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While some anglers enjoyed success on the rivers within Foyle and Carlingford in 2020, the Loughs Agency says it continues to take a precautionary approach in line with national and international trends.

The State of the Salmon Report published by the international lead on salmon management, the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO), highlights the worrying and continuous decline in the populations of the Atlantic salmon.

NASCO states: “It now takes about double the amount of eggs to produce one adult (compared to 1990s) that will return to that same river to spawn — an indication of the multiple pressures facing the species throughout its complex life cycle.”

This decline continues to be reflected locally, the Loughs Agency warns, with rivers such as the Finn in Co Donegal failing to reach their conservation targets in 2020 and therefore will continue to operate on a catch and release basis for the 2021 season.

Now the agency is calling on anglers to take steps to ensure sustainability of the fisheries of Foyle and Carlingford. Anglers are encouraged to:

  • Update their catch return and fishing effort regularly throughout the season on the eLicence website. This data is used to help Loughs Agency manage the fishery using real-time data.

  • Keep the Loughs Agency’s 24hr Response Line telephone number +(0) 44 2871 342100 as a contact on their phone and report any concerns directly and promptly. The Loughs Agency relies on reports of illegal fishing and pollution from the public.
  • Practice catch and release. Many anglers already do this, with around 45% of anglers not taking carcass tags when they purchase their licence.

  • Implement biosecurity measures to prevent the spread of invasive species.

  • For the 2021 season, the Loughs Agency is issuing a maximum of one blue tag for the period 1 March to 31 May and/or a maximum two black tags for the period 1 June to 31 October, depending on the type of licence purchased. Tackle shops have been instructed not to issue more than these maximum quantities for the 2021 season.

The rivers Film and Foyle opened this past Monday 1 March, signalling the start of the salmon, sea trout and wild brown trout angling season. However, game, coarse and sea angling is already available in both catchments.

For still water game anglers, Binevenagh Lake opened on 1 February. The lake lies on a basalt plateau that towers over Lough Foyle and its flanking lowlands below with the famed hills of Donegal beyond.

The 3.2 hectare lake is regularly stocked with rainbow trout by DAERA Inland Fisheries and successful flies include Bibio and Buzzer patterns.

Fly fishing, spinning and worm fishing are permitted and the fishery has a daily bag limit of four trout per rod. A Loughs Agency game rod licence and a DAERA game angling permit are required to fish this water.

Some private fisheries are also operating and offer fishing for rainbow trout including Ballyheather, Altmore, Birchwood, Cashel, Termon, Oaks, Glenowen, and Duncrun Fishery in the Foyle area. In the Carlingford area, Donaghaguy Reservoir is open for trout fishing. A Loughs Agency game licence and a permit from the relevant fishery are required to fish these waters.

Coarse angling on the Newry Canal (Photo: Loughs Agency)Coarse angling on the Newry Canal | Photo: Loughs Agency

Coarse angling is permitted all year round, but the climate impacts on which species can be targeted. While tench, bream and rudd are active in warmer weather, roach and perch feed in all seasons and make good year round fishing for the coarse angler.

In the Foyle area, coarse fishing is currently available at Aghlisk Lough, Baronscourt Lakes, Enagh Lough, Longvale and Lough Muck near Omagh. In Carlingford, anglers can also fish for roach and perch at Bessbrook, Camlough, Derryleckagh, Drumlough, Greenan Lough, Mill Dam, Milltown Lough and in Newry Canal. A Loughs Agency coarse licence and permission from the relevant fishery owner is required to fish these lakes. In some cases a day ticket must be purchased.

The marine waters in Foyle and Carlingford offer fantastic sea angling with stunning landscapes and seascape backdrops. Flounder, bass, dogfish, dab, rockling, conger, pollock and ray are likely catches for the shore angler.

The Foyle area has over 90 miles of coastline of inlets, beaches, estuaries and rocky shores from which to cast from, while Carlingford offers almost 30 miles of coastline opportunities to fish. No licence is required for sea angling, but if fishing for salmon or sea trout a Loughs Agency game licence is required for the season.

Anglers are reminded to comply with the latest government advice and restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19. For further information on season dates, licence and permit requirements in the Foyle and Carlingford areas, visit the Loughs Agency website’s angling section HERE.

Published in Angling

Leitrim angler Bernard Kilkenny claimed the World Cup in trout fly angling on Lough Mask last weekend, as Derek Evans notes in today’s Irish Times.

