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Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has launched a public consultation on the future management of the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme.

The State agency with responsibility for the protection and conservation of freshwater fish and habitats is encouraging anyone with an interest in the area to submit their views on how the tagging system, which started in 2001, can be improved and modernised.

It is especially keen to hear from salmon and sea trout anglers, angling clubs, commercial fishermen and those businesses that distribute salmon and sea trout licences, such as fishing tackle shops.

The Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme was set up 20 years ago to record the issuing of wild salmon and sea trout licences, gill tags and logbooks to both recreational anglers and commercial fishermen and to process details of fish catches on a database for further analysis.

It was part of a series of measures introduced to help with the management and conservation of Ireland’s wild salmon and sea trout populations, which have been in decline.

Figures from the 2020 Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Statistics Report show that 14,138 salmon and sea trout licences were sold to recreational anglers in the state last year, which were a mixture of virtual licences sold online and hard copy licences sold over the counter in shops. In addition, 78 public commercial licences were made available to commercial fishermen in 2020.

IFI is now carrying out a review of the whole tagging system, to see how it can be made more user-friendly in the future and to ensure that it can provide the agency with real-time, accurate data to assist with the protection, management and conservation of wild salmon and sea trout.

Suzanne Campion, IFI’s head of business development, said:“The Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme was first introduced two decades ago and since then, we’ve seen a seismic shift towards buying and selling online, with many technological advances along the way that we’d like to harness.

“As we’re undertaking a review of the tagging system, we see this as the perfect opportunity for the public, especially those involved in the angling sector, to have their say on the management of how licences, tags and logbooks are issued and distributed in the future. In other words, how can Inland Fisheries Ireland make the tagging system as user-friendly as possible in the future and a better service for all?”

The public consultation for the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme closes at 5pm on Wednesday 1 December. Submissions can be made via a short online survey.

Alternatively, written submissions can be emailed to [email protected] or posted to Wild Salmon & Sea Trout Tagging Scheme Consultation, Inland Fisheries Ireland, 3044 Lake Drive, Citywest Business Campus, Dublin 24, D24 CK66.

Published in Angling

#Fishing - Northern Ireland’s Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute reminds that the rewards for reporting tagged Irish Sea cod have been increased.

Earlier this year it was reported that the project would award €25 for every cod captured with a red tag, and €75 for cod with a blue, pink or yellow tag.

But now every 20th fish returned to the Celtic Seas Cod Tagging Project will net an additional €1,000 bonus.

To claim the reward, fishermen must retain the whole un-gutted fish with tags intact and store it on ice.

Collection of tagged cod and the related award can be arrived by calling the number on the tag or contacting +353 91387200 (in ROI) or +44 1502524526 (in UK).

Claimants must also be sure to also record the following details:

  • Colour and reference number of the tags.
  • Date of recovery.
  • Position of recovery (latitude and longitude).
  • Number of baskets and size details (small, medium or large) of other cod in the catch.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Irish fishing fleet’s quota for cod and other whitefish will substantially increase for 2018 after a period of sustained recovery.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

#IrishSeaCod - The Marine Institute is encouraging the fishing industry and recreational sea anglers alike to report the capture of tagged cod in the Irish Sea and claim a monetary reward.

Tagging cod in the Irish Sea will enable research agencies in the Ireland the UK to develop a better understanding of cod mortality, abundance, distribution and movement patterns within the Irish Sea and surrounding areas.

Emma White from the Fisheries Ecosystem Advisory Service at the Marine Institute said that with a low population of cod in the Irish Sea, it is vital that this stock is investigated.

:A huge effort will be made to tag several thousand cod in the Irish Sea over the next three years,” said White. “Any reports of the tagged cod will provide useful information to help us better understand the current behaviour of the fish and any factors that may have affected the cod stock.

“Our collaboration with science and industry partners is essential to this project, and together we can build our knowledge and share insights to assist in the recovery of this cod stock in the Irish Sea.”

The project will award €25 for cod captured with a red tag, and €75 for cod with a blue, yellow or pink tag. The cod must be stored whole and ungutted on ice, with the tag in place. The date and location (longitude and latitude) of capture, length of the fish, tag colour and its number should also be recorded.

Tagged cod should be reported to Emma White at the Marine Institute at 091 387 200 or [email protected] The Marine Institute will organise the collection of tagged cod captured in Ireland.

Cod in the Irish Sea have substantially declined in the last decades. Although the European Commission established measures to aid recovery in 2000, the stock has not responded as expected, and the population of cod in the Irish Sea remains low in 2017.

This three-year project is funded by the European Commission and is a partnership between three research agencies: Marine Institute (Ireland), Agri-Food and Biosciences institute (Northern Ireland) and Cefas, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (United Kingdom).

More information on the Irish Sea Cod Tagging Project can be found HERE.

Published in Fishing

#Angling - Sean Kyne TD, Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, has given statutory notice of his intention to make the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme Regulations 2016 to provide for the management of the wild salmon and sea trout fishery by Inland Fisheries Ireland from 1 January 2017.

A copy of the draft regulations is available from the department website and and is also open for public inspection at the offices of the department in Cavan and at the offices of Inland Fisheries Ireland.

