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Displaying items by tag: Oyster

Two Irish Oyster yachts, Tír na nÓg and Rí-Rá, have arrived at the Marquesas Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean as part of the Oyster Round the World rally that began in January, after an adventurous journey. 

Bob Rendell's Oyster 565 sailed across 3,300 miles from the Galápagos Islands, facing rough weather conditions in the waters of the Pacific. Dun Laoghaire brothers Patrick and Hugh Blaney's Oyster 675 Rí-Rá also completed the leg.

the Tír na nÓg crew faced a major challenge during their journey when their autopilot malfunctioned, and they had to hand steer for much of the leg.

The Oyster Round the World rally at anchorThe Oyster Round the World rally at anchor

Meanwhile, following high demand for the Oyster World Rally, the British manufacturer of luxury bluewater sailing yachts is inviting global adventurers to a circumnavigation-focused showcase at St Katharine Docks in London from 24-26 April.

The Oyster World Rally is a luxury sailing circumnavigation spanning 16 months. Covering 27,000nm and visiting 27 destinations, a fleet of 30 Oyster Yachts complete the voyage with the reassurance of personalised 24/7 support from Oyster’s dedicated Rally Team.

After announcing dates for the Oyster World Rally 2028-29 earlier this month, Oyster has seen unprecedented demand for places ahead of the official open date for entries on 18 June 2024, with the Oyster World Rally 2026-27 now fully subscribed.

Published in Cruising
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Two Irish yachts, Tír na nÓg (Robert Rendell of Howth) and Rí-Rá (Patrick and Hugh Blaney of Dun Laoghaire) were part of a twenty-one Oyster yacht fleet that crossed the start line of the Oyster World Rally at Nelson's Dockyard, Antigua, on Sunday afternoon.

The Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda, Sir Rodney Williams, fired the cannon to the 27,000-mile, 16-month adventure that will take in some 27 destinations and explore some of the world's most spectacular cruising grounds. Oyster Yachts Chief Executive Ashley Highfield was also at the starting ceremony on Fort Charlotte, Antigua and Oyster's CCO, Paul Adamson, a former sailing instructor at Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The fleet will meet again in Panama for their transit through the canal in mid-February.

It has been an emotional and exciting build-up to the start of the 16-month adventure. Some of the fleet arrived in Antigua in mid-December, taking part in the ARC Rally, as Afloat reported here, the traditional delivery passage to the Caribbean for Europe-based yachts. Number 565 Tír na nÓg and 675 Rí-Rá both finished in the top ten of the ARC fleet.

All the crews have spent the past few weeks building up to this day, ensuring their boats are fully ready for this experience-of-a-lifetime event. They have participated in safety training, weather briefings, technical workshops and more - all supported by the Oyster Technical and Logistics Team, who will be on hand for the whole event to support and advise the fleet.

The first stop for the Rally will be Shelter Bay, Panama, where the fleet will all come together ahead of transiting the Panama Canal.

"Logistically, this is one of the trickiest parts of this edition of the Rally, as lack of water in the lake that feeds the canal has put additional pressure on the number of recreational boats allowed to transit at one time. However, we are hopeful that we should be able to keep with our current schedule of arriving in Galapagos, our second stopover, in early March," comments Oyster World Rally Director, Allie Smith.

Published in Cruising
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Diver, sailor and coffee distributor David Lawlor is not that mad about oysters – he’ll eat them out of politeness – but he is mad about what they can do as keystone species in stabilising marine habitats.

That’s why he wants to re-introduce them to Dublin Bay as part of a community initiative which will be supported by Green Ocean Coffee, part of Lawlor’s Watermark Coffee brand.

It is two centuries since Dublin Bay had healthy populations of oysters, and his vision is to develop a broodstock which will multiply over time in sufficient numbers to form reefs.

These reefs can then provide a natural alternative to hard engineering defences against coastal erosion, and can also help to restore inshore habitats, including seagrass beds, he says.

"Lawlor is passionate about seeking solutions to mitigate the impact of climate change"

Lawlor is passionate about seeking solutions to mitigate the impact of climate change, and describes oysters as the marine equivalent of the “canary in a mine” in measuring the health of the marine environment.

He is starting out what may be a 15 to 20-year project with a pilot, cultivating a series of “oyster gardens” in several yacht marinas at Poolbeg, Malahide and Dun Laoghaire.

