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#MarineNotice - The survey vessel VOS Sweet (Callsign PCPE) is currently conducting offshore geotechnical and environmental survey operations associated with the proposed Celtic Interconnector on behalf of EirGrid.

The VOS Sweet was set to commence operations yesterday, Monday 18 June, and will operate on a 24-hour daily basis for approximately two weeks in two main corridors off East Cork to three landfall points: Ballinwilling Strand (Ballycotton Bay); Redbarn Beach and Claycastle Beach (Youghal Bay).

The survey is to collect geotechnical data utilising a Vibrocorer (VC) and Cone Penetration Test (CPT) spread and environmental (benthic) data utilising Grab Sampler spread. The survey will be conducted under Foreshore Licence FS006811. Common frequency VHF Channel 16 shall be used throughout the project.

Details of the route centreline co-ordinates as well as intended locations for the VC, CPT and benthic sampling are included in Marine Notice No 26 of 2018, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Meanwhile, Providence Resources is carrying out a site survey on its FEL 6/14 licence, called Newgrange, situated between the Southern Porcupine and Goban Spur Basins some 260km off the South West Coast.

The eight-day geophysical survey by the MV Kommandor (Callsign MCJO2), was scheduled to commence on Monday, is using dual-frequency side scan sonar, single-beam and multi‐beam echosounders, side scan sonar, sub‐bottom profilers and magnetometer.

Seabed (benthic) samples will also be taken using a box corer or grab as appropriate, and geotechnical sampling will be undertaken with a piston corer to a minimum target depth of 6m below the seabed.

In addition to the above, and to accurately determine potential future drilling hazards over the Newgrange location, the proposed survey will also include a high resolution 2D seismic which is not expected to exceed two days.

Survey operations will be conducted on a 24-hour basis. The MV Kommandor will be displaying shapes and lights prescribed in the International Rules for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) Rule 27, to indicate that the survey vessel is restricted in its ability to manoeuvre. A listening watch will be maintained on VHF Channel 16, and the vessel will actively transmit an AIS signal.

Co-ordinates and a map of the expected working area are outlined in Marine Notice No 25 of 2018, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#MarineScience - Researchers at NUI Galway, along with partners at the Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG) and the Marine Institute, are currently carrying out a marine hydroacoustic survey in the eastern margin of the Porcupine Basin.

Continuing till this Saturday 16 June, the project conducted from the RV Celtic Voyager (Callsign EIQN) involves generating an acoustic sound source (seismic airgun) adjacent to a short-term deployment of a hydrophone mooring and drifter array in order to investigate noise propagation across the Irish continental margin. The project is planned to inform research into noise pollution as part of Ireland’s obligations under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).

Approximate locations of fixed moorings and seismic noise transect are included in Marine Notice No 24 of 2018, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Fixed moorings will include yellow surface buoys with warning lights: high intensity, quick flash, continuous, yellow. The drifter will include a yellow surface buoy with nav light: 5 flashes every 20 seconds, yellow, 2nm distance.

The RV Celtic Voyager is displaying appropriate lights and signals and will be within the vicinity at all times throughout the survey.

Researchers also emphasise that the closest distance from survey to any marine SAC is over 16 nautical miles. Commercial fishing and other marine operators are requested to keep a 3nm distance from any survey instrument moorings, and to keep a 2nm distance around the entire survey area clear of any gear or apparatus during the survey period outlined above.

Published in Marine Science

#MarineNotice - The Sandpiper jack-up platform is conducting nearshore geotechnical survey operations associated with the proposed Celtic Interconnector on behalf of EirGrid south of East Cork.

Similar to last autumn’s nearshore survey, the operations are taking place at three coastal locations – namely Ballinwilling Stran, Redbarn Beach and Claycastle Beach.

The Sandpiper (Callsign V3UA) will operate on a 24-hour daily basis commencing at the earliest from the Monday 14 May for approximately two weeks.

The Sandpiper is a non-self-propelled jack-up barge measuring 18.3m x 12.2m consisting of five Quadra pontoons and two duo pontoons with four 27m legs. The Sandpiper will be towed by the Trojan (Callsign EIEX6), a tug measuring 16m x 5m. Common frequency VHF Channel 16 shall be used throughout the project.

The survey will be conducted under Foreshore Licence FS006811, and is to collect geotechnical data utilising drilling spread only.

The nearshore survey activities will extend no more than 5km from the shoreline within a 500m area or corridor centred on the co-ordinates detailed in Marine Notice No 21 of 2018, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#Weather - The Marine Institute is preparing to carry out deployment and extended testing on a next-generation weather buoy from next week.

The ILV Granuaile (Callsign EIPT) will position the data buoy at 53°07.36'N 11°12.00'W. A Statutory Sanction will be in place.

The buoy is a yellow special mark buoy fitted with a yellow light with characteristics FL Y (5) 20 seconds.

Works are scheduled to begin on Monday 7 May and will continue until May 2019.

Published in Weather

#MarineNotice - Maynooth University will carry out a geophysical research survey off the North West Coast of Ireland from next weekend. 

Work is expected to commence on Sunday 6 May and last for approximately nine days, subject to weather conditions.