His five trout at 5.73lb secured the title — as well as a boat with 15HP outboard, and a new rod and reel — in what was “the most drawn-out in the 63 years of the championships”, with poor weather meaning three attempts over a whole month were required.

Elsewhere, two anglers caused a headache for marine wildlife lovers in Wicklow yesterday (Sunday 8 September) when they were spotted fishing just meters from a protected seal colony.

According to Wicklow News, the men had ignored signs warning away from the seals, as well as the pleas of several onlookers, but left the area after they were spoken to by gardaí.

It is recommended that the public stay at least 100 metres away from seals as they enter their breeding season and seek safe space on land from September to the end of the year.

Published in Angling

#Angling - Inland Fisheries Ireland has published its 2017 fish stock survey for the Owenriff catchment as well as its rehabilitation plan for the system to promote the recovery of brown trout and salmon in its lakes and rivers.

The Fish Stock Survey — which was conducted in the summer of 2017 and forms the basis for the Rehabilitation Plan — deduces that the introduction of pike into the catchment has been the significant factor in the declining fish stocks.

“As there are little or no major anthropogenic pressures in the catchment to cause the decline in fish stocks, it is reasonable to infer that the introduction of pike and their subsequent range expansion in the Owenriff catchment (with impacts of competition for food and space and predation on resident and migratory fish) is the main factor causing the decline of brown trout and salmon in the Owenriff catchment. Research from Europe and North America supports this finding,” the reports states.

Anthropogenic pressures include human-induced factors such as urban growth, deleterious discharges, farming activities and introduction of alien species.

Although pike were captured for the first time by IFI staff in 2009 in two lakes in the catchment (Loughs Bofin and Agraffard) and efforts were made by IFI staff to remove the pike from the system, they did not show up in two catchment-wide surveys in 1997 and 2007 and were only officially recorded in a survey for the first time in 2015.

However, the latest report, from the 2017 survey, confirms that pike are present all over the Owenriff catchment “in areas where they can freely gain access and in some areas where they cannot naturally gain access.”

Welcoming the publication of the two reports, Minister Sean Kyne TD said: “We have acted swiftly since the interim results of this survey became known. In late January, I announced that Inland Fisheries Ireland is to commence fish stock management operations on the Owenriff catchment to protect and restore trout stocks which have been impacted by recent introductions of pike to the catchment.

“The consequences of not taking wider remedial action on the basis of these survey results would lead to further decline in ecological biodiversity in the catchment, so I very much welcome the publication by IFI of the Owenriff Fish Population Rehabilitation Plan 2018.”

The minister continued: “The purpose of the plan is to develop a fisheries rehabilitation project that can be undertaken on the catchment to promote the recovery of the brown trout (both resident and migratory Corrib) and salmon populations in both lakes and rivers. It will take time and will be costly, but we are already underway with this very constructive and positive roadmap.”

With stock management actions having already commenced, the success of the broader rehabilitation project will depend on applying the correct tools to rehabilitate the brown trout and salmon populations in the Owenriff catchment.

These include fisheries enhancement works in selected sub-catchments to favour brown trout and salmon; genetic restoration; removing the problem (pike control); reducing anthropogenic impacts in the catchment; public awareness (especially in relation to the impacts of the introductions of species not indigenous to an area); interagency co-ordination; climate change mitigation; and any other necessary measures.

The Owenriff catchment is located on the north-western end of the Lough Corrib catchment, and the main Owenriff River drains into Lough Corrib Upper downstream of Oughterard, Co Galway. The Lough Corrib catchment itself is the largest and most important wild salmonid catchment in Ireland, and Lough Corrib is considered the premier wild brown trout fishery in Ireland.

The Owenriff rehabilitation plan and 2017 fish stock survey can both be downloaded from the IFI website. Afloat.ie also has more on IFI's stock management plan for Ireland's trout waters in 2018.

Published in Angling

#Angling - Sean Kyne TD, Minister with responsibility for the Inland Fisheries sector, today welcomed Inland Fisheries Ireland’s 2018 Stock Management Plan for designated trout lakes.

The 2018 plan again includes operations on Loughs Corrib, Mask, Carra, Conn, Cullin, Arrow and Sheelin for the conservation of the respective wild brown trout fisheries.

Minister Kyne said: “Management of predator species is an important element of ensuring the preservation of salmonid species in these seven lakes which have long been recognised by IFI as prime wild brown trout fisheries.

