Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Oil & Gas

#CoastalNotes - Extension of planning permission for a €500 million gas terminal at Ballylongford on the Kerry coast now faces judicial review, as Green News reports.

Friends of the Irish Evironment (FiE) was granted leave in the High Court to review An Bord Pleanála’s decision to extend permission originally granted in 2008, on the basis that relevant climate law has changed in recent years.

FiE also contends that the environmental assessment submitted with the original application does not take into account a later survey of the area by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

This 2012 survey identified the earmarked site for the terminal’s jetty as a “critical habitat” for bottlenose dolphins.

Green News has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#Oil&Gas - Cher has backed a bill to ban offshore drilling for oil and gas in Irish waters that passed its first vote in the Dáil yesterday (Thursday 8 February).

Using the hashtag #HellToTheYes, the pop music legend threw her support behind the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development (Amendment) (Climate Emergency Measures) Bill after an appeal on Twitter by Green Party Dáil researcher Sinéad Mercier.

The so-called ‘Climate Emergency’ bill seeks to end the granting of offshore licences for oil and gas exploration or drilling, and would make Ireland the fourth country in the world to introduce such a ban.

Oil industry representatives say the bill in its current form will create “significant degrees of uncertainty” in the industry, according to the Irish Examiner. The locally unpopular Kish Bank prospect in Dublin Bay is among those that would be affected should the bill go further.

The Solidarity-People Before Profit bill passed by 78 to 48 on a day that saw the Government doubly defeated as opposition TDs rallied to approve a review of tendering for the National Broadband Plan, days after eir announced its withdrawal from the project.

The Irish Times has more on the drilling ban bill HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
Tagged under

#Documentary - "It’s about understanding the ocean, working with the ocean. Not just seeing it as something to grab, but as something you look after."

That's the message of new documentary Atlantic by Irish filmmaker Risteard Ó Domhnaill, who spoke to Ian Maleney for The Irish Times on its release in Irish cinemas yesterday (Friday 29 April).

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the feature-length documentary – narrated by Emmy Award-winner Brendan Gleeson – follows the fortunes of three small Atlantic coastal fishing communities in Ireland, Canada and Norway.

Each facing their own challenges, from the impact of oil exploration and climate change to the pressures of large-scale commercial fishing.

And as Ó Domhnaill relates from his experience making the film, these livelihoods have changed dramatically even in only the last five years.

"Who knows what’s going to happen, what’s going to hit the ocean?" he says of the years ahead. "Acidification, warming of currents? We’re facing a crossroads. We can’t just fence off our part of the sea and say ‘We’ll look after that’. It’s a much bigger challenge."

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#Documentary - A new documentary from the maker of The Pipe takes on the powerful interests "carving up" Ireland's ocean resources.

Opening in Ireland on 29 April, Risteard Ó Domhnaill's Atlantic is narrated by Emmy Award-winner Brendan Gleeson, and was awarded the Best Irish Documentary prize at the recent Audi Dublin International Film Festival.

Shot across Ireland, Norway and Newfoundland in Canada by Scannáin Inbhear/Inver Films, Atlantic expands upon the controversial subject matter of his previous film – the experiences of Rossport residents opposed to Shell's prospect in the Corrib gas field – to tell a wider story of threats to coastal communities not only in Ireland, but around the North Atlantic Rim.

Atlantic follows the fortunes of three small fishing communities as they struggle to maintain their way of life in the face of mounting economic and ecological challenges.

'Atlantic' - the race for the resources of the North Atlantic from Risteard O Domhnaill on Vimeo.

As the oil majors drive deeper into their fragile seas, and the world’s largest fishing companies push fish stocks to the brink, coastal people and the species they rely on may be reaching a point of no return.

In Norway, fishermen and their resource have historically been aggressively protected by national authorities. But as oil fields dwindle and the country now looks to add to its reserves, Arctic cod fisherman Bjornar Nicolaisen is campaigning against seismic testing by the oil explorers criss-crossing his fishing grounds.

On the outer edges of Norway’s five-star economy, seismic blasting is threatening to blow Bjornar’s livelihood out of the water.

Across the ocean in Newfoundland, where an oil boom has hit, fisherman Charlie Kane will likely be the last of his generation to work the sea, after a cod fishing ban in the 1990s brought a world-renowned industry to a halt overnight.

Charlie is thankful his sons can now make a good living on the oil rigs, and won’t need to toil in small boats on Newfoundland’s perilous Grand Banks. But now, as oil prices plummet, their village is once more taking on water, as the the quick money of the black gold rush begins to run dry.

Meanwhile, in the West of Ireland, Jerry Early has seen the heart ripped out of his island after a ban on drift netting for wild salmon. As he fights to regain his fishing rights, and as foreign super-trawlers operate with impunity just offshore, Jerry feels like a criminal on his own boat.

The circumstances could be dire if he defies the 'new order of the ocean', but as the unofficial 'mayor' of a dying island, Jerry feels he has to face up to powerful interests before it’s too late.

Filmed in some of the most remote and breathtaking locations in the North Atlantic, and at close quarters with some of the sea’s most captivating characters, Atlantic brings the very personal stories in the vital resource debate to the fore, exploring how three modern-day communities must learn from the past in order to secure a brighter future.

