Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Fastnet Line

#CorKWalesFerry – The reinstatement of a ferry link between Cork and the UK is not feasible in the current economic climate, according to a report compiled by transport experts, writes the Irish Examiner.

Cork County Council and the Port of Cork commissioned consultants Strategic Transport Solutions International to undertake a feasibility study of reopening the link after the ill-fated Fastnet Line ceased sailings in 2011.

The report concluded that in the present "economic and competitive climate", a new service cannot be justified commercially on the basis of the volume of passengers and freight achievable in the short term.

Traditionally the main ferry route between Britain and the south-west of Ireland has been Swansea to Cork. However, this time the consultants looked at linking Cork with Newport in Wales, and Bristol in England. To read much more on this story, click here.

 

Published in Ferry

#PORTS & SHIPPING REVIEW - Over the last fortnight Jehan Ashmore reports from the shipping scene which saw a 'Pop-Up Village' delivered by cargoship to Galway Port in readiness for the Volvo Ocean Race festival which started yesterday and continues to 8 July.

Arklow Marine Services second wind-farm support vessel (WFSV) Gardian 10 was launched for UK owners and today the vessel travelled from Arklow to Belfast Port and berthed at the Abercorn Basin.

In the rebel county, efforts to revive the Cork-Swansea route took a new step when a group was formed to ascess the feasibility in re-launching the Celtic Sea link that closed last November after Fastnet Line went into examinership.

At the Taoiseach's Public Service Excellence Awards, the Irish Maritime Energy Research Centre (IMERC) based in Haulbowline, Cork Harbour, won an award which was presented by Minister for Justice Alan Shatter T.D. at a ceremony held in Dublin Castle.

Across the world the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) highlighted the Day of the Seafarer on 25 June, where the role of those who work on ships provide a vital service in transporting essential goods on a global scale to meet our needs on a daily basis.

Dublin Port welcomed a flotilla from the Royal Netherlands Navy this weekend, where two of the vessels including a torpedo-training ship HNMLS Mercuur (A 900) was open to the public.

Today the cruiseship Saga Sapphire made her maiden 'Irish' port of call to Cobh having entered service in March for UK based operator Saga Cruises. The 706-passenger capacity ship is due to dock at Dublin Port tomorrow morning.

Former North Channel ferry stalwart Stena Caledonia which operated on the Larne/Belfast-Stranraer routes since 1990 has been sold by Stena Line to ASDP Ferry of Indonesia. She is the last ever passenger ship to have been built by Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#CORK FERRY RELAUNCH - According to today's Cork Independent, the Cork-Swansea ferry route which closed last Autumn has been followed-up by a new group to assess the feasibility of reopening the Celtic Sea service.

Those involved in the new group are from Cork County Council, the Port of Cork, Fáilte Ireland and representatives from the Irish Exporters Association which was announced by Mayor Tim Lombard, who believes that the wind up of Fastnet Line earlier this year and departure of ferry, has really hurt businesses in West Cork.

"There is a lack of tourism and a lack of business in West Cork this summer. There has been a major effect seen in the businesses in West Cork following the closure of the Fastnet Line," Cllr Lombard said. "It's why we are trying to push the boat out, if you pardon the pun," He added that the loss is also felt by the manufacturing sector which has lost a vital alternative freight link to the UK.

To read more about this story click HERE.

Published in Ferry

#FASTNET FERRY – The ferry Julia (1981/22.161grt) which had operated the Fastnet Line Cork-Swansea service, set sail yesterday under her new name Wind Perfection, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Since the route closed in November last year (having only started in 2010) the German built ferry has been tied-up close to the city-centre in Cork. The ferry awaited an uncertain future after her co-operative owners failed to secure funds of €1m plus to maintain trading on the Celtic Sea.

Earlier this year she was sold to Dutch based C-Bed N.V. who are to re-fit the vessel, believed to be carried out in a shipyard in Denmark. The 1,860 passenger capacity ship is to be adapted for a new career as a floating dormitory for Siemens in the North Sea.

