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Displaying items by tag: Strangford Narrows

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has confirmed a new humpback whale sighting, this time in Northern Ireland.

According to the IWDG, this is the third consecutive year that a humpback whale has been spotted in Northern Irish waters, with this sighting being only the fourth ever validated record for the species in the North.

IWDG sightings co-ordinator Pádraig Whooley described it as "an important development [that] highlights a trend towards increased sightings of this large baleen whale species in Irish waters."

He also remarked on the "unusual" location of the sighting in the fast-running waters of the Strangford Narrows at the Ards Peninsula.

The discovery comes just a week after confirmed sighting of two humpback whales at the opposite end of the island of Ireland, off Galley Head in West Cork, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Marine Wildlife
Two renewable energy companies have applied for planning permission to install a tidal turbine array off the Welsh coast.
Energy Efficiency News reports that the 10MW array commissioned by RWE npower renewables would consist of seven SeaGen turbines from UK-based Marine Current Turbines (MCT), enough to generate energy for 10,000 homes.
The windmill-like turbines would be installed 1km off Anglesey in north Wales between Skerries and Carmel Head and be operational by 2015.
SeaGen turbines are already operating in Northern Ireland's Strangford Narrows, an installation accredited by Ofgen as Britain's first tital power plant. MCT is also working with ESB International on a 100MW project off the Antrim coast.
The Welsh Assembly has set a target of capturing 10% of tidal and wave energy off the Welsh coast by 2025 as part of its renewable energy plan.
Energy Efficiency News has more on the story HERE.

Two renewable energy companies have applied for planning permission to install a tidal turbine array off the Welsh coast.

Energy Efficiency News reports that the 10MW array commissioned by RWE npower renewables would consist of seven SeaGen turbines from UK-based Marine Current Turbines (MCT), enough to generate energy for 10,000 homes.

The windmill-like turbines would be installed 1km off Anglesey in north Wales between Skerries and Carmel Head and be operational by 2015.

SeaGen turbines are already operating in Northern Ireland's Strangford Narrows, an installation accredited by Ofgen as Britain's first tital power plant. MCT is also working with ESB International on a 100MW project off the Antrim coast.

The Welsh Assembly has set a target of capturing 10% of tidal and wave energy off the Welsh coast by 2025 as part of its renewable energy plan.

Energy Efficiency News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Power From the Sea

A total of 16 were found, mainly grey pups and juveniles - which are both protected under European legislation - were recovered from Strangford Lough and Dundrum Bay.

The Environment Agency said circumstantial evidence indicated interaction with some form of net in at least two cases, but there was no proof the seal deaths resulted from legitimate, licensed fishing activity.

"Neither is there evidence linking these deaths to the marine current turbine being trialled in the Strangford Narrows, as this would not inflict the sharp cuts seen," the agency said.

Declan Looney, senior wildlife inspector from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, said: "Members of the public can assist by reporting all dead seal strandings to NIEA on 028 4461 5520." More from the Belfast Telegraph HERE.

 

Published in Marine Wildlife

Fastnet Yacht Race 

This race is both a blue riband international yachting fixture and a biennial offshore pilgrimage that attracts crews from all walks of life:- from aspiring sailors to professional crews; all ages and all professions. Some are racing for charity, others for a personal challenge. For the world's top professional sailors, it is a 'must-do' race. For some, it will be their first-ever race, and for others, something they have competed in for over 50 years! The race attracts the most diverse fleet of yachts, from beautiful classic yachts to some of the fastest racing machines on the planet – and everything in between. The testing course passes eight famous landmarks along the route: The Needles, Portland Bill, Start Point, the Lizard, Land’s End, the Fastnet Rock, Bishop’s Rock off the Scillies and Plymouth breakwater (now Cherbourg for 2021 and 2023). After the start in Cowes, the fleet heads westward down The Solent, before exiting into the English Channel at Hurst Castle. The finish is in Plymouth, Devon via the Fastnet Rock, off the southern tip of Ireland.

  • The leg across the Celtic Sea to (and from) the Fastnet Rock is known to be unpredictable and challenging. The competitors are exposed to fast-moving Atlantic weather systems and the fleet often encounter tough conditions
  • Flawless decision-making, determination and total commitment are the essential requirements. Crews have to manage and anticipate the changing tidal and meteorological conditions imposed by the complex course
  • The symbol of the race is the Fastnet Rock, located off the southern coast of Ireland. Also known as the Teardrop of Ireland, the Rock marks an evocative turning point in the challenging race
  • Once sailors reach the Fastnet Rock, they are well over halfway to the finish in Plymouth.
  • The lighthouse first shone its light on New Year’s Day in 1854
    Fastnet Rock originally had six keepers (now unmanned), with four on the rock at a time with the other two on leave. Each man did four weeks on, two weeks off

At A Glance – Fastnet Race

  • The world's largest offshore yacht race
  • The biennial race is 605 nautical miles - Cowes, Fastnet Rock, Plymouth
  • A fleet of over 400 yachts regularly will take part
  • The international fleet is made up of over 26 countries
  • Multihull course record: 1 day, 8 hours, 48 minutes (2011, Banque Populaire V)
  • Monohull course record: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi)
  • Largest IRC Rated boat is the 100ft (30.48m) Scallywag 100 (HKG)
  • Some of the Smallest boats in the fleet are 30 footers
  • Rolex SA has been a longstanding sponsor of the race since 2001
  • The first race was in 1925 with 7 boats. The Royal Ocean Racing Club was set up as a result

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