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Displaying items by tag: Waterways Ireland

To ensure that the Tullamore Regeneration Framework and Grand Canal Harbour Masterplan meets the aspirations of the whole community the team behind the project would like to hear from all stakeholders within the local community of Tullamore.

The Tullamore Regeneration Framework and Grand Canal Harbour Masterplan are available for inspection in the offices of Offaly County Council, Áras an Chontae, Tullamore Municipal District, Tullamore Library during normal office hours until Thursday 11 July. An open day will also be held in Tullamore Library this Thursday 20 June from 12pm to 7pm.

Jointly commissioned by Waterways Ireland and Offaly County Council, the Tullamore Regeneration Framework aims “to serve as a model for regeneration, promoting compact growth, creating healthy and appealing public spaces, enhancing urban resilience, improving permeability, fostering vibrancy and encouraging sustainable mobility”.

The multi-disciplinary consultancy team in Brady Shipman Martin and Faulkner Browns delivered the framework to act as a main driver for compact mixed-use urban development within the town centre of Tullamore and seeks to establish a vision for the development of several key opportunity sites.

Grafton Architects, as the appointed consultancy team, have culminated their assessment of the study area in a masterplan that reimagines the harbour area through a catalogue of scaled development opportunities.

The masterplan study area also includes the Grand Canal harbour and adjacent lands, the Canal Spur Line enabling access into the harbour basin, and Young’s Store — a three-storey former warehouse with an approximate floor area of 275 square metres fronting the canal along Convent Road.

Anna Marie Delaney, chief executive of Offaly County Council welcomes submissions on the plans: “The Tullamore Regeneration Framework and Grand Canal Harbour Masterplan provide immense opportunity to Tullamore and the wider county to reimagine and reinvigorate the county town. The plans address the opportunities and challenges within Tullamore and with URDF support creates opportunities for future projects in the town.”

Éanna Rowe, operations controller with Waterways Ireland noted the significant milestone being reached with this consultation stage in finalising the masterplan.

“Waterways Ireland, as the navigation authority with responsibility for the Grand Canal and Harbour in Tullamore, is looking forward to the realisation of the masterplan’s vision and that its adoption will provide a framework and template for the full integration of the harbour into the fabric of Tullamore,” Rowe said.

Submissions or observations with respect to the proposed Tullamore Regeneration Framework and Grand Canal Harbour Masterplan Framework may be made in writing to Tullamore Municipal District, Town Hall, Cormac Street, Tullamore or submitted via email to [email protected] on or before Thursday 25 July.

Further information is available from Jean Ryan, A/Director of Services, Offaly County Council via email at [email protected].

The Tullamore Regeneration Framework and Grand Canal Harbour Masterplan are funded by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund 2020 (URDF) and Offaly County Council with funding from Waterways Ireland for the Grand Canal Harbour Masterplan.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels on and users of the Grand Canal that the 51st IWAI Shannon Harbour Rally will take place from Friday 21 to Sunday 23 June.

All vessels entering the Grand Canal are reminded to ensure they have a valid permit for the duration of their stay, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways adds.

Visitor permits may be applied for on the Waterways Ireland website by completing the CMP application. Please ensure that the permit start date is correct as the permit will be valid for one month from this date.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises users of the Royal Canal feeder in Mullingar that the towpath between the Royal Canal and St Oliver Plunkett GAA Club is closed until Monday 1 July inclusive.

This closure is to facilitate new culvert construction underneath the Royal Canal supply channel.

The cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways says it regrets any inconvenience that this may cause and thanks its customers for their co-operation in relation to this matter.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels on and users of the Shannon Navigation that Jons Civil Engineering will be carrying out works on Carrick-on-Shannon bridge on Friday 7 and Monday 10 June.

Navigation will be restricted to one arch of the bridge and masters of vessels should proceed with additional caution in the area, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways adds.

Published in Inland Waterways

Tarmonbarry’s lifting bridge on the Shannon Navigaton has finally reopened after an extended closure for essential maintenance, Waterways Ireland has confirmed.

Diversions had been in place since early February when the bridge in Co Roscommon was closed for works that eventually required procuring specialist parts from abroad.

The news will come as a relief to southern Shannon boaters who say they have been prevented from participating in rallies in northern reaches due to the closure.

“This has had disastrous consequences for boating on the Shannon so far this season,” one boater told in recent days. “To date [there has been] very little activity on Lough Ree as boats cannot get down from Carrick, etc, nor can the southern boats make it up north.”

Elsewhere on the inland waterways, Levitstown lifting bridge in Co Kildare on the Barrow Navigation has also reopened following maintenance works.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels using the Grand Canal from Lowtown in Co Kildare to Shannon Harbour that water patrollers will assist with the operation of locks daily from 9.30am to 6pm during the boating season.

Safe passage through locks outside these hours will be the responsibility of the master of the vessel, and they must ensure the lock gates are left as found, with the water pressure on the breast gates.

The cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways says it thanks its customers for their cooperation in relation to this matter.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels on the Erne System that the 2024 Erne Boat Rally will be taking place from Friday 24 to Monday 27 May.

Boaters taking part with gather at Lisnaskea Boat Club on Friday evening for the Commodore’s Dinner and entertainment.

On Saturday morning (25 May), the rally will leave Lisnaskea Boat Club at 10.30am for an afternoon stop at the Round ‘O’ Jetty Enniskillen. All other boaters are advised that the outside front jetty section will be reserved for the rally boats.

At 4.30pm on Saturday the rally departs for an overnight stop at Lough Erne Yacht Club.

Then on Sunday (26 May), the boats will depart at 4pm for an overnight stop and entertainment at Rossharbour Resort.

On Monday morning (27 May). the rally will depart at 11am for a lunch stop at the Round ‘O’ and then move onwards to The Moorings restaurant for the prize-giving and closing entertainment.

The cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways says it thanks its customers for their cooperation in relation to this matter.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises that the Carlow Regatta rowing event will take place on Sunday 2 June on the Barrow Navigation.

Masters of vessels are requested to proceed with additional caution in the vicinity of the event and obey safety boat instructions.

The cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways says it thanks its customers for their cooperation in relation to this matter.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises users of the Royal Canal between Leixlip and Maynooth that cycleway upgrade works have recently restarted along this stretch of the canal in Co Kildare.

These works will require periodic closures of the canal towpaths in the area over the upcoming period. Signage giving more details of ongoing and upcoming closures will be erected at applicable sites along the route when appropriate.

Navigation passage will generally continue to be possible throughout works though some additional restrictions may apply, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways adds.

Upgrade works recently commenced at the Dublin city end of the canal, between the North Strand and Phibsborough, as previously reported on

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels on and users of the Barrow Navigation that Levitstown lifting bridge in Co Kildare is closed with immediate effect (as of Friday 17 May) to facilitate maintenance works.

It is anticipated that the bridge will be closed until Friday 24 May. The cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways says it will issue an update for boaters in due course.

Published in Inland Waterways
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Irish Fishing industry 

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.


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