“I want to commend IFI and its board on its plan for 2018, set out with the inputs of local managers, which aims for the removal of almost 8,370 pike from the lakes, a significant increase on the objective of some 6,840 removals set for 2017.

A separate management plan was put in place in January for the Owenriff system following the introduction of pike to those waters, the minister said, adding that a rehabilitation plan for that system will be announced shortly.

Work on stock management operations is expected to commence immediately. Routine analysis of stomach contents will be undertaken for research purposes.

Stock management operations are carried out in accordance with IFI’s pike and trout management policies under strict standard operating procedures. S59 authorisations are required by clubs and organisations wishing to remove pike via angling competitions on managed trout fisheries.

IFI is currently reviewing its policy on the management of pike in designated wild brown trout fisheries, and the 2018 plan is based on a continuation of operations in line with existing policies.

Minister Kyne also emphasised that the management of the large limestone wild brown trout lakes has been set out in policy and that stock management is prioritised in line with the special designation of these lakes.

“I have directed my department, working in tandem with IFI, to consider how this designation can be given statutory status as a matter of priority,” he said.

Details of the 2018 Stock Management Plan can be downloaded below.

Published in Angling

#Angling - Sean Kyne, Minister of State with responsibility for the inland fisheries sector, has announced that Inland Fisheries Ireland will shortly commence fish stock management operations on the Owenriff catchment near Oughterard in Co Galway.

The measures to protect and restore trout stocks, which have been impacted by recent introductions of pike to the catchment, were promised last November upon the development by IFI of a specific stock management plan.

“The Owenriff catchment is one of the most important spawning and nursery tributaries of Lough Corrib, our most renowned wild trout fishery,” said Minister Kyne as he made the announcement today (Monday 29 January).

“Previous scientific studies have shown it contributed 15% of the wild trout found in Lough Corrib, and each year thousands of wild trout and salmon migrate upstream into the Owenriff to spawn.

“I am committed to protecting and rehabilitating the system and welcome IFI’s stock management plan which I have asked to be implemented immediately.”

IFI will be commencing a focused and intensive effort aimed at reducing the numbers of pike in the Owenriff catchment over the coming year.

While pike cannot be completely eradicated, the project will reduce numbers to a level where they are not impacting significantly on salmonid stocks.

It is expected that ongoing maintenance operations will be required in future years to help maintain the trout population.

Minister Kyne also emphasised that, in tandem with the stock management plan, IFI is also preparing an Owenriff Fish Population Rehabilitation Plan which aims to ensure trout stocks and habitats are restored and protected, thereby providing the best opportunities for a successful trout population. The plan will be available shortly.

Survey results are currently being compiled and will be available from the IFI website. Further information on the stock management plan is available HERE.

Published in Angling

#Angling - Sean Kyne, Minister with responsibility for Inland Fisheries, has welcomed the development by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) of a specific stock management plan for Galway’s Owenriff system aimed at removing pike from the system as a significant step forward.

Stock management operations are normally commenced in February each year and the Owenriff plan will be implemented for 2018.

Minister Kyne said: “I met recently with the board and senior management of Inland Fisheries Ireland to discuss this, and other issues, and it has now been agreed that, in line with current policy, a stock management plan explicitly for the Owenriff will be implemented in a more intensive focus on the system to facilitate the recovery of the salmonid populations.

“It has also been agreed that IFI will continue to implement a stock management programme for the entire Corrib catchment, in line with its current policy,” he added.

The minister also welcomed confirmation by IFI that the results of a fish population survey of the Owenriff system, which was undertaken during the summer of 2017, will be reported on in January 2018.

Dr Cathal Gallagher, head of research and development at IFI, said: “We have listened to local stakeholders and staff in relation to threats posed to salmon and trout populations in the Owenriff, a tributary of Lough Corrib.

“To understand the scale of the issues reported and to support evidence-based management, Inland Fisheries Ireland conducted a fish population survey in late June and late July 2017. We have since worked in the laboratory and with relevant analytical tools to understand the dynamics of the fish stocks in this catchment.

“We have also reviewed mitigation actions that could be taken to restore damage incurred by specific stocks. A proposed rehabilitation plan for the system will be delivered in parallel to the fish stock survey report.”

As part of its research into fish population in the Owenriff system, IFI surveyed 17 river sites and two lakes using standard fish population sampling methods.

IFI staff are currently analysing the data and comparing it to data from previous surveys and neighbouring catchments to determine the status of the fish stocks and to assess change.

A fish stock survey report, which will be available in January, will document important metrics including fish species richness, fish abundance, length frequency, age and growth, and fish ecological status.