The vessel will be anchored at sea from where personnel working in the construction and servicing of offshore wind-farm turbine installations will be based.

Wind Perfection will join C-Bed's fleet which is also made up of two former ferries, one of which the Wind Ambition had also served Siemens while working at an offshore wind project in the Irish Sea.

Published in Ferry

#FERRY NEWS - With the acquisition of Fastnet Line's Julia to C-BED as previously reported, the Dutch owned company's fleet rises to three floating hotels which are used to accommodate workers in offshore wind-farm energy installations, writes Jehan Ashmore.

All three vessels are former ferries and one of which the Wind Ambition was in recent years based in in the north Irish Sea. The third vessel is Wind Solution, for photos and technicl details of these vessels click HERE. While the former Cork-Swansea ferry has been renamed Wind Perfection (1981/22,161grt) , she remains berthed in Cork city docks having laid-up there since the route's closure last November.

The vessel is however due to undergo an extensive refit in The Netherlands before she takes up a charter in the North Sea with Siemens in October, as a floating hotel for wind-turbine industry employees.

By using the vessel Siemens are to save valuable time and money which would otherwise by the daily transfer of construction workers to and from the mainland. For a video computer simulation showing the different logistics involved between an offshore floating hotel and a conventional hotel onshore, click HERE.

Wind Perfection was originally built as Olau Britannia and shared sailings with sistership Olau Hollandia for a UK-Dutch route between Sheerness-Vlissingen operated by Olau Line.

The sisters were replaced by newer vessels on the North Sea route in the late 1980's and sold to various owners during the years. Before Julia made her Celtic Sea debut, she last ran under the same name for Stella Line on the St. Petersberg-Helsinki route.

Incidentally her sister Norlandia (1981/21,473grt) operates also from the Finnish capital to Tallinn for Eckero Line. Likewise she too is due to undergo changes as she is to be replaced later this year as a second-hand ferry from Mediterranean owners was sold to the Baltic Sea operator.

Published in Ferry

#FERRY NEWS – The former Fastnet Line ferry Julia (1981 / 22,161grt) is to embark on a new life as a floating dormitory for workers building and servicing offshore wind turbines in the North Sea, according to The Examiner.

The rather ignominious end for the ferry once billed as one of the jewels in Cork tourism industry, marks the final chapter in the short and troubled life of Fastnet Line, which was set up by West Cork Tourism Co-operative.

At over 30 years-old the ship, which had capacity for 1,860 passengers, made its maiden voyage on the Cork-Swansea route in March 2010. She was bedevilled by mechanical problems in the first few days of operation, and in late 2011 the Celtic Sea service was withdrawn due to higher-than-expected fuel prices.

It had been hoped to restart the route this year, but Fastnet Line went into receivership last month. The vessel had been sold, reportedly for €5m, to C-BED, a Dutch-based company which are to rename her Wind Perfection.

For more on this story about the short-lived ferry operation click HERE.

Published in Ferry

#PORTS & SHIPPING NEWS – The Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) have welcomed a newly founded ship-management company, Barry Shipping, which started operations in Cork at the end of last year.

The company headed by Corkonian Owen Barry,  provides ship management, crew management, project management, training and a range of other services for the maritime industry.

Glenn Murphy, director of the IMDO said "We wish Barry Shipping well with their new venture and look forward to providing them with further strategic and network support to assist them during their continued development".

Commenting on their future strategy Barry said, "The company's aim is to provide clients with creative and profitable solutions to meet and overcome some of the unique challenges in the current climate".

Barry graduated from Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) in 1996 and started his career with BP Shipping as an Engineering Cadet. This was followed by working with leading passenger operators Irish Ferries, P&O Cruises and Dobson Fleet Management where he served as Chief Engineer and Technical Superintendent. In 2009 he returned to Cork to run operations for Fastnet Line.