The Marine Institute’s research vessel RV Celtic Voyager (Callsign EIQN) is scheduled to carry out the works for the Mara survey, undertaken by researchers in Maynooth University to collect geophysical acoustic survey data as well as sediment grab and core samples.

The survey will use relatively low amplitude sound sources to image into the seabed including an echosounder and a sparker system, which will allow for the characterisation of seabed type to inform the deglacial dynamics of the climatically driven British Irish Ice Sheet.

The vessel will, on occasion, be towing a hydrophone cable and other equipment, up to a maximum of 50 metres behind the vessel. The vessel will be restricted in its movements when towing a cable astern.

All other vessels are requested to give the operation a wide berth. The vessel will be listening on VHF Channel 16 throughout the project.

Details of the survey area, relevant co-ordinates and contact information are included in Marine Notice  No 19 of 2018, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Marine Science

#MarineNotice - Hydrographic and geophysical surveys will be undertaken in the Celtic Sea and Atlantic Ocean under the INFOMAR (Integrated Mapping for the Sustainable Development of Ireland’s Marine Resources) programme until October 2018.

Geological Survey Ireland vessels the RV Keary (Callsign EI-GO-9), RV Geo (Callsign EI-DK-6), RV Tonn (Callsign EI-PT-7), RV Mallet (Callsign EI-SN-9) and RV Lir (Callsign EI-HI-2) are already involved in scheduled surveys since March.

Marine Institute vessels the RV Celtic Explorer (Callsign EIGB) and RV Celtic Voyager (Callsign EIQN) will begin surveys this weekend, starting with the former vessel on a three-week survey from Sunday 22 April.

The Celtic Voyager and the Celtic Explorer will be towing a magnetometer sensor with a single cable of up to 200 metres in length. The vessels will display appropriate lights and markers, and will be listening on VHF Channel 16 throughout the course of the surveys.

Details of co-ordinates for these surveys are included in Marine Notice  No 18 of 2018, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Note that the Atlantic Ocean Area may not be surveyed in 2018, but if for operational reasons the survey does take place, it will be during the dates set out above for the Celtic Voyager surveys listed therein. In that event, the Marine Notice will be updated with specific dates.

Published in Marine Science

#MarineNotice - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) will be carrying out scientific sampling using bag nets and sentinel cages in Killary Harbour and surrounding waters. 

Similar to last year’s operation, the bag nets will start at the shore and extend into the water approximately 25 meters. The sentinel cages (nets) will be anchored near shore and will not interfere with navigable waters. 

All nets will be clearly marked with brightly coloured buoys with IFI identification so that any unintentional retrieval can be notified.

Deployment operations, which were set to begin on Thursday 12 April, are being carried out using the RIB Sea Breeze (Callsign EI-5724) and are subject to weather conditions. The nets will be checked daily, also weather dependent, and all sampling nets and buoys will be retrieved on Friday 8 June.

Full details of co-ordinates and contact information are included in Marine Notice  No 17 of 2018, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#MarineNotice - The Marine Institute’s annual Irish Anglerfish and Megrim Survey (IAMS) for 2018 is scheduled to resume today, Tuesday 10 April.

After January's survey off the West and South Coasts, this month's survey will be carried out till Saturday 21 April off the North and North West Coasts of Ireland in fulfilment of Ireland’s Common Fisheries Policy obligations.

The IAMS is a demersal trawl survey consisting of approximately 50 otter trawls of 60 minutes duration in ICES area 6a. Fishing will take place within a three nautical mile radius of the positions indicated in Marine Notice No 15 of 2018, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Survey operations will be conducted by the RV Celtic Explorer (Callsign EIGB), which will display all appropriate lights and signals during the survey and will also be listening on VHF Channel 16.

The vessel will be towing a Jackson demersal trawl during fishing operations. The Marine Institute requests that commercial fishing and other marine operators keep a three nautical mile area around the tow points clear of any gear or apparatus during the survey period outlined above.

Specifics of any fishing gear or other obstructions that are known and cannot be kept clear of these survey haul locations can be notified using the contact details provided in the Marine Notice.

Published in Fishing

#MarineNotice - Marine Notice No 14 of 2018 advises that as part of the Donegal Group B Sewerage Scheme, remedial works are being carried out this week by Norfolk Marine at the Bundoran outfall in Donegal Bay.

These works were scheduled to begin on Tuesday 3 April to last for around one week at 54° 28.778’ N and 08° 19.304’ W, conducted from the vessel Chateau Thierry (Callsign EI-HK-6). An additional small boat or RIB will also be involved in the operation as required.

The work vessel will display appropriate lights and markers, and will monitor VHF Channel 16 throughout the project.

Published in Coastal Notes

#MarineNotice - Marine Notice No 13 of 2018 advises that the No 3 Green Perch at the entrance to Castletownbere  Fishery Harbour Centre in West Cork has been removed due to damage.

The No 3 Green Perch has been replaced by a 1.5m green buoy in position 51° 38’ 49.387” North, 09° 54’ 27.41” West.

The light characteristic is a green flash every five seconds. This buoy will remain in position until further notice.

For safety reasons, mariners are requested to proceed slowly and with caution when in the vicinity of the green buoy.

For further information, contact the Castletownbere Harbourmaster’s Office at +353 27 70220.

Published in Irish Harbours
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