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Displaying items by tag: Galway Bay

The Discover Ireland sailing team that featured in WM Nixon's Saturday Sailing blog debuted on Galway bay in the Clarenbridge trophy offshore race yesterday.

The race is sailed over a course from the GBSC start line at Renville to Finis Rock off Inis Oir then onto Canon Rock in the entrance to Rossaveal Harbour before a finish in Renville total distance approx 60 miles.

Yesterday's race saw winds between 25-40 knots which made for a tough beat all the way to Inis oir, but Discover Ireland stretched its lead all the way out of the bay on its nearest competitor "Ibaraki".

Drivers Ben Scallan and Neil Spain made light work of the beat with a full main and a no 4 jib, things eased a little for the fetch up to Rosaveal, but the team still managed to break a kicker and lost instruments temporarily in the lumpy seas encountered.

Then it was kite up in winds which were now sitting between 30-35 knots for a fantastic reach/run home to renville.

Boat speed was sitting above 12 knots the entire time with speeds of up to 18 knots in the heavier gusts.

The boat loved the conditions which is a great reflection on this 15–year–old Stimpson design.

They completed the course in 7 hours 7 minutes in first place and with line honours and the race was an excellent shakedown for a busy season ahead.

The boat's next trip is the delivery to the Scottish series leaving Galway this Friday so skipper Aodhan Fitzgerald is hoping that the present strong westerly flow will abate.

Published in Offshore

#AnTostal - Galway's An Tostál maritime festival will take place on 26 May after strong winds forced the postponement of the originally scheduled date last Sunday, according to the Galway Independent.

Cian O’Lorcáin of the organisers said the decision to delay the event was made "for the benefit of water safety. We were really thinking of the crews on the water because, with the winds, it could have proved hazardous...

"Safety is the number one thing for us so when that couldn't be guaranteed, we decided to postpone."

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the festival - reactivated in 2011 after a 50-year gap - celebrates Galway's maritime traditions with currach racing along the Salthill promenade. This year's event is also set to feature a Galway Hooker parade of sail.

Published in Maritime Festivals

#FishFarm - Galway Bay FM reports that Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) has pulled out of a public meeting on the proposed Galway Bay deep sea fish farm scheduled for this evening (25 April).

The Sinn Féin-organised meeting at the Westwood Hotel in the city tonight was intended to be a debate hearing arguments from both sides regarding the controversial aquaculture project, according to the Galway Advertiser.

However, a statement issued by BIM - which is proposing the salmon farm scheme - claims that "recent statements from some angling groups" have made it impossible to provide a public platform for its side of the issue.

If the project goes ahead, the 500-hectare facility would be the largest of its kind in Europe. But it has faced strong opposition from local anglers and the State fisheries body Inland Fisheries Ireland over the risk posed by sea lice.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the proposed fish farm off the Aran Islands has even put local TDs at odds over questions of the potential benefits and hazards.

Meanwhile, the Galway Advertiser says that opposition group Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages plans to lodge their protest at the constituency office of Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Castlebar this Saturday 27 April as part of a nationwide campaign.

Published in Galway Harbour

#GalwayBay - A Galway City Council official has denied claims that raw sewage from a treatment plant at Mutton Island is being discharged into Galway Bay.

As the Galway Advertiser reports, Ciarán Hayes told a special meeting of the council last Monday 15 April that he "would not like the impression to go out that we would allow sewage to be discharged, it's not".

Hayes was responding to questions from Cllr Catherine Connolly with regard to tenders issued for the upgrading of the treatment plant, which forms part of the Galway Main Drainage Stage 3 and which has been approved for funding from the Department of Environment.

He added that the current system is licences by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and "is in accordance with industry best practice".

Meanwhile, the meeting also discussed a proposed extension of pedestrian access to Mutton Island lighthouse, which as previously reported on Afloat.ie was opened to tour groups last year after extensive refurbishment since 2005.

The Galway Advertiser has more on the story HERE.

Published in Galway Harbour

#RNLI - Aran Islands RNLI in Galway Bay assisted six fishermen from a 24m trawler yesterday Thursday 18 April.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 4.20pm following a report that a fishing vessel, the Archangel, with six crew on board had got into difficulty and broken down one mile north west of Inishmore.



There was a six-metre swell at the time with a force seven to eight wind.



The lifeboat crew under coxswain John O’Donnell arrived on scene accompanied in the air by Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 - the subject of its own documentary TV series currently showing on RTÉ One - and established a tow line removing the vessel from any immediate danger.



The trawler was then towed back to Rossaveal in Connemara. 



Speaking following the call-out, Aran Islands RNLI lifeboat operations manager Michael Hernon said: "Thanks to the speed and efficiency of the crew in launching the lifeboat, we were able to arrive on scene in good time to assist the fishermen and successfully tow the trawler safely to shore."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#FishFarm - Groups opposed to the controversial deep-sea fish farm in Galway Bay have written to TDs asking them to bring clarity to the growing conflict over the proposals.