For more information about the new company, visit www.barryshipping.com

In addition for details about the role of the (IMDO) which is Ireland's national dedicated development, promotional and marketing agency for the shipping services sector click HERE

Published in Ports & Shipping
2nd February 2012

Fastnet Line Closes For Good

#FERRY NEWS - The Fastnet Line ferry service between Cork and Swansea is to close with the loss of 78 jobs.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the operator had been in examinership since last November, and a restructured business plan had been submitted with a view to resuming high-season service in April.

However, in a statement the owners of the Fastnet Line said they had been unable to raise the €1m-plus investment required and that the examinership had "failed".

All 78 jobs will be lost as the company is set to be placed in receivership or liquidation later today.

The Fastnet Line - which was worth around €30 million to Cork in tourist spending - made its maiden voyage from Swansea to Cork in 2010, and was the only direct passenger and freight link between Wales and the south coast of Ireland.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Ferry

#FERRY NEWS - The operators of the Celtic Sea ferry route between Cork-Swansea need to secure over €1m in investment today in order to save the company after being thrown a €300,000 funding lifeline by Cork's local authorities.

Cork City Council agreed last night to invest €100,000 in the Fastnet Line, bringing its total investment in the company to €365,000.

It followed a 90-minute behind closed doors presentation by Fastnet Line's acting chief executive officer, Pádraic O'Kane. He is due to meet Enterprise Ireland this morning to discuss further investment. He declined to discuss the amount involved, but it is understood to be in the region of €400,000.

Finance Wales will await the outcome of those talks before it agrees to pump up to €800,000 in to the firm. For more about this story in today's Examiner click HERE

Published in Ferry

#FERRY NEWS - Approximately €500,000 is to be sought from three local authorities in the south-west region so to help restart the Cork-Swansea route which was served by the M.V. Julia (1982/22,161grt) until sailings ceased in November last year.

Representatives from Fastnet Line Ship Holdings Ltd are expected to attend a special meeting of Cork County Council next Monday at which they will outline a business plan for the company, which is in examinership.

They will also address a scheduled meeting of Cork City Council later the same day and are expected to communicate their request to Kerry County Council shortly.

For more about this story in today's Examiner click HERE

Published in Ferry
Page 1 of 3

Aquaculture Information

Aquaculture is the farming of animals in the water and has been practised for centuries, with the monks farming fish in the middle ages. More recently the technology has progressed and the aquaculture sector is now producing in the region of 50 thousand tonnes annually and provides a valuable food product as well as much needed employment in many rural areas of Ireland.

A typical fish farm involves keeping fish in pens in the water column, caring for them and supplying them with food so they grow to market size. Or for shellfish, containing them in a specialised unit and allowing them to feed on natural plants and materials in the water column until they reach harvestable size. While farming fish has a lower carbon and water footprint to those of land animals, and a very efficient food fed to weight gain ratio compared to beef, pork or chicken, farming does require protein food sources and produces organic waste which is released into the surrounding waters. Finding sustainable food sources, and reducing the environmental impacts are key challenges facing the sector as it continues to grow.

Salmon is the most popular fish bought by Irish families. In Ireland, most of our salmon is farmed, and along with mussels and oysters, are the main farmed species in the country.

Aquaculture in Ireland

  • Fish and shellfish are farmed in 14 Irish coastal counties.
  • Irish SMEs and families grow salmon, oysters, mussels and other seafood
  • The sector is worth €150m at the farm gate – 80% in export earnings.
  • The industry sustains 1,833 direct jobs in remote rural areas – 80% in the west of Ireland
  • Every full-time job in aquaculture creates 2.27 other jobs locally (Teagasc 2015)
  • Ireland’s marine farms occupy 0.0004% of Ireland’s 17,500Km2 inshore area.
  • 83% of people in coastal areas support the development of fish farming
  • Aquaculture is a strong, sustainable and popular strategic asset for development and job creation (Foodwise 2025, National Strategic Plan, Seafood
  • Operational Programme 2020, FAO, European Commission, European Investment Bank, Harvesting Our Ocean Wealth, Silicon Republic, CEDRA)
    Ireland has led the world in organically certified farmed fish for over 30 years
  • Fish farm workers include people who have spent over two decades in the business to school-leavers intent on becoming third-generation farmers on their family sites.