Risteard O’Domhnaill said of his new film: “My last documentary, The Pipe, told the story of a small coastal community as they faced down one of the world’s most powerful oil companies, which was forcing a high-pressure raw gas pipeline through their farms and fishing grounds.

"The story raised more questions for me than it answered, leading me to look at the politics of our oil and gas prospects off the Irish coast. What has since unfolded is an incredible story of resource mismanagement, and the capture of our offshore riches — oil, gas and fishing — whilst our gaze is elsewhere.

“Unfortunately, what I found when I looked across the Atlantic is that Ireland’s tale is not unique. However, in both Norway and Newfoundland, the lessons learned by similarly affected communities can help us to chart a different course, before our most renewable resources are damaged beyond recognition, or sold to the highest bidders.”

Commenting on his involvement, Brendan Gleeson said: “Atlantic is an engrossing piece of truth-seeking, visually stunning and crafted with clarity and insight. It was an honour to be involved.”

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Atlantic started as an ambitious crowdfunding project, but is now backed by Bord Scannán na hÉireann (The Irish Film Board), the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corporation and Nordnorsk Filmsenter (the North Norwegian Film Centre).

The feature-length documentary opens in Dublin exclusively at the Irish Film Institute on Friday 29 April, with director Risteard O’Domhnaill joined by Arranmore and Rossaveal shermen for a discussion following the 8.30pm screening on the first night. For more see the official film website HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#Oil&Gas - A drop in exploration costs alongside the fall in commodities prices is driving increased interest in Providence Resources' Barryroe prospect, as The Irish Times reports.

"Work continues with a number of parties to progress the Barryroe farm out to a satisfactory conclusion,” said Tony O’Reilly, chief executive of the Dublin-based oil and gas exploration firm.

It comes more than a year after negotiations over the farm-out of the oil field off Ireland's south coast began, a process that the company said was "taking much longer to achieve" due to unfavourable market conditions.

Studies in 2012 indicated that the Barryroe field could yield as much as 1.6 billion barrels, and be worth many billions to the Irish economy.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#Oil&Gas - Providence Resources is divesting almost a third of its interest in its Spanish Point prospect, as The Irish Times reports.

The Irish oil and gas exploration company intends to sell off a 32% "non-operated interest" in the area off the coast of Co Clare, in the northern part of the Porcupine Basin, which has been shown to hold enormous reserves of oil.

Providence delayed its own exploration at Spanish Point earlier this year due to "unforeseen changes" to its joint venture at the well.

But drilling is now expected to take place in 2017 pending State approval.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#Oil&Gas - Providence Resources has delayed exploration of its Spanish Point well off Co Clare "pending discussions with partners and the Government", as The Irish Times reports.

Already pushed back from last summer due to the longer-than-planned refurbishment of the Blackford Dolphin rig, the Spanish Point option - granted in January last year – was subsequently seismic surveyed for oil and gas condensate in the autumn.

The latest delay, however, comes after "recent unforeseen changes to the make-up of the joint venture".

That's according to Providence chief executive Tony O'Reilly, who adds that discussions with interested third parties for the prospect continue.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#Oil&Gas - Providence Resources is talking positive about its Drombeg prospect off the south-west coast, as The Irish Times reports.

The site in the southern Porcupine Basin was surveyed last summer by the Polarcus Amani, said to be one of the greenest seismic vessels in the world, in what was one of the largest 3D seismic surveys yet carried out off Ireland.

And the preliminary results have revealed "seismic morphologies" that are "consistent with those of a large deep-water fan system".

What's more, the site has already "attracted expressions of interest from a number of major international oil companies," says Providence technical director John O'Sullivan.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#Oil&Gas - Kinsale Energy will take an 80% stake in Landsdowne Oil and Gas's Midleton/East Kinsale gas prospect in the Celtic Sea, as The Irish Times reports.

The deal will see the Petronas subsidiary assume 100% of costs for drilling on the prospect and will fund Lansdowne's costs of testing for up to $2.5 million.

Kinsale Energy, which was formerly Marathon Oil, already holds an interest in the Deep Kinsale Prospect beneath the Kinsale Head Gas Field, thanks to its option agreement with Fastnet Oil & Gas last year.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#Oil&Gas - The Irish Times reports that Shell and its partners have relinquished their State licence for hydrocarbon exploration at Rockall, claiming that it has "no further potential".

The decision – which means Shell no longer holds any offshore exploration licences in the State's waters – comes as a blow to a Government that recently announced the redoubling of its efforts to survey our coastal waters for new and exploitable oil and gas resources.

However, it is not unprecedented, as Shell admitted upon receipt of its licence for the Rockall Basin off Donegal in 2005 that the risk and expense of drilling at such a marginal deep-water site worked against any potential commercial gains.

The rapidly falling prices of oil and gas may also be playing a role in redirecting oil companies' attentions away from more peripheral prospects. The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
Tagged under
Page 1 of 2

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 Chandleries

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

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Blogs

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

Please show your support for Afloat by donating