As the Southern Star reports, the groups have asked for a review of the current licensing requirements for aquaculture schemes to ensure that the process is transparent and open to independent review - amid news that both local TDs and State agencies are squabbling over the issue.

"To have a single minister responsible for all these stages of an industry that has such serious pollution issues associated with it, as well as the potential to devastate valuable salmon and sea trout stocks, is inappropriate and open to abuse," argues Alec O'Donovan of Save Bantry Bay, one of the groups in an alliance that include local tourism, angling and environmental interests.

Group chairman Kieran O'Shea singled out for criticism the Department of the Marine's apparent determination to push forward with Bord Iascaigh Mhara's (BIM) fish farm plans in spite of a moratorium on further development of salmon farming three years ago at EU level.

"This not only makes a mockery of EU law but highlights a worrying lack of concern for the environment," said O'Shea.

Meanwhile, another opposition group has spoken out over a letter of support for the fish farm plans by Irish seafood producers and other businesses.

According to the Galway Independent, Brian Curran Galway Bay Against Salmon Cages (GBASC) claimed the letter - signed by 43 firms, only six of which are directly involved in food production in Galway - was a "set-up".

A spokesperson for BIM dismissed Curran's comments as being "in very poor taste" in seeking "to undermine the intentions or credibility of anyone who would go out of their way to place their support for the proposal 'on the record'."

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the 500-hectare development off Inis Óirr in the Aran Islands would be the largest of its kind in Europe.

Published in Galway Harbour

#FishFarm - The expected debate between two State agencies at loggerheads over the proposed Galway Bay deep-sea fish farm failed to take place as planned over the weekend as neither body sent a representative.

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) and Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) had been expected to debate the planned 500-hectare organic salmon farm off the Aran Islands during the Galway Food Festival over the Easter weekend.

Organisers were informed at the last minute that neither agency would be involved in the public event, with BIM telling The Irish Times it did not feel it would be appropriate to discuss the matter in an open forum when negotiations were ongoing.

Both sides have differed over the potential impact on wild salmon populations in the area, with IFI citing research that damns the negative consequences of sea lice infestations in fish farms.

Despite their absence, the debate went ahead as scheduled, with local businesses on both sides of the argument expressing their views.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Galway Harbour

#FishFarm - A Galway county councillor has declared his reservations over the proposed deep-water organic salmon farm off the Aran Islands, as Galway Bay FM reports.

Cllr Jim Cuddy said at this week's meeting of Galway County Council that concerns had been expressed to him by angling interests over plans for the 500-hectare aquaculture scheme in Galway Bay and its potential effects on wild salmon stocks.

His motion, which was seconded by Cllr Thomás O'Curraoin, comes in the same week as 13 seafood companies based in the City of the Tribes showed their support for the fish farm plans in letters of support to Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).

As reported earlier this week on Afloat.ie, two West Galway TDs were at loggerheads over the proposals, the planning application for which is still under consideration.

Published in Galway Harbour

#GalwayPort - Galway's city manager has welcomed the recognition of Galway Port by Government as a 'port of regional significance'.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the National Ports Plan launched this week brings about a move away from a 'one size fits all' policy in the ports sector to a three-tier stricture that recognises the different roles that Ireland's ports play in the economy at both a national and regional level.

Galway Port is one of 14 ports, five of them in State hands, that account for some 8% of national trade, and which will be placed within a local authority-led governance and shareholding structure.

Galway Bay FM quotes city manager Joe O'Neill as saying that it's as yet to early to speculate on plans to transfer control of the port to the local authority before the necessary legislation is put in place.

It is also unclear whether it will be the city, county or a combination of both that would be responsible for the port in the coming years.

Meanwhile, the Galway Harbour Company is expected to seek planning permission for the first phase of its expansion plans shortly.

In January, Afloat.ie reported on a 'fast-track' on the cards for the redevelopment scheme after plans were revived in August last year.

The new first phase, at a cost of €50 million, will see the port extended by some 57 acres to accommodate a greater number of commercial ships and the new generation of cruise liners.

And as Galway Bay FM confirms, the plans will be lodged with An Bord Pleanala under IROPI (Imperative Reasons of Overriding Public Interest) legislation.

Published in Galway Harbour

#FishFarm - Galway Bay FM reports that two West Galway TDs are at loggerheads over the proposed deep-water organic salmon farm for Galway Bay.

Eámon Ó Cuív of Fianna Fáil says Marine Minister Simon Coveney is showing inappropriate support for the aquaculture scheme proposed by Bord Iascaigh Mhara.

In response, Fine Gael deputy Seán Kyne reiterated the minister's own Dáil statement earlier this month that procedure would be followed 'to the letter' and that he could not take sides on the matter.

According to Galway Bay FM, the application for the 500-hectare fish farm, to be located off the Aran Islands, is still under consideration.

If greenlit, the facility would be the largest of its kind in Europe and would double the State's production rate of very profitable organic salmon.

But the plans have faced opposition from Inland Fisheries Ireland and local anglers, many of whom joined a 2,000-strong protest against the project in Galway city centre on 2 March.

Published in Galway Harbour
Page 14 of 23

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