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Displaying items by tag: Galway Bay

#FerryNews - Inis Mór residents are being left "in limbo" over the imminent loss of the island's ferry service due to a passenger levy dispute.

Sunday 31 January will be the last day of ferry sailings in Galway Bay between the largest of the Aran Islands and the mainland – and Galway councillors have directed their ire at Gaeltacht Minister Joe McHugh for the transport crisis.

As Galway Bay FM reports, Inis Mór is the only one of the Aran Islands that does not have a Public Service Obligation contract in place or its ferry service.

Islanders have been hit by sharp fare increases for a number of years after the ceasing of the State-subsidised contract for ferry services on a route that has seen an overall drop in passenger numbers by one-fifth in just six years.

Galway Bay FM has more on the story HERE.

Published in Ferry

#MarineScience - A public information evening on the Galway Bay 'Ocean Observatory' is scheduled for this coming Tuesday 19 January.

Speakers from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), the Marine Institute and SmartBay Ireland will be on hand to explain developments at the Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site.

The event from 7pm to 9.30pm at Tígh Giblin in Spiddal will also have a question and answer session.

Meanwhile, an information day on the second joint call for proposals for Marine Biotechnology ERA-NET will be held from 11am to 3pm on Friday 22 January at the Marine Institute.

See the Marine Institute website for more details HERE.

Published in Marine Science

#FishFarm - Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) has withdrawn the application for its controversial fish farm proposal for the Aran Islands ahead of new plans to limit the size of aquaculture projects.

As the Irish Examiner reports, campaigners against the ambitious 500-hectare, 15,000 tonne organic salmon farm for Galway Bay have welcomed the decision by BIM to rethink its development in line with a new national strategic plan that will limit fish farms to under 7,000 tonnes.

BIM's application has been with the Department of the Marine for more than three years, with Marine Minister Simon Coveney saying this past March that he would not be drawn on any timeframe for a decision to approve what would have been the largest such fish farm in Europe.

The application has long faced opposition from local angling and environmental groups, as well as concerns from the EU over its environmental impact.

This past summer controversy arose again as campaigners blasted BIM for spending thousands of euro on PR on the project, that would have seen Ireland attempt to overtake Scotland as a leading producer of organic salmon.

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing

#AranIslands - Appointing a senior minister with day-to-day responsibility for the Aran Islands is one proposal in a 12-point plan for the Galway Bay island community being launched on Inis Mór today (Thursday 26 November).

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin is joined by Galway West TD Eamon O’Cuiv to launch the plan, which also includes promises to provide 24/7 health coverage and expand the islands' air service to the mainland, as Galway Bay FM reports.

The latter has been a source of concern for residents who recently faced the replacement of their decades-long airplane service with helicopter flights. Aer Arann is continuing its flights as a new tender for the public service obligation air route continues.

According to the Galway Advertiser, another priority in the plan is proving for primary education services, should Fianna Fáil get into Government in next spring's General Election.

Martin said that the Aran Islands and other offshore communities "are an important part of our heritage and culture and represent a unique way of life. They are important to the nation and also are in many cases, such as the Aran Islands, major international brands."

Published in Island News

#MarineScience - A live camera feed from the new 'ocean observatory' in Galway Bay is now online, providing a bounty of information for marine scientists.

The Marine Institute is hosting both live and archived data from the Atlantic Ocean cabled undersea observatory off Spiddal on its website, including data from sea temperature and salinity to the concentration of chlorophyll.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the observatory comprises a range of sensors and monitoring equipment attached to the 4km subsea cable connecting the new Galway Bay Ocean Energy Test Site with the mainland.

The test site was in the news recently as computer giant Apple pledged €1 million to help ocean energy start-ups put their devices through their paces.

Click HERE the live feed and other data from the ocean observatory.

Published in Marine Science

#MarineScience - Apple's latest investment will mean more than a jobs boost as the technology giant has also committed to marine energy prototypes at Galway Bay's 'ocean observatory'.