Irish Aquaculture FAQs

Aquaculture, also known as aquafarming, is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic plants, and involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled conditions- in contrast to commercial fishing, which is the harvesting of wild fish. Mariculture refers to aquaculture practiced in marine environments and in underwater habitats. Particular kinds of aquaculture include fish farming, shrimp farming, oyster farming, mariculture, algaculture (such as seaweed farming), and the cultivation of ornamental fish. Particular methods include aquaponics and integrated multi-trophic aquaculture, both of which integrate fish farming and plant farming.

About 580 aquatic species are currently farmed all over the world, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), which says it is "practised by both some of the poorest farmers in developing countries and by multinational companies".

Increasing global demand for protein through seafood is driving increasing demand for aquaculture, particularly given the pressures on certain commercially caught wild stocks of fish. The FAO says that "eating fish is part of the cultural tradition of many people and in terms of health benefits, it has an excellent nutritional profile, and "is a good source of protein, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and essential micronutrients".

Aquaculture now accounts for 50 per cent of the world's fish consumed for food, and is the fastest-growing good sector.

China provides over 60 per cent of the world's farmed fish. In Europe, Norway and Scotland are leading producers of finfish, principally farmed salmon.

For farmed salmon, the feed conversion ratio, which is the measurement of how much feed it takes to produce the protein, is 1.1, as in one pound of feed producing one pound of protein, compared to rates of between 2.2 and 10 for beef, pork and chicken. However, scientists have also pointed out that certain farmed fish and shrimp requiring higher levels of protein and calories in feed compared to chickens, pigs, and cattle.

Tilapia farming which originated in the Middle East and Africa has now become the most profitable business in most countries. Tilapia has become the second most popular seafood after crab, due to which its farming is flourishing. It has entered the list of best selling species like shrimp and salmon.

There are 278 aquaculture production units in Ireland, according to Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) *, producing 38,000 tonnes of finfish and shellfish in 2019 and with a total value of €172 million

There are currently almost 2,000 people directly employed in Irish aquaculture in the Republic, according to BIM.

BIM figures for 2019 recorded farmed salmon at almost 12,000 tonnes, valued at €110 million; rock oysters reached 10,300 tonnes at a value of €44 million; rope mussels at 10,600 tonnes were valued at €7 million; seabed cultured mussels at 4,600 tonnes were valued at €7 million; "other" finfish reached 600 tonnes, valued at €2 million and "other" shellfish reached 300 tonnes, valued at €2 million

Irish aquaculture products are exported to Europe, US and Asia, with salmon exported to France, Germany, Belgium and the US. Oysters are exported to France, with developing sales to markets in Hong Kong and China. France is Ireland's largest export for mussels, while there have been increased sales in the domestic and British markets.

The value of the Irish farmed finfish sector fell by five per cent in volume and seven per cent in value in 2019, mainly due to a fall on salmon production, but this was partially offset by a seven per cent increased in farmed shellfish to a value of 60 million euro. Delays in issuing State licenses have hampered further growth of the sector, according to industry representatives.

Fish and shellfish farmers must be licensed, and must comply with regulations and inspections conducted by the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority and the Marine Institute. Food labelling is a function of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. There is a long backlog of license approvals in the finfish sector, while the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine says it is working to reduce the backlog in the shellfish sector.

The department says it is working through the backlog, but notes that an application for a marine finfish aquaculture licence must be accompanied by either an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or an Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR). As of October 2020, over two-thirds of applications on hand had an EIS outstanding, it said.