Any person may submit observations or objections to the draft regulations at any time during the period of 30 days concluding on 11 December 2016 either by e-mail to [email protected] or to the following address:

Inland Fisheries Division,
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment,
Elm House,
Earlsvale Road,
Cavan Town
H12 A8H7
Ireland
Tel: 01 6783071 / Lo-call 1890 449 900 Extension 3071

All submissions received will be published on the department's website following the conclusion of the consultation period.

Published in Angling

#Angling - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has issued an appeal to bass anglers preparing for the season ahead to get involved in collecting information on bass in Irish waters for the National Bass Programme (NBP).

The programme was established by IFI to collect data on bass to provide scientific advice to support management and conservation of Ireland’s bass resource.

Bass anglers, as citizen scientists, have been collecting information for the NBP since 2013, thereby supporting bass stock assessment and increased understanding of the biology and ecology of bass in Irish waters.

To date, over 750 bass have been tagged and 3,000 adult bass scale samples have been collected. Scales are used to determine the age and growth rate of bass, while tagging provides information on migrations and habitat use.

The likelihood of additional recaptures is increasing with greater numbers of tagged fish at sea. Tagging results so far have shown that bass were recaptured generally within a few kilometres of their original capture site but some have travelled up to 38km. Time at liberty has ranged from three to 298 days.

By checking all bass for tags and reporting recaptures, anglers will help to discover additional information regarding movements of Irish bass.

IFI head of research and development Dr Cathal Gallagher said: “Ireland has always been a pioneer in terms of bass conservation and is showing progressive thinking in bass management by using the expert knowledge of anglers to collect information that would otherwise not be obtainable. We call on anybody interested in promoting bass conservation to contact IFI for information on how to get involved. All support is much appreciated.

“If you catch a bass with a yellow tag, or a fouled tag, please don’t remove it from the fish. Simply clean the tag and note the tag code (eg B-00001). If possible take the length and weight of the fish, and five scales from behind the pectoral fin, before you release the fish alive.

"Please send us the details, along with the date and location and your name and phone number by email or call IFI on 01-8842600. Information on the original bass tagging location and date will be provided to everybody who reports details to the IFI.”

IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne added: “Bass is an extremely important and valuable marine sport angling species in Ireland. It is a particularly valuable national resource, contributing €71 million to the Irish economy annually and supporting over 1,200 jobs nationally.

"Bass is an angling-only species so it is important that anglers, as guardians and custodians of this iconic sportfish, contribute information to support conservation orientated management.

"Some anglers are using voluntary logbooks to provide information on catches, angling effort, fish sizes and methods used. Scale sampling packs and logbooks are available from IFI and feedback on scales received will be provided to individual anglers outlining fish age, the year it was spawned and its growth rate.”

IFI has a dedicated email address at [email protected] to enable members of the public to report details on caught bass or to request information on how to support the NBP.

For more information, visit www.fisheriesireland.ie or call IFI at 01 884 2600 during office hours.

Published in Angling

#Angling - ​Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Joe McHugh has given statutory notice of his intention to make the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme Regulations 2015.

The new Statutory Instrument will provide for the management of the wild salmon and sea trout fishery by Inland Fisheries Ireland from 1 January 2016.

A copy of the draft regulations is available online and is open for public inspection at the offices of the department in Cavan and also at the offices of Inland Fisheries Ireland.

Any person may submit observations or objections to the draft regulations at any time during the period of 30 days concluding on 10 December 2015 to

Inland Fisheries Division,
Department of Communications Energy and Natural Resources,
Elm House,
Earlsvale Road,
Cavan Town,
H12 A8H7,
Ireland

or by e-mail to [email protected]

All submissions received will be published on the department's website following the conclusion of the consultation period.

For more call 01 678 2117 or Lo-call 1890 44 99 00 (Extension). Rates charged may vary between service providers.

Published in Angling
Cork-based boat charter firm Whale of a Time has posted video on its YouTube channel of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) tagging a basking shark from its boat Mischief:
Apart from whales, basking sharks are the largest species of marine wildlife to frequent Irish waters.

Cork-based boat charter firm Whale of a Time has posted video on its YouTube channel of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) tagging a basking shark from its boat Mischief:

Apart from whales, basking sharks are the largest species of marine wildlife to frequent Irish waters.

Published in Marine Wildlife
26th October 2010

Watch Out For Tagged Seals

The Irish Seal Sanctuary (ISS) has put out a call for observers to look out for tagged seals.

Following the news that a seal pup rescued and tagged by the ISS was discovered in Wales, the sanctuary is looking to build a better picture of what becomes of its seals once released back into the wild.

Observers are asked to report on the condition of any seals tagged on a hind flipper with an orange tage (for grey seals) or a yellow tag (for common seals) and with the code A4 written on one side.

The ISS hopes that this information will give a clearer idea of how rescued seals readjust to life in the open water, and how they interact with wild seals or with people in Ireland's harbours.

Any relevant information can be forwarded by e-mail to [email protected] or [email protected]

Published in Marine Wildlife

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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