one fish during this period.

This bye-Law also prohibits the use of worms as bait and any fish hooks, other than single barbless hooks, in angling for salmon and sea trout over 40cm in length up to 11 May and also from 12 May onwards once the permitted limit had been reached in those waters. More details HERE.

Published in Angling

#FishFarm - Any decision on the proposed deep-sea organic salmon farm for Galway Bay is at least six months off, as Galway Bay FM reports.

That was the message from the Department of the Marine after Galway TD Eamon O'Cuiv raised the matter in the Dáil this week.

Previously the Fianna Fáil deputy for Galway West had called on Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) to withdraw its application for the 500-hectare fish farm off Inis Oírr in the Aran Islands in light of dispute over the potential impact of sea lice on the region's wild salmon stocks.

His call, in turn, came after the European Commission halted progress on BIM's plans last November amid concerns regarding scientific studies on the impact of disease at what would be the largest aquaculture scheme of its kind in Europe.

Published in Galway Harbour

#FishFarms - Fish farming has been suspended by one of Ireland's largest salmon aquaculture firms due to the current poor weather and effects of warming waters, according to The Irish Times.

In its latest quarterly report, Marine Harvest cited "very challenging" conditions in Irish waters thanks to last summer's high sea temperatures, which in turn have resulted in a big rise in jellyfish numbers.

And the situation has been exacerbated by "the most consistently stormy period since Marine Harvest Ireland began farming in Ireland in 1979" that have also wreaked havoc for coastal shellfish farms.

The conditioons have preventing access to coastal fish farming sites, according to the firm's technical manager Catherine McManus, who said operations are expected to resume later this month.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing

#MarineWildlife - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) funded the Coastal and Marine Research Centre (CMRC) and University College Cork, in conjunction with partners in UCC's School of Biology, Ecology and Environmental Science (BEES) and the Marine Institute to undertake a two-year pilot study to investigate seal predation on salmon stocks in the Moy and Slaney estuaries.

In the study, which began in August 2011 and continued to August 2013, salmonids were found in the diet of both grey and harbour seals using identification of salmonid bones recovered from the scat (faeces) of seals collected at seal haulout sites in the Moy and Slaney.

Salmonids were recovered in relatively low numbers, representing only 1.6% of the total prey numbers in the Slaney in Co Wexford and less than 5% in the Moy in Co Sligo. But due to the large size of individual salmonids, they comprised approximately 15% of the total prey biomass consumed.

The presence of salmonids in the diet of seals is likely to represent consumption of both salmon (Salmo salar) and sea trout (Salmo trutta), with contribution to the diet related to seasonal abundance.

Genetic techniques were employed to confirm salmonid species identification based on hard structures, with both salmon and sea trout DNA being detected in scats.

The removal of salmonids by seals, or other predators, must be placed into context of the amount removed by fisheries. In the Moy, 6,564 salmon were caught (non-­release) by rod fisheries (five-year average, P Gargan IFI pers comm) which is likely to be far higher than that removed by seals in the area.

However, smaller salmon population units are most vulnerable to predation, and even low levels of predation by 'specialist' seals (or other predators) could have disproportionately large effects on small salmon population units such as in the Slaney.

The full report is available to download as a 4.3MB PDF file HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#salmon – The Government has approved a suite of regulations and bye-laws that will govern the wild salmon fishery in 2014. These will come into effect from Tuesday 1 January 2014.

Minister O'Dowd at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources said "I am pleased to note that 87 rivers will open for angling activity in 2014. Fifty seven rivers will be fully open while a further 30 will be open for angling on a "catch & release" basis. This will provide opportunities for commercial fishermen and anglers to share this important resource on a sustainable basis."

"In 2012 I lowered the cost of fishing licences and I have decided to maintain that price cut for 2014. I am anxious that lower costs will encourage sales of annual licences and incentivise angling tourists to avail of the Ireland's first-class angling product", he added.

Minister O Dowd received management and scientific advice on the current status of Irish salmon stocks from Inland Fisheries Ireland and considered submissions received through the public consultation exercise. Based on this he has introduced conservation measures for the management of the wild salmon and sea trout fishery in 2014.

In all, the Independent Standing Scientific Committee for Salmon (SSCE) assessed 143 rivers and have advised that:-

· 57 rivers are open as a surplus of fish has been identified in these rivers;

· 30 rivers have been classified as open for angling on a "catch and release" basis only; and

· 56 rivers are closed as they have no surplus of fish available for harvest in them.

The Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme Regulations for 2014 are in essence unchanged from the Regulations which were introduced for 2013. A number of minor amendments to the Regulations, recommended by Inland Fisheries Ireland, will provide for more effective administration of the tagging scheme regulations in 2014.

Summary of main changes to the management of the wild salmon fishery in 2014

3 Rivers which were closed in 2013 will open for "catch & release" in 2014

Clonee (Kerry Fishery District), Owenagarney (Limerick Fishery District), Skivaleen (Limericky Fishery District),

4 Rivers which were open in 2013 will be "catch & release" in 2014

Suir (Waterford Fishery District), Owenmore (Kerry Fishery District), Owenwee (Ballyshannon Fishery District), Owenmore (Bangor Fishery District)

6 Rivers which were open for "catch & release" in 2013 will open for harvest in 2014

Screebe (Connemara Fishery District), Bunowen (Ballinakill Fishery District), Owenwee Belclare (Ballinakill Fishery District), Glyde (Dundalk Fishery District), Argideen ( Cork Fishery District), Sheen (Kerry Fishery District)

1 River which was open for catch and release in 2013 will close in 2014

Owenavorragh (Wexford Fishery District)

Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme Regulations, 2013 for the 2014 season provide for, among other things, the total allowable catch of fish that can be harvested by commercial fishing engines and rod and line from identified rivers.

Conservation of Salmon and Sea trout (bag limits) Bye-law No. 915, 2013 provides for an annual bag limit of 10 fish being either salmon or sea trout (over 40 cm) per angler and provides for a season bag limit of 3 fish in the period 1 January to 11 May, a daily bag limit of 3 fish from 12 May to 31 August and a daily bag limit of 1 fish from 1 September to the end of the season. The Bye-law also provides for the use of single barbless hooks and prohibits the use of worms as bait once the specified number of fish have been caught in the specified periods.

Conservation of Salmon and Sea trout (catch and release) Bye-law No. 914, 2013 provides for catch and release in respect of salmon and sea trout (over 40 cm) in rivers that are meeting at least 65% of their Conservation Limit as mentioned in the Bye-law. The Bye-law also provides for the use of single barbless hooks and prohibits the use of worms as bait in angling for salmon and sea trout over 40 cm.

Conservation of Salmon and Sea trout (closed rivers) Bye-law No. C.S. 316, 2013 prohibits the taking or attempting to take by rod and line salmon and sea trout over 40 cm in the rivers specified in the Bye-law.

Angling Byelaw 913, 2013

This Bye-law prohibits the use of any fish hooks, other than single barbless hooks, and also prohibits the use of worms as bait in angling for all species of fish in the waters specified in the Bye-law and revokes Angling Bye-law No. 907, 2013.

Conservation of Sea Trout Bye-law 916, 2013

This Bye-Law provides for a daily bag limit of 3 sea trout (less than 40 cm in length) and provides for the use of single barbless hooks and prohibits the use of worms as bait once the specified number of sea trout have been caught.

Published in Angling
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#Angling - Christmas Day will see an early start to the new salmon angling season on a select number of fisheries.

As Derek Evans writes in The Irish Times, the early fisheries include the Lower Liffey - from Islandbridge to Leixlip Dam - for catch-and-release angling for the second year running.

Elsewhere, it's been announced that Inniscarra Lake in Co Cork will host the World Feeder Fishing Championships next July.

And a new book on Ireland's sea trout fisheries had recently been published.

Nomads of the Tides by Chris McCully and Ken Whelan details 50 different fishing locations with grid references and information on permits and local accommodation which will surely make it a must for angling tourists.

The Irish Times has more on the new book HERE.

Published in Angling
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Page 10 of 17

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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