The EU requires member states to have marine spatial plans by 2021, and Ireland has assigned responsibility to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government for the National Marine Planning Framework (NMPF). Legislation has been drawn up to underpin this, and to provide a "one stop shop" for marine planning, ranging from fish farms to offshore energy – as in Marine Planning and Development Management Bill. However, the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine confirmed last year that it intends to retain responsibility for aquaculture and sea-fisheries related development – meaning fish and shellfish farmers won't be able to avail of the "one stop shop" for marine planning.

Fish and shellfish health is a challenge, with naturally occurring blooms, jellyfish and the risk of disease. There are also issues with a perception that the sector causes environmental problems.

The industry has been on a steep learning curve, particularly in finfish farming, since it was hailed as a new future for Irish coastal communities from the 1970s – with the State's Electricity Supply Board being an early pioneer, and tobacco company Carrolls also becoming involved for a time. Nutrient build up, which occurs when there is a high density of fish in one area, waste production and its impact on depleting oxygen in water, creating algal blooms and "dead zones", and farmers' use of antibiotics to prevent disease have all been concerns, and anglers have also been worried about the impact of escaped farmed salmon on wild fish populations. Sea lice from salmon farmers were also blamed for declines in sea trout and wild salmon in Irish estuaries and rivers.

BIM says over 95% of all salmon farmed in Ireland are certified organic. Organically grown salmon are only fed a diet of sustainable organic feed. They are also raised in more spacious pens than traditional farmed salmon. The need to site locations for fish farms further out to sea, using more robust cages for weather, has been recognised by regulatory agencies. There is a move towards land-based aquaculture in Norway to reduce impact on local ecosystems. The industry says that antibiotic use is declining, and it says that "safe and effective vaccinations have since been developed for farmed fish and are now widely used". Many countries are now adopting a more sustainable approach to removing sea lice from salmon, using feeder fish such as wrasse and lumpsucker fish. Ireland's first lumpsucker hatchery was opened in 2015.

BIM says over 95% of all salmon farmed in Ireland are certified organic. Organically grown salmon are only fed a diet of sustainable organic feed. They are also raised in more spacious pens than traditional farmed salmon. The need to site locations for fish farms further out to sea, using more robust cages for weather, has been recognised by regulatory agencies. There is a move towards land-based aquaculture in Norway to reduce impact on local ecosystems. The industry says that antibiotic use is declining, and it says that "safe and effective vaccinations have since been developed for farmed fish and are now widely used". Many countries are now adopting a more sustainable approach to removing sea lice from salmon, using feeder fish such as wrasse and lumpsucker fish. Ireland's first lumpsucker hatchery was opened in 2015.

Yes, as it is considered to have better potential for controlling environmental impacts, but it is expensive. As of October 2020, the department was handling over 20 land-based aquaculture applications.

The Irish Farmers' Association has represented fish and shellfish farmers for many years, with its chief executive Richie Flynn, who died in 2018, tirelessly championing the sector. His successor, Teresa Morrissey, is an equally forceful advocate, having worked previously in the Marine Institute in providing regulatory advice on fish health matters, scientific research on emerging aquatic diseases and management of the National Reference Laboratory for crustacean diseases.

BIM provides training in the national vocational certificate in aquaculture at its National Fisheries College, Castletownbere, Co Cork. It also trains divers to work in the industry. The Institute of Technology Carlow has also developed a higher diploma in aqua business at its campus in Wexford, in collaboration with BIM and IFA Aquaculture, the representative association for fish and shellfish farming.

© Afloat 2020

At A Glance - Irish Aquaculture

  • Fish and shellfish are farmed in 14 Irish coastal counties
  • Salmon is the most popular fish bought by Irish families. 
  • In Ireland, most of our salmon is farmed, and along with mussels and oysters, are the main farmed species in the country.
  • The industry sustains 1,833 direct jobs in remote rural areas – 80% in the west of Ireland
  • Every full-time job in aquaculture creates 2.27 other jobs locally (Teagasc 2015)
  • Ireland’s marine farms occupy 0.0004% of Ireland’s 17,500Km2 inshore area.
  • 83% of people in coastal areas support the development of fish farming

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating