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Displaying items by tag: Sandycove

Popular bathing spots at the Forty Foot, Sandycove and Seapoint on Dublin Bay have been closed as of today (Saturday 11 April) following the latest extension of restrictions against Covid-19.

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council said the decision was made “following consultation [with] the Garda, as a result of concerns raised with social distancing compliance”.

All three bathing areas are now closed to the public until further notice, following the announcement that movement restrictions amid the Covid-19 pandemic have been extended to Tuesday 5 May.

It follows a nationwide call on Thursday by the Coastguard and the RNLI asking people not to use the sea for exercise or recreation.

Published in Forty Foot Swimming

Tomorrow at noon (Sunday 15 December) Scuba divers dressed in Santa suits will be ready to dive into the sea water off Sandycove for the annual Santa Scuba Dive.

This unique Christmas event has raised over €12,000 for the RNLI since it was started in 2014 by Karen Kenny of the Dublin University Sub Aqua Club.

Divers will enter the water at 1pm, and spectators will also see the local D-class lifeboat and Howth Coast Guard RIB and a flyby from the Dublin-based coastguard helicopter, weather and operations permitting.

For more see the event page on Facebook and the fundraising page on JustGiving.

Published in Dublin Bay

Plastic fibres released during construction on the Dun Laoghaire baths site last year have again washed up on nearby beaches, as The Irish Times reports.

The plastic shards were washed into the water during a concrete pour at the development last November, prompting a safety advisory for swimmers and beach-goers between the West Pier and the Forty Foot.

A clean-up operation was launched at the time which recovered 50kg of the 70kg of plastic strands released.

Now a volunteer clean-up group says some of the unrecovered plastic reappeared at Sandycove on Thursday ahead of Storm Lorenzo.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

As another weather system ahead of Hurricane Lorenzo starts to makes its presence felt on the Irish East coast today, below is the current scene at Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay viewed northwards from Sandycove on this Dun Laoghaire Harbour and Sandycove webcam.

Met Eireann has said there is still some uncertainty over the future path of Hurricane Lorenzo, but it expects to have more precise details tomorrow. The forecaster has been working with the US National Hurricane Center and others to try and predict the storm's route. Met Eireann's Jean Byrne said: "The closer we get to the event, obviously, the better idea we should have. Luckily the models are coming in a little bit more into line, so I think we are fairly confident at this stage it will track close to Ireland, at least, if not over it.

High Water at Dun Laoghaire is 2pm

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has put up warning signs in the lifeguarded area of Sandycove in south Dublin after sightings of lion’s mane jellyfish in the water.

Though the notice was put in place yesterday (Thursday 13 June), it’s emerged there have been sightings of the venomous marine wildlife since mid-May.

Bathing has not been prohibited as it was with the water quality warning earlier this month.

But swimmers at Sandycove and further out in Dublin Bay are advised to proceed with caution for the time being.

As an added precaution the lifeguard warning flags are on red and will remain in place till further notice, the council says.

Lion’s mane jellyfish carry a painful and potentially lethal sting, even when washed up on the beach.

Last summer saw more than 150 lion's mane jellyfish recorded along the West Coast — amid a spate of incidents with swimmers being stung in Galway Bay.

But the East Coast was not immune, as a teenager was hospitalised after he was stung over most of his body off a Co Louth beach.

Published in Marine Wildlife

This Saturday morning (22 December) 100 Scuba divers dressed in Santa suits will brave the elements and dive into the sea water off Sandycove Beach to raise money for the RNLI.

The annual Santa Scuba Dive has raised over €8,000 since 2014 when it was started by Karen Kenny of the Dublin University Sub-Aqua Club.

The unique Christmas event begins at 11am this Saturday 22 December at Sandycove Beach in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin — and spectators will also see the local D-class lifeboat, Howth Coast Guard RIB and a flyby from the Dublin-based coastguard helicopter, weather and operations permitting.

For more see the event page on Facebook and the fundraising page on JustGiving.

Published in Diving

#DublinBay - Litter in the water is a longstanding issue in Dun Laoghaire and Sandycove — but one local schoolgirl has taken it upon herself to do something about it.

Ten-year-old Flossie Donnelly started this past summer calling for volunteers to help clean up the sea shore at Sandycove every Friday evening, even designing her own poster to spread the word on social media and around the neighbourhood.

On her blog, Flossie writes that she was “really sad” that no one came to her first clean-up.

But a meeting at the Forty Foot the next day with county councillor Cormac Devlin led to the word spreading further in the local press.

“It’s very unusual that a child of her age approached an adult and a politician at that. That she is so environmentally aware is wonderful,” Cllr Devlin told the Dublin People in August.

By the end of the summer, Flossie was in charge of her own crew of volunteers helping to remove plastic debris that is dangerous to Dublin Bay’s marine life and local boaters alike.

Despite the shorter days and colder weather of late autumn and winter, Flossie is still leading regular coastal clean-ups and making friends along the way — including an Australian girl whose message she found in a bottle.

rubbish marine dun laoghaireMarine debris in Dun Laoghaire

More recently, Flossie was out on a RIB in Dun Laoghaire Harbour to clean up the breakwaters — filling three boats with rubbish and doing “a week’s work in a day”, according to Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard, who praised the “inspirational” girl for her efforts.

But the ambitious youngster isn’t stopping there, with plans to raise money for the installation of a Seabin automated cleaning system for the harbour, in what would be a first for Ireland.

Previously highlighted during Afloat.ie’s Rio Olympics coverage last year, the Seabin device has the potential to collect as many as 83,000 plastic bags or 20,000 plastic bottles each year.

That amounts to half a tonne of plastic annually, from visible debris to micro-plastics that threaten our protected species.

Britain’s first Seabin was recently installed at the pontoon of America’s Cup team Land Rover BAR in Portsmouth as part of a project to restore populations of oysters in the Solent.

Flossie and her beach cleaning squad will be hosting a table quiz at Fitzgerald’s Pub in Sandycove next Thursday 30 November to raise funds towards Dublin Bay’s first Seabin. For details see Flossie’s website HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay

#Jellyfish - Swimmers have been warned away from Seapoint and Sandycove on the south shores of Dublin Bay after sightings of potentially dangerous lion’s mane jellyfish in the water.

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has put up warning signs in the relevant areas to advise the public on the large jellyfish, whose stings from hundreds of tentacles can cause anaphylactic shock — even many days after they have beached.

Published in Dublin Bay

#Jellyfish - Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has raised the red warning flag in Sandycove and erected signs warning swimmers of the presence of stinging jellyfish in the water and washed up on the beach. Photographs have been taken and sent off for expert identification of the marine species.

Published in Water Safety

#FortyFoot - It's grim news for the Forty Foot's swimming club as members agreed this week to put its future up to vote.

The Irish Times reports on Thursday night's (27 November) extraordinary general meeting held in the wake of the Sandycove Bathers' Association's loss of insurance cover.

That came after a €7,000 settlement over a claim made against the club and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council by a member of the public, as covered previously on Afloat.ie.

The claim clouded a situation already made bleak by a substantial insurance payout in 2004 to a non-club-member who suffered serious injuries while diving at the Dublin Bay swimming hole made famous in James Joyce's Ulysses.

And the potential future exposure of the club's members to litigation has prompted a vote on disbanding and dropping their lease on the Forty Foot when they reconvene in two weeks' time.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Forty Foot Swimming
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Ireland's Commercial Fishing 

The Irish Commercial Fishing Industry employs around 11,000 people in fishing, processing and ancillary services such as sales and marketing. The industry is worth about €1.22 billion annually to the Irish economy. Irish fisheries products are exported all over the world as far as Africa, Japan and China.

