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Displaying items by tag: Marine Notice

The Department of Transport advises ship owners, ship operators, shipmasters, harbourmasters and ships’ agents of the requirements for passenger ships engaged in the tendering of passengers between the ship and the shore and for the transfer of crew/technicians embarking or disembarking a seagoing vessel at anchor.

Passenger ship tendering operations, like those between a cruise liner and the shore, will normally be permitted in the summer period only and are subject to annual review. All tender vessels must comply with the relevant provisions of the Merchant Shipping Acts.

Full details of the relevant tendering types and requirements can be found in Marine Notice No 08 of 2024, attached below.

Published in Ports & Shipping

The Department of Transport advises that it has re-established a panel of surveyors to conduct surveys of small fishing vessels of less than 15 metres in length, to check for compliance with the department’s Code of Practice for such vessels.

This panel is established until 24 January 2027. Contact details for the panel can be found in Marine Notice No 07 of 2024, attached below.

Published in Fishing
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The Department of Transport has been advised by Geological Survey Ireland (GSI) and the Marine Institute that hydrographic and geophysical survey operations will be undertaken by INFOMAR in the Celtic Sea, Atlantic Ocean, western coastal areas and Irish Sea areas between 1 March and 30 December.

RVs Keary, Geo, Mallet, Galtee and Lir are expected to carry out survey operations in three areas: the Atlantic Ocean, west of Galway and Mayo; an offshore area north-west of Belmullet, Co Mayo and western coastal areas stretching from Galway Bay to Malin Head, Co Donegal; and the Irish Sea adjacent to the Ireland/UK border from east of Co Dublin to east of Co Wexford and in coastal areas of Co Dublin.

Meanwhile, the RV Tom Crean is expected to carry out survey operations in the Celtic Sea, south of the 30-nautical-mile limit, and potentially in the Atlantic Ocean west of Kerry, Clare and Galway west of the 30nm limit between 5 March and 25 November.

This vessel will be towing a magnetometer sensor with a single cable of up to 200 metres in length and a moving vessel profiler cable of variable length up to a maximum of 200 metres.

All vessels will display appropriate lights and markers and will be listening on VHF Channel 16 throughout the course of the survey.

Full details of the surveys, including maps, coordinates and contact details, can be found in Marine Notice No 06 of 2024 attached below.

Published in Marine Science
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The Department of Transport has been advised by University College Cork (UCC) that it intends to deploy hydrophones east of the Arklow Bank at four locations, and southwards to 15km off the bank and east of Gorey and Blackwater.

This marine science research aims to describe seasonal and diurnal occurrence of the cetaceans (the order of marine wildlife that comprises whales, dolphins and porpoise) present in the areas.

UCC plans to deploy four moorings with attached hydrophones on the seabed between the dates of Monday 5 and Saturday 17 February, subject to operational and weather constraints. The moorings will be fully recovered after three to four months for maintenance and then redeployed.

The hydrophones will be deployed in four locations in a latitudinal gradient, from east of the turbines at the Arklow Bank to 10km south of the bank, east of Gorey and Blackwater, Co Wexford.

A single vessel will be used for deploy the hydrophones: the Sharpshooter (callsign EI5069). Deployment operations will be conducted during the hours of daylight, during favourable weather conditions.

Throughout operations, the vessel will be displaying the appropriate lights and shapes as required under the COLREGS Rule 27(b). As Sharpshooter will be deploying survey equipment and moorings, the vessel will be restricted in its ability to manoeuvre, therefore all other vessels are requested to leave a wide berth.

Coordinates and a map of the survey areas as well as contact details can be found in Marine Notice No 05 of 2024, attached below.

Published in Marine Science

The first and second legs of this year’s Irish Anglerfish and Megrim Survey (IAMS 2024) will be carried out from Thursday 8 February to Sunday 3 March.

Surveys will be conducted to the West, South-West and South Coasts of Ireland by the Marine Institute in fulfilment of Ireland’s obligations under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

IAMS is a demersal trawl survey consisting of approximately 110 otter trawls, each of 60 minutes duration, in ICES areas 7b, 7c, 7g, 7h, 7j and 7k.

Fishing in 2024 will take place within a three-nautical-mile radius of the positions indicated in Appendices 1 and 2 of Marine Notice No 03 of 2024, a PDF of which is attached below.

The survey will be conducted by the RV Celtic Explorer (callsign EIGB) which will display appropriate lights and signals. The vessel will be towing a Jackson demersal trawl during fishing operations.

The Marine Institute requests that commercial fishing and other marine operators keep a 3nm radius area around the tow points clear of any gear or apparatus during the survey period.

Further details are included in the Marine Notice below.

Published in Fishing

The Department of Transport has been notified by Optic Marine that it will carry out works from Wednesday 10 to Friday 22 January off the coast of Ireland north-west of Belmullet, subject to operational and weather constraints.

The subsea surveys with remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), underwater cable repairs, cable recovery with grapnel and buoy operations will be conducted by the cable vessel Cable Vigilance (callsign FMQW).

Regular safety messages will be broadcast on VHF Channel 16 and a buoy will be rigged with white flashing lights.

As the work vessel will be restricted in its ability to manoeuvre during operations, it is requested that all other passing vessels leave a wide berth.

Coordinates and a map of the work area, as well as contact details, can be found in Marine Notice No 1 of 2024 attached below.

Published in Coastal Notes

The final Marine Notice of 2023 draws attention to and provides information regarding the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention).

These 2023 regulations give effect to the Convention in Ireland and the specific compliance requirements that apply to particular vessels in the immediate term and with effect from 29 February 2024.

Under these regulations, all ships are required to manage their ballast water and sediments to a certain standard, according to a ship-specific ballast water management plan, and to carry a ballast water record book.

Ships of 400 gross tonnes and over are also required to carry an international ballast water management certificate.

The regulations apply to all Irish ships and to foreign-flagged ships under port state control.

For further details, see Marine Notice No 83 of 2023, attached below.

Published in Ports & Shipping
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The Marine Survey Office (MSO) of the Department of Transport is seeking applications from interested parties who wish to act as Recognised Security Organisations - RSO (Ports) for the period from January 2024 to 31 December 2028.

The authorisation will cover work as an RSO in relation to both Regulation EC 725/2004 on enhancing ship and port facility security and Directive 2005/65/EC on enhancing port security.

The closing date for receipt of completed applications is 3pm on Tuesday 16 January 2024.

Requirements and conditions for application are set out in the annex of Marine Notice No 82 of 2023, attached below.

Completed applications should be returned to the Marine Survey Office by post, or by email to [email protected].

Published in Ports & Shipping

The Department of Transport has been made aware of a Safety Recall Notice for AWG fire hose nozzles by the EU Commission’s Safety Gate rapid alert system.

The affected nozzles are type HS 10, HS 12, HS 16 and HS 20, country of origin Germany, marked with batch number “EN15182-1/3 2015” on the nozzle cap and “55” marked inside the orange tube.

They were most likely supplied during weeks 24 to 37 in
2015.

According to the EU notice, the product is defective and does not comply with the requirements of the Marine Equipment Directive or with the European Standard EN 15182- 1.

The notice adds that the nozzle is not robust enough to withstand working pressure of 16 bar and may burst. As a result, the user may be injured due to bursting or suffer burns when extinguishing a fire.

For more details on the safety recall, see Marine Notice No 81 of 2023 attached below.

Published in Safety

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage has issued a direction regarding activities requiring prior ministerial approval within the site of the proposed special protection area (SPA) for seabirds in the North-West Irish Sea.

As reported earlier this year on Afloat.ie, the proposed new SPA will cover over 230,000 hectares extending out from Dublin Bay to as far north as Dunany Point in Co Louth, and will increase Ireland’s percentage of marine waters protected under the EU Birds and Habitats directive to over nine per cent.

The list of Activities Requiring Consent relating to the SPA includes the following:

  • Reclamation, including infilling.
  • Blasting, drilling, dredging or otherwise removing or disturbing fossils, rock, minerals, mud, sand, gravel or other sediment.
  • Introduction, or re-introduction, of plants or animals not found in the area. (Consent is not required for the planting of crops on established reseeded grassland or cultivated land.)
  • Undertaking scientific research involving the collection and removal of biological material.
  • Any activity intended to disturb birds, including by mechanical, air, gas, wind-powered or audible means.
  • Developing or consenting to the development or operation of commercial recreational/visitor facilities or organised recreational activities.
  • Undertaking active acoustic surveys in the marine environment.

Observations in relation to the classification of the site may be submitted by interested parties and must be supported by scientifically based ornithological criteria.

Any objections to the classification of the site as a SPA or the Ministerial Direction may be lodged with the National Parks and Wildlife service.

The closing date for receipt of any observations or objections is 19 February 2024 and further details are included in Marine Notice No 80 of 2023, attache below.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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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!