A University College Dublin (UCD) PhD student, Brian Rice, is working with him on the pilot, which has all necessary permissions, and Lawlor says he hopes it will lead to a not-for-profit model if it expands.

Lawlor is funding the pilot from his Green Ocean coffee brand, which is also supporting a project to restore seabed habitats in Clew Bay, Co Mayo.

The project will be looking for volunteers to manage the oyster gardens, and interested participants should email [email protected]

Listen to the podcast below

Published in Wavelength Podcast
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Loughs Agency, the regulatory body for fisheries in Northern Ireland, has announced the suspension of the Native Oyster Fishery in the Foyle area starting from 6 am on October 24th, 2023, until 6 pm on February 29th, 2024.

The decision was reached after analyzing the latest stock assessment data, direct feedback from license holders, and sampling of the catch by Loughs Agency fishery officers.

The decision to close the fishery was made to prioritise conservation as the evidence available suggests the need to ensure the continued sustainability of the oyster population. Sharon McMahon, Loughs Agency CEO, stated that the decision was not taken lightly but is essential to maintain the biomass of spawning stock and the viability of the oyster population.

The decision will have a significant impact on the native oyster fishery stakeholders who will be unable to fish oysters in Lough Foyle during the closure period. However, the regulatory body is committed to taking decisions in a science-led approach to ensure the future sustainability of the fishery.

The marine scientists at Loughs Agency have provided evidence supporting the decision to ensure an acceptable biomass of spawning stock remains in the population for next season. They have also highlighted that removing 100% of the stock above the minimum landing size is not sustainable and removing a large proportion of stock over 80mm this season could have a detrimental impact on future recruitment to the population.

Loughs Agency's remit as a regulatory body allows them to make informed management decisions in real-time, helping maintain a sustainable fishery for the future.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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The Oysters growing under the pontoons in Bangor Marina are well hidden, but they still need ongoing attention. To this end, Ulster Wildlife is looking for volunteers to help monitor the native oyster nurseries and record their development.

The native oyster has been considered extinct in Belfast Lough since 1903. However, in the summer of 2020, live oysters were discovered for the first time in over 100 years – evidence that the environmental conditions for establishment are right.

A native oyster nursery in Bangor Marina will support the precarious population in Belfast Lough and help create a natural long-term carbon store to tackle climate change.

There will be training for those interested in finding out more about the role of volunteer and how you can sign up.

The Marine Conservation Manager Heidi McIlvenny will introduce the project and talk through the role of the volunteer, as well as show how to survey the nurseries safely and record the results

The training dates are 18th and 26th August at 2 pm and you can register your interest with the Volunteer Coordinator Sheila Lyons at [email protected] or call 07703 673217.

There is more information at www.ulsterwildlife.org/native-oysters and you can read more about the project here 

Published in Aquaculture
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Hundreds of native oysters have returned to Belfast Lough as part of efforts to bring the ‘ocean superheroes’ back from the brink of extinction.

The ambitious aquaculture restoration project, officially launched on Friday (20 May) by Ulster Wildlife to mark Endangered Species Day, sees approximately 700 mature oysters suspended in cages under the pontoons of Bangor Marina.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, this creates the first native oyster (Ostrea edulis) nursery of its kind on the island of Ireland.

As sea temperatures warm over the coming months, the 24 nursery cages will generate millions of oyster larvae which will settle on the seabed, helping the native oyster population recover while also boosting biodiversity and improving water quality in the lough.

Belfast Lough once supported a prolific native oyster fishery. However, overfishing, habitat loss, disease, pollution and invasive introduced species contributed to the population becoming extinct and the fishery closing in 1903.

Since then, 100 years of surveys failed to document one living specimen, until 2020 when researchers from Bangor University and Queen’s University Belfast discovered 42 live oysters at six sites around the lough.

Heidi McIlvenny, marine conservation manager at Ulster Wildlife and who is leading the project, says: “We are still unsure how or why native oysters returned to Belfast Lough, but it indicates that the environmental conditions are right for them to establish here again. But, if they are to bounce back, they need our help.

“The biggest barrier to the recovery of the native oyster is a low number of mature reproducing oysters. The nurseries we have established at Bangor Marina are full of mature oysters that will act as larval pumps, increasing the number of oysters in the Lough and helping to restore this incredible ocean superhero for years to come.”

Boosting the lough’s fragile oyster population will also bring important benefits for other marine life, Heidi says.

