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The Commissioners of Irish Lights has announced a major conference ‘Navigating to 2050 – A safe and sustainable maritime future’.

The two-day conference will be held in Dublin Castle on 15-16 November 2022 and a virtual attendance will also be available.

Safely navigating to a decarbonised maritime sector by 2050 requires extensive knowledge building, investment and holistic approaches. More importantly, it requires immediate action. These issues stretch across the entire marine sector incorporating shipping, ports, energy, fuel supply and storage, environmentally-friendly and safe navigation, operations and effective regulation.

At a time of major challenge, but also very significant opportunity, this conference will bring together a diverse range of key national and international leaders to debate a safe and sustainable route to 2050. The conference will identify the gaps, synergies, levers and opportunities that will enable progress on this critical journey.

To register your interest and view key speakers visit this link.

Full conference registration and further programme details will be available from Irish Lights in August.

Published in Lighthouses

This week the Loughs Agency welcomed Europe’s top marine scientists to the Northwest for the European Tracking Network’s (ETN) annual meeting, with delegates from across the continent attending the three-day event in Derry.

The conference, which is funded by the EU’s COST Action programme, took place in the City Hotel Derry from Tuesday 5 to Thursday 7 April, with attendees taking part in a range of informative workshops and activities.

The Loughs Agency is a member of ETN, an initiative devoted to furthering knowledge and management of aquatic species around Europe.

The network has six strategically placed large marine fish counters — known as ‘arrays’ — situated across the continent’s waters, with various member organisations involved in the long-term project.

During the conference delegates discussed a range of issues, including the current status of the project, new funding opportunities, key species for research and new projects in the pipeline.

Those in attendance have also embarked on site visits to Lough Foyle and rivers in the Foyle catchment. Over the course of these visits, they were able to observe the agency’s fish counters as well as estuary arrays which are deployed as part of SeaMonitor, the Loughs Agency-led project which has been described as “Europe’s largest fish counter”.

Graham Warke, the Mayor of Derry and Strabane was in attendance at the City Hotel Derry on Wednesday 6 April to meet delegates, and the party also had the opportunity to sample some of the region’s finest food and drink at the Walled City Brewery.

Sharon McMahon, acting chief executive of the Loughs Agency said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to welcome so many esteemed scientists, academics and environmentalists from across Europe to the Foyle catchment area in Ireland’s scenic Northwest.

“The agency is proud of the incredible work carried out by our science function on a daily basis, and as lead partner on the SeaMonitor project, we are fortunate to be right at the cutting edge of fish tracking technology.

“Through continuous collaboration with our European colleagues, this ETN annual meeting will enable us to increase our knowledge of aquatic species, which in turn will help us preserve marine life throughout Europe.”

ETN coordination Dr Jan Reubens explained that the network’s mission “is to track aquatic animals across Europe to better understand, protect and manage them. This meeting is an important milestone to boost our objectives by creating network opportunities, strengthening collaborations, sharing knowledge and advancing the science.”

Published in Marine Science

The 2022 EIFAAC Symposium will be hosted by Inland Fisheries Ireland and the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications at Randles Hotel in Killarney on 20-21 June.

The rubric for the 31st symposium of the European Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture Advisory Commission — the first since Dresden, Germany in September 2019 — is ‘Advances in Technology, Stock Assessment and Citizen Science in an Era of Climate Change’.

Four themes have been identified for the symposium relating to inland fish stock assessment, developments in freshwater fish monitoring technologies, assessing the impacts of climate change on freshwater fish and their habitats and the role of citizen science. The fifth theme will focus on the pros and cons of traditional vs recirculation aquaculture systems.

Abstract submission is open for presenters until this Friday 18 February. Notification of acceptance letters all be sent on 25 March and presenting authors will have until 28 March to register. The deadline for submission of manuscripts/presentations is 13 June, one week before the symposium.

For those wishing to attend, early-bird registration is now open at €120 (students €80) until 1 April. Payment made after this date will incur an extra administration charge of €20.

For more details on attending the conference, see the IFI website HERE.

Published in Aquaculture

ICRA has published the agenda and registration details for its 2021 Conference and AGM taking place over Zoom on Saturday 6 March.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, RTÉ and Met Éireann’s Evelyn Cusack will head an exciting and interesting line-up of guest speakers and presentations.

ICRA Commodore Richard Colwell will kick off proceedings at 10.30 am with the welcome and Commodore’s update.

This will be followed at 10.40 am by Evelyn Cusack’s half-hour presentation on forecasting the weather. And at 11.10 am, esteemed yacht designer Mark Mills will give a brief talk on his line of work.

After a short 10-minute break, the conference resumes at 11.40 with an events update from Harry Hermon of Irish Sailing, and briefings on the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race by Adam Winkelmann, Sovereigns Cup by Anthony O’Neil, Dun Laoghaire Regatta by Con Murphy, ICRA Nationals by Ric Morris and ISORA from Peter Ryan.

Updates from the organisers of key Irish regattas, including VDLR above, will be given at March's ICRA online ConferenceUpdates from the organisers of key Irish regattas, including VDLR above, will be given at March's ICRA online Conference Photo: Afloat

At 12.05 pm, Dave Cullen will host an events and racing Q&A session, followed at 12.20 pm by the formal opening of the AGM by Richard Colwell.

ICRA Treasurer John Leech will give a financial update, which will be followed by an update on activities and objectives.