FAQs

Over 16,000 people are employed directly or indirectly around the coast, working on over 2,000 registered fishing vessels, in over 160 seafood processing businesses and in 278 aquaculture production units, according to the State's sea fisheries development body Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).

All activities that are concerned with growing, catching, processing or transporting fish are part of the commercial fishing industry, the development of which is overseen by BIM. Recreational fishing, as in angling at sea or inland, is the responsibility of Inland Fisheries Ireland.

The Irish fishing industry is valued at 1.22 billion euro in gross domestic product (GDP), according to 2019 figures issued by BIM. Only 179 of Ireland's 2,000 vessels are over 18 metres in length. Where does Irish commercially caught fish come from? Irish fish and shellfish is caught or cultivated within the 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ), but Irish fishing grounds are part of the common EU "blue" pond. Commercial fishing is regulated under the terms of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), initiated in 1983 and with ten-yearly reviews.

The total value of seafood landed into Irish ports was 424 million euro in 2019, according to BIM. High value landings identified in 2019 were haddock, hake, monkfish and megrim. Irish vessels also land into foreign ports, while non-Irish vessels land into Irish ports, principally Castletownbere, Co Cork, and Killybegs, Co Donegal.

There are a number of different methods for catching fish, with technological advances meaning skippers have detailed real time information at their disposal. Fisheries are classified as inshore, midwater, pelagic or deep water. Inshore targets species close to shore and in depths of up to 200 metres, and may include trawling and gillnetting and long-lining. Trawling is regarded as "active", while "passive" or less environmentally harmful fishing methods include use of gill nets, long lines, traps and pots. Pelagic fisheries focus on species which swim close to the surface and up to depths of 200 metres, including migratory mackerel, and tuna, and methods for catching include pair trawling, purse seining, trolling and longlining. Midwater fisheries target species at depths of around 200 metres, using trawling, longlining and jigging. Deepwater fisheries mainly use trawling for species which are found at depths of over 600 metres.

There are several segments for different catching methods in the registered Irish fleet – the largest segment being polyvalent or multi-purpose vessels using several types of gear which may be active and passive. The polyvalent segment ranges from small inshore vessels engaged in netting and potting to medium and larger vessels targeting whitefish, pelagic (herring, mackerel, horse mackerel and blue whiting) species and bivalve molluscs. The refrigerated seawater (RSW) pelagic segment is engaged mainly in fishing for herring, mackerel, horse mackerel and blue whiting only. The beam trawling segment focuses on flatfish such as sole and plaice. The aquaculture segment is exclusively for managing, developing and servicing fish farming areas and can collect spat from wild mussel stocks.

The top 20 species landed by value in 2019 were mackerel (78 million euro); Dublin Bay prawn (59 million euro); horse mackerel (17 million euro); monkfish (17 million euro); brown crab (16 million euro); hake (11 million euro); blue whiting (10 million euro); megrim (10 million euro); haddock (9 million euro); tuna (7 million euro); scallop (6 million euro); whelk (5 million euro); whiting (4 million euro); sprat (3 million euro); herring (3 million euro); lobster (2 million euro); turbot (2 million euro); cod (2 million euro); boarfish (2 million euro).

Ireland has approximately 220 million acres of marine territory, rich in marine biodiversity. A marine biodiversity scheme under Ireland's operational programme, which is co-funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the Government, aims to reduce the impact of fisheries and aquaculture on the marine environment, including avoidance and reduction of unwanted catch.

EU fisheries ministers hold an annual pre-Christmas council in Brussels to decide on total allowable catches and quotas for the following year. This is based on advice from scientific bodies such as the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. In Ireland's case, the State's Marine Institute publishes an annual "stock book" which provides the most up to date stock status and scientific advice on over 60 fish stocks exploited by the Irish fleet. Total allowable catches are supplemented by various technical measures to control effort, such as the size of net mesh for various species.

The west Cork harbour of Castletownbere is Ireland's biggest whitefish port. Killybegs, Co Donegal is the most important port for pelagic (herring, mackerel, blue whiting) landings. Fish are also landed into Dingle, Co Kerry, Rossaveal, Co Galway, Howth, Co Dublin and Dunmore East, Co Waterford, Union Hall, Co Cork, Greencastle, Co Donegal, and Clogherhead, Co Louth. The busiest Northern Irish ports are Portavogie, Ardglass and Kilkeel, Co Down.

Yes, EU quotas are allocated to other fleets within the Irish EEZ, and Ireland has long been a transhipment point for fish caught by the Spanish whitefish fleet in particular. Dingle, Co Kerry has seen an increase in foreign landings, as has Castletownbere. The west Cork port recorded foreign landings of 36 million euro or 48 per cent in 2019, and has long been nicknamed the "peseta" port, due to the presence of Spanish-owned transhipment plant, Eiranova, on Dinish island.

Most fish and shellfish caught or cultivated in Irish waters is for the export market, and this was hit hard from the early stages of this year's Covid-19 pandemic. The EU, Asia and Britain are the main export markets, while the middle Eastern market is also developing and the African market has seen a fall in value and volume, according to figures for 2019 issued by BIM.

Fish was once a penitential food, eaten for religious reasons every Friday. BIM has worked hard over several decades to develop its appeal. Ireland is not like Spain – our land is too good to transform us into a nation of fish eaters, but the obvious health benefits are seeing a growth in demand. Seafood retail sales rose by one per cent in 2019 to 300 million euro. Salmon and cod remain the most popular species, while BIM reports an increase in sales of haddock, trout and the pangasius or freshwater catfish which is cultivated primarily in Vietnam and Cambodia and imported by supermarkets here.

The EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), initiated in 1983, pooled marine resources – with Ireland having some of the richest grounds and one of the largest sea areas at the time, but only receiving four per cent of allocated catch by a quota system. A system known as the "Hague Preferences" did recognise the need to safeguard the particular needs of regions where local populations are especially dependent on fisheries and related activities. The State's Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, based in Clonakilty, Co Cork, works with the Naval Service on administering the EU CFP. The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine and Department of Transport regulate licensing and training requirements, while the Marine Survey Office is responsible for the implementation of all national and international legislation in relation to safety of shipping and the prevention of pollution.

Yes, a range of certificates of competency are required for skippers and crew. Training is the remit of BIM, which runs two national fisheries colleges at Greencastle, Co Donegal and Castletownbere, Co Cork. There have been calls for the colleges to be incorporated into the third-level structure of education, with qualifications recognised as such.

Safety is always an issue, in spite of technological improvements, as fishing is a hazardous occupation and climate change is having its impact on the severity of storms at sea. Fishing skippers and crews are required to hold a number of certificates of competency, including safety and navigation, and wearing of personal flotation devices is a legal requirement. Accidents come under the remit of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board, and the Health and Safety Authority. The MCIB does not find fault or blame, but will make recommendations to the Minister for Transport to avoid a recurrence of incidents.

Fish are part of a marine ecosystem and an integral part of the marine food web. Changing climate is having a negative impact on the health of the oceans, and there have been more frequent reports of warmer water species being caught further and further north in Irish waters.

Brexit, Covid 19, EU policies and safety – Britain is a key market for Irish seafood, and 38 per cent of the Irish catch is taken from the waters around its coast. Ireland's top two species – mackerel and prawns - are 60 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively, dependent on British waters. Also, there are serious fears within the Irish industry about the impact of EU vessels, should they be expelled from British waters, opting to focus even more efforts on Ireland's rich marine resource. Covid-19 has forced closure of international seafood markets, with high value fish sold to restaurants taking a large hit. A temporary tie-up support scheme for whitefish vessels introduced for the summer of 2020 was condemned by industry organisations as "designed to fail".

Sources: Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Marine Institute, Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Department of Transport © Afloat 2020

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