“A single oyster can filter up to 200 litres of seawater, equivalent to a bathtub, per day, significantly improving water quality and reducing pollution levels. The larvae once established will also create healthy native oyster reefs in the lough, providing shelter and food for an abundance of marine wildlife, including commercially fished species, along with potential carbon storage.”

Special permissions were granted to relocate the shellfish from Loch Ryan in Scotland. They were screened for disease and cleaned on arrival before being installed in the nurseries. 

Volunteers will conduct ‘health checks’ every week to ensure the oysters are thriving in their new homes. Monthly biodiversity surveys will also track changes in marine life in and around the nurseries, which form their own unique micro-habitat.

Kevin Baird, harbour master at Bangor Marina, says: “We are delighted to be supporting the recovery of our most threatened marine species.

“Housing the oyster nurseries under the pontoons is an innovative use of the space we have available and is a great opportunity for the marina to become an outdoor classroom, where people of all ages can get hands-on with marine conservation in an urban environment.”

The oyster restoration project is funded by the DAERA Challenge Fund. Find out more at ulsterwildlife.org/native-oysters

Published in Aquaculture

In November last year, Bangor Marina in partnership with the Ulster Wildlife Trust made plans to establish the first native oyster nursery in Northern Ireland.

The earliest report of a recognised commercial oyster fishery in Belfast Lough was in the late 18th century and the native oyster has been considered extinct there since 1903.

But in the summer of 2020, live oysters were discovered for the first time in over 100 years – evidence that the environmental conditions for establishment are right.

Now the plans have come to fruition and Ulster Wildlife helped by Marina staff, have hung twenty-six nursery cages underneath F, G and H Pontoons.

Marina manager Kevin Baird said he and the staff are super excited about this project. Similar schemes have been established in other parts of the UK, but this is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland.

Oysters recovered in Bangor MarinaOysters recovered in Bangor Marina

An oyster nursery is a micro-habitat housing about 27 mature oysters that will reproduce and release the next generation of oyster larvae to settle out on the seabed of Bangor Bay and Belfast Lough. An individual oyster can release up to 1 million larvae per year!

Published in Irish Marinas
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Did you know that our Native oysters have been an important food source for centuries - the Romans even exported them back to Italy!

The first report of a recognised commercial oyster fishery in Belfast Lough was in 1780 and although the native oyster has been considered extinct there since 1903, in the summer of 2020, live oysters were discovered for the first time in over 100 years – evidence that the environmental conditions for establishment are right.

The charity, Ulster Wildlife Trust, is hoping to establish the first native oyster nursery in Northern Ireland in Bangor Marina on Belfast Lough to support the declining population and to help create a natural long-term carbon store to tackle climate change. So under F, G and H Pontoons, Ulster Wildlife's Heidi McIlvenny with Harbour Master Kevin Baird and his staff will deploy a native oyster nursery.

Highly prized Loch Ryan OystersHighly prized Loch Ryan Oysters

Around 26 cages will be suspended under the pontoon walkways and will be populated with highly prized Loch Ryan Oysters. The Loch Ryan Oyster Bed, one of Scotland’s largest, dates to 1701 when King William 111 granted a Royal Charter to the Wallace family.

The native or flat oyster stays fixed in one place and is a filter feeder meaning it uses its valves to pump water filtering out microscopic algae and small organic particles from the surrounding water. A single oyster can filter up to 200 litres of seawater per day, which can significantly improve water quality and clarity.

Already thriving in another Marina in Conwy Wales, over time the oysters will start releasing oyster larvae into the harbour which will be carried out to settle on the seabed, ultimately resulting in cleaner waters and better marine biodiversity.

Classified as a Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework and a Feature of Conservation Importance for which Marine Conservation Zones can be designated, the oyster has a lifespan of six years.

Harbour Master Kevin Baird would like to get local schools involved after the oysters are in place. “It’s a great environmental project with many very positive benefits”. He added “There will be no disruption to marine traffic”.

Published in Belfast Lough

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

Ireland’s Formula One Grand Prix legend Eddie Jordan has long been a keen sailor - his current vessel is the well-travelled Oyster 885 Lush. He has now stepped-up his involvement with the well-known UK-based firm as a result of its current re-structuring under the guidance of his longtime sailing friend Richard Hadida.