Under 25 programme update

Brian Raftery will brief on the U25 programme, Denis Byrne will talk the Central Results database, Ric Morris will present on updates and enhancements to rules, and Richard Colwell will give an update on plans for the 2022 Nationals.

From 12.50 pm will be the notification of existing members stepping down from the ICRA executive committee, and the election of new members, followed by the formal closing at 1 pm.

Click HERE for registration details, and find more related documents on the ICRA website.

Published in ICRA
Tagged under

A conference seminar: 'Seafarer Wellness: Are the signals being read? is to be held on Thursday, 26 March (0900-17.00) at the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI), Ringaskiddy, Cork Harbour.

Organisers of the conference is the Ireland Branch Of The Nautical Institute (website) and the Irish Institute of Master Mariners (IIMM) in association with the Department of Maritime Studies at NMCI.

For a list of the seminar speakers list click this link

The conference will be an opportunity to meet colleagues, exchange views and inform Maritime Policy.

To register attendence and book tickets at €20 (incl refreshments and light lunch) click here and for a map of venue location.

For further information contact Deirdre at [email protected] 

Published in Ports & Shipping

The global climate crisis and how it relates to biodiversity and ocean protection is a big topic for discussion at a two-day conference in Trinity College Dublin which starts tomorrow (Monday 2 September).

The ‘Bigger and Better’ Marine Protected Area Conference is co-hosted by Coastwatch Ireland and the Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT), who highlight that Ireland has protected only a fraction of its waters as pledged by 2020.

It will bring together Government officials with international speakers and experts to explore the reasons for Ireland’s “poor performance” when it comes to protecting our seas.

“Ireland is a laggard in providing the protections required to restore our ocean’s health,” said IWT campaign officer Pádraic Fogarty.

“MPAs [Marine Protected Areas] are now widely applied across the world as a tool in protecting biodiversity and ocean ecosystems.

“As an island nation we really should be at the forefront of this effort – not at the back of the class.”

Tickets for the conference are available from Eventbrite.

Published in Marine Wildlife

The Loughs Agency is teaming up with the Foyle Association of Salmon and Trout Anglers (FASTA) to host an evening salmon conference in Omagh, Co Tyrone next month.

Our Foyle Salmon – The Upstream Battle at the Mellon Country Inn from 7pm on Wednesday 25 September will hear from speakers on a range of issues including the status of salmon in the River Foyle, current research, threats and steps that can be taken to sustain and protect the species.

This is a fully ticketed event; tickets are free and available through Eventbrite with a maximum of two tickets per transaction.

When registering for tickets you can also submit a question to the panel for the Q&A session at the conference.

Published in Angling

#MarineScience - Following on from the successful conferences in Keele (2014) and Stirling (2016), the Marine Institute in Galway will host the third meeting of the European Association Of Fish Pathologists (EAFP) on 11-12 September 2018.

‘Connecting academia with industry for improved aquatic animal health’ is the theme of next year’s meeting, which will focus on the latest scientific advances and how this can be applied to the crustacean, molluscan and finfish aquaculture industries to improve the health of such marine wildlife.

The meeting will open with a keynote lecture followed by specific sessions on topics relevant to the UK and Ireland. Early stage researchers (post-graduate students, PhDs) will also get the opportunity to present their work in a dedicated session.

Registration for this event will open in early 2018. More announcements will follow on the EAFP website. For queries contact Dr Neil Ruane at [email protected].

Published in Marine Science

#Shellfish - Galway will host the 11th International Conference on Molluscan Shellfish Safety (ICMSS 2017) this summer from Sunday 14 to Thursday 18 May.

ICMSS 2017 will be hosted by the Marine Institute in association with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, Irish Shellfish Association, National University of Ireland and Bord Iascaigh Mhara in the Bailey Allen Hall at NUI Galway.

This 11th conference in the biannual forum series, subtitled ‘Protecting consumers, assuring supply, growing confidence’, offers an important multidisciplinary interface between regulatory, scientific and industrial representatives of the international molluscan food safety community. Unusual, emerging and novel shellfish risk factors will be discussed, offering new information and solutions.

ICMSS 2017 will include keynote presentations from acclaimed international experts in the area. A series of workshops will be held in conjunction with the event on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 May which will be of particular interest to shellfish safety professionals and students, including microbiologists, toxin chemists, toxicologists, marine scientists, regulators, policy makers, food safety specialists, environmental health officials, engineers, environmental managers, academics and undergraduate and postgraduate students.

More information can be found on the ICMSS 2017 website. The programme is available to as a PDF to read or download HERE.

Published in Marine Science

#BlueGrowth - Galway's Marine Institute will host the third Irish national event of the support team for the Atlantic Action Plan on Thursday 24 November.

Under the theme of ‘Linking the Atlantic Strategy and Current Funding Opportunities’, this event is aimed at anyone with an interest in developing projects related to the marine and maritime sectors in line with the Atlantic Action Plan. The official event website has more details.

Also on 24 November, Galway’s Glenlo Abbey Hotel is the venue for the seventh Marine Economics and Policy Research Symposium, hosted by the Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU) of NUI Galway’s Whitaker Institute.

This free event will provide participants with an update on a wide range of policy topics related to the marine sector in Ireland, with a particular focus this year on the valuation of marine ecosystem services benefits to society.

Speakers will include Prof Nick Hanley of the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland (MASTS); Dr Ronan Lyons of Trinity College Dublin; and Dr Kathrine Skoland of International Research Institute of Stavanger, Norway.

More information on the day will be circulated in the coming weeks, and early registration is available HERE.

Published in Marine Science
Page 1 of 5

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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