Supported by analysis of the survey results, and taking account of the ecology of specific systems, IFI says it will deliver a detailed plan which will focus on the rehabilitation of endangered fish populations in this important catchment.

This will include plans to maintain the genetic diversity of salmon and trout stocks in the Owenriff catchment.

Published in Angling

#Angling - A new bye-law to help conserve brown trout has been introduced in for the Shannon River Basin District.

Seén Kyne, Minister of State with responsibility for Inland Fisheries, introduced the Conservation of Trout (No.8 or Limerick District) Bye-Law no.949 of 2017 into operation on Wednesday (14 June).

The new bye-law outlines a number of regulations around trout angling in the area.

It provides for an annual closed fishing season in certain waters, a daily bag limit of brown trout, a minimum size of trout to be taken in the specified waters and maximum number of rods to be used at any one time.

The waters included are the River Shannon, Lough Sheelin, Lough Derravaragh, Lough Owel, Lough Ennell, Lough Ree and Lough Derg, which are all located in the Limerick District.

Brown trout is one of Ireland’s indigenous fish species and is highly regarded by most domestic and tourist anglers alike, making it one of Ireland’s most valuable angling species.

Due to Ireland’s temperate climate and the shallow productive nature of its lakes, Ireland is the only country in Western Europe where lakes can support large trout stocks, which provides unique angling opportunities for fly fishermen.

Research commissioned by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) indicates that expenditure by brown trout anglers contributes in the region of €148 million to the Irish economy annually.

Amanda Mooney, director of the Shannon River Basin District for IFI, said: “Trout is a valuable angling species which needs to be managed in a conservation focused manner. The new measures will help improve brown trout stocks and ensure they continue to provide quality angling for local and tourist anglers alike into the future.”

Anglers are requested to familiarise themselves with the details of the new bye-law, which will be made available on the IFI website.

Published in Angling
Tagged under

#Angling - Inland Fisheries Ireland is seeking submissions from angling enthusiasts and other interested parties in relation to a proposal to introduce a byelaw to:

  • Introduce a minimum takeable size limit for trout of 30cm (12”).
  • Introduce a bag limit of two trout per angler per day.

The proposed byelaw would apply to all waters of the River Erne upstream of Derryheen Bridge, west of Butler’s Bridge, Co Cavan, including the waters of the Cavan River, Annallee, Dromore, Laragh, Bunnoe and Knappagh tributaries.

Submissions should be marked ‘Public consultation – Annallee-Dromore (River Erne)’ and sent by email to [email protected] or by post to:

The Director,
Inland Fisheries Ireland,
Station Road,
Ballyshannon,
Co Donegal

All submissions must be received in writing and will be published on the Inland Fisheries Ireland website.

The closing date for receipt of submissions is 5pm on Thursday 2 March.

Published in Angling

#Seafood - A Howth-based seafood company is hoping to broaden Irish people’s taste for fish beyond the usual salmon, as TheJournal.ie reports.

Winners of the recent BIM National Seafood Award for Innovation in Seafood Processing, Oceanpath teamed up with Goatsbridge Trout Farm in Thomastown, Co Kilkenny seven years ago, seeing opportunity in an underdeveloped market for Irish trout.

The key, according to Oceanpath’s commercial director Ken Ecock, was to come up with a product that adhered to the same qualities that people expect from their salmon fillets: reasonably priced, easy to cook, and free of bones.

Supermarket promotions to demonstrate the taste, as well as quick and easy recipes and products such as smoked trout and even pate, have also helped the Irish public gradually come round to a homegrown fish that’s usually imported from elsewhere in Europe to our fish counters.

And as salmon prices rise over high demand and supply challenges, the trout option is growing ever more attractive for the Irish fish supper.

TheJournal.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

The Board of Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) met yesterday with a joint delegation from the National Anglers Representative Association and Trout Anglers Federation of Ireland to discuss IFI’s proposal to exit the production of trout for the re-stocking of angling lakes.

As a result of these discussions the Board of IFI has agreed to defer its proposal indefinitely. However, in the discussions the parties recognised that there are significant economic, environmental and biological issues surrounding the current production facilities which IFI needs to resolve. Inland Fisheries Ireland is committed to developing and seeking funding for a comprehensive strategy to meet current and future trout production needs, contingent on obtaining the significant investment required. The parties to the discussions agreed to continue to work closely together to deliver this strategy.

 

Published in Angling
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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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