Richard Hadida has brought Eddie Jordan onto the board as Oyster Yachts – which works closely with international designer Rob Humphreys – re-shapes itself to re-hire most of its staff of 400 at locations in Southampton and Norfolk. The firm had 20 yachts across its renowned high-end range under construction when it went into administration last month, and now the intention is to continue to develop the new Oyster 118 while also taking a fresh look at the other end of the size spectrum, where it is reckoned there is a substantial market for a “super high-quality” 42 footer

Published in Marine Trade
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Dun Laoghaire Harbour Information

Dun Laoghaire Harbour is the second port for Dublin and is located on the south shore of Dublin Bay. Marine uses for this 200-year-old man-made harbour have changed over its lifetime. Originally built as a port of refuge for sailing ships entering the narrow channel at Dublin Port, the harbour has had a continuous ferry link with Wales, and this was the principal activity of the harbour until the service stopped in 2015. In all this time, however, one thing has remained constant, and that is the popularity of sailing and boating from the port, making it Ireland's marine leisure capital with a harbour fleet of between 1,200 -1,600 pleasure craft based at the country's largest marina (800 berths) and its four waterfront yacht clubs.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour Bye-Laws

Download the bye-laws on this link here

FAQs

A live stream Dublin Bay webcam showing Dun Laoghaire Harbour entrance and East Pier is here

Dun Laoghaire is a Dublin suburb situated on the south side of Dublin Bay, approximately, 15km from Dublin city centre.

The east and west piers of the harbour are each of 1 kilometre (0.62 miles) long.

The harbour entrance is 232 metres (761 ft) across from East to West Pier.

  • Public Boatyard
  • Public slipway
  • Public Marina

23 clubs, 14 activity providers and eight state-related organisations operate from Dun Laoghaire Harbour that facilitates a full range of sports - Sailing, Rowing, Diving, Windsurfing, Angling, Canoeing, Swimming, Triathlon, Powerboating, Kayaking and Paddleboarding. Participants include members of the public, club members, tourists, disabled, disadvantaged, event competitors, schools, youth groups and college students.

  • Commissioners of Irish Lights
  • Dun Laoghaire Marina
  • MGM Boats & Boatyard
  • Coastguard
  • Naval Service Reserve
  • Royal National Lifeboat Institution
  • Marine Activity Centre
  • Rowing clubs
  • Yachting and Sailing Clubs
  • Sailing Schools
  • Irish Olympic Sailing Team
  • Chandlery & Boat Supply Stores

The east and west granite-built piers of Dun Laoghaire harbour are each of one kilometre (0.62 mi) long and enclose an area of 250 acres (1.0 km2) with the harbour entrance being 232 metres (761 ft) in width.

In 2018, the ownership of the great granite was transferred in its entirety to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council who now operate and manage the harbour. Prior to that, the harbour was operated by The Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, a state company, dissolved in 2018 under the Ports Act.

  • 1817 - Construction of the East Pier to a design by John Rennie began in 1817 with Earl Whitworth Lord Lieutenant of Ireland laying the first stone.
  • 1820 - Rennie had concerns a single pier would be subject to silting, and by 1820 gained support for the construction of the West pier to begin shortly afterwards. When King George IV left Ireland from the harbour in 1820, Dunleary was renamed Kingstown, a name that was to remain in use for nearly 100 years. The harbour was named the Royal Harbour of George the Fourth which seems not to have remained for so long.
  • 1824 - saw over 3,000 boats shelter in the partially completed harbour, but it also saw the beginning of operations off the North Wall which alleviated many of the issues ships were having accessing Dublin Port.
  • 1826 - Kingstown harbour gained the important mail packet service which at the time was under the stewardship of the Admiralty with a wharf completed on the East Pier in the following year. The service was transferred from Howth whose harbour had suffered from silting and the need for frequent dredging.
  • 1831 - Royal Irish Yacht Club founded
  • 1837 - saw the creation of Victoria Wharf, since renamed St. Michael's Wharf with the D&KR extended and a new terminus created convenient to the wharf.[8] The extended line had cut a chord across the old harbour with the landward pool so created later filled in.
  • 1838 - Royal St George Yacht Club founded
  • 1842 - By this time the largest man-made harbour in Western Europe had been completed with the construction of the East Pier lighthouse.
  • 1855 - The harbour was further enhanced by the completion of Traders Wharf in 1855 and Carlisle Pier in 1856. The mid-1850s also saw the completion of the West Pier lighthouse. The railway was connected to Bray in 1856
  • 1871 - National Yacht Club founded
  • 1884 - Dublin Bay Sailing Club founded
  • 1918 - The Mailboat, “The RMS Leinster” sailed out of Dún Laoghaire with 685 people on board. 22 were post office workers sorting the mail; 70 were crew and the vast majority of the passengers were soldiers returning to the battlefields of World War I. The ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat near the Kish lighthouse killing many of those onboard.
  • 1920 - Kingstown reverted to the name Dún Laoghaire in 1920 and in 1924 the harbour was officially renamed "Dun Laoghaire Harbour"
  • 1944 - a diaphone fog signal was installed at the East Pier
  • 1965 - Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club founded
  • 1968 - The East Pier lighthouse station switched from vapourised paraffin to electricity, and became unmanned. The new candle-power was 226,000
  • 1977- A flying boat landed in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, one of the most unusual visitors
  • 1978 - Irish National Sailing School founded
  • 1934 - saw the Dublin and Kingstown Railway begin operations from their terminus at Westland Row to a terminus at the West Pier which began at the old harbour
  • 2001 - Dun Laoghaire Marina opens with 500 berths
  • 2015 - Ferry services cease bringing to an end a 200-year continuous link with Wales.
  • 2017- Bicentenary celebrations and time capsule laid.
  • 2018 - Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company dissolved, the harbour is transferred into the hands of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council

From East pier to West Pier the waterfront clubs are:

  • National Yacht Club. Read latest NYC news here
  • Royal St. George Yacht Club. Read latest RSTGYC news here
  • Royal Irish Yacht Club. Read latest RIYC news here
  • Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club. Read latest DMYC news here

 

The umbrella organisation that organises weekly racing in summer and winter on Dublin Bay for all the yacht clubs is Dublin Bay Sailing Club. It has no clubhouse of its own but operates through the clubs with two x Committee vessels and a starters hut on the West Pier. Read the latest DBSC news here.

The sailing community is a key stakeholder in Dún Laoghaire. The clubs attract many visitors from home and abroad and attract major international sailing events to the harbour.

 

Dun Laoghaire Regatta

Dun Laoghaire's biennial town regatta was started in 2005 as a joint cooperation by the town's major yacht clubs. It was an immediate success and is now in its eighth edition and has become Ireland's biggest sailing event. The combined club's regatta is held in the first week of July.

  • Attracts 500 boats and more from overseas and around the country
  • Four-day championship involving 2,500 sailors with supporting family and friends
  • Economic study carried out by the Irish Marine Federation estimated the economic value of the 2009 Regatta at €2.5 million

The dates for the 2021 edition of Ireland's biggest sailing event on Dublin Bay is: 8-11 July 2021. More details here

Dun Laoghaire-Dingle Offshore Race

The biennial Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race is a 320-miles race down the East coast of Ireland, across the south coast and into Dingle harbour in County Kerry. The latest news on the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race can be found by clicking on the link here. The race is organised by the National Yacht Club.

The 2021 Race will start from the National Yacht Club on Wednesday 9th, June 2021.

Round Ireland Yacht Race

This is a Wicklow Sailing Club race but in 2013 the Garden County Club made an arrangement that sees see entries berthed at the RIYC in Dun Laoghaire Harbour for scrutineering prior to the biennial 704–mile race start off Wicklow harbour. Larger boats have been unable to berth in the confines of Wicklow harbour, a factor WSC believes has restricted the growth of the Round Ireland fleet. 'It means we can now encourage larger boats that have shown an interest in competing but we have been unable to cater for in Wicklow' harbour, WSC Commodore Peter Shearer told Afloat.ie here. The race also holds a pre-ace launch party at the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

Laser Masters World Championship 2018

  • 301 boats from 25 nations

Laser Radial World Championship 2016

  • 436 competitors from 48 nations

ISAF Youth Worlds 2012

  • The Youth Olympics of Sailing run on behalf of World Sailing in 2012.
  • Two-week event attracting 61 nations, 255 boats, 450 volunteers.
  • Generated 9,000 bed nights and valued at €9 million to the local economy.

The Harbour Police are authorised by the company to police the harbour and to enforce and implement bye-laws within the harbour, and all regulations made by the company in relation to the harbour.

There are four ship/ferry berths in Dun Laoghaire:

  • No 1 berth (East Pier)
  • No 2 berth (east side of Carlisle Pier)
  • No 3 berth (west side of Carlisle Pier)
  • No 4 berth  (St, Michaels Wharf)

Berthing facilities for smaller craft exist in the town's 800-berth marina and on swinging moorings.

© Afloat 2020