Yesterday (Wednesday 11 November) Apple announced an expansion of its Cork campus to increase its staff by 1,000 by mid 2017, according to RTÉ News.

But hidden in the headlines was news that the company has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) to assist its grant recipients on marine research and development.

As renewable energy site reNews reports, Apple is providing a total of €1 million – €250,000 a year over four years starting in 2016 – to help ocean energy start-ups put their devices through their paces at the Galway Bay Ocean Energy Test Site.

Apple's vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives Lisa Jackson said the company is "excited by the potential of ocean energy to someday serve as a source of clean power for the data centre we are building in Athenry."

reNEWS has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Science

The McSwiggans' October League concluded at Galway Bay Sailing Club last Sunday with a return to blustery conditions more commonly associated with the West coast and spin-offs from Caribbean hurricanes at this time of year writes Liam Burke.

The first four races took place with fickle offshore breezes where Corby 25 Tribal could not be caught after flying starts from the pin end and superior speed around the course. The trend for the bigger boats to rate under a non-overlapping jib was costly as they struggled to power up in the light airs. The unusual presence of Tommy Smyth's Dragonfly 25 trimaran crewed by sailors from the Dart and Hobie fleet kept tacticians busy as she accelerated away but at lower angles and costly tacking manoeuvers. Also large numbers of shrimp pots in the shallow areas of the bay made it difficult for boats to get relief from any unfavourable tides.

GBSC Oct Series racing

So after four races run and two abandoned, Tribal's four bullets looked a sufficient cushion going into last Sunday's final two races but a 'no show' by the lead boat threw the game wide open. Race officer Dave Vinnell continued with his policy of Committee Boat starts on the bay, but as the twenty knot breeze was forecast to build into the afternoon, and he sent the fleet 'around the cans' . Barry Heskin's Now What and Mike Guilfoyle's Ibaraki were 'jockeyed-up' with Ronan Grealish of North Sails  and Des McWilliam of UK Sailmakers  respectively.

A two way battle ensued in the twenty knots plus conditions. But as they scored a win and a second place each, it wasn't enough, and despite including a DNS in their score, Tribal, equal on points with Now What, took the series on countback.

Published in Galway Harbour
Tagged under

#AranIslands - Aer Arann has said it will continue to fly to the Aran Islands despite no agreement being reached in its contract negotiations with Government, according to Galway Bay FM.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, talks got under way earlier this week after the Government's sudden cancellation of its tender for the public service obligation air route to the Galway Bay islands.

Aer Arann's current contract for its plane service between the islands and the Co Galway mainland expired yesterday (Wednesday 30 September) and staff are still on protective notice until an agreement has been reached.

However, the airline confirmed it was offering flights today as a goodwill gesture to Aran Islanders as talks continue. Galway Bay FM has more HERE.

Published in Island News

#GalwayPort - Parts of the current expansion plan for Galway Harbour would have a significant adverse impact on Galway Bay, according to An Bord Pleanála - a week ahead of the expected decision that has already been delayed for many months.

As RTÉ News reports, the planning body has invited the Galway Harbour Company to suggest moves it can make to offset any lasting damage to habitats in what is a candidate for designation as a Special Area of Conservation.

It has been confirmed that the €126 million redevelopment scheme, which involves reclaiming 24 hectares from the sea, would destroy a number of reef, mud and sand habitats.

Pending that feedback, planners will then decide whether to refer the expansion scheme to Brussels under the Derogation of the Habitats Directive for projects of overriding public interest.

Published in Galway Harbour

#AranIslands - The Government last night cancelled the tender process for flights to the Aran Islands amid weeks of concern over changes to the Galway Bay islands' air service.

As RTÉ News reports, Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs Joe McHugh said the European Commission would be notified before beginning a new tender process, and his department would enter talks with the existing provider Aer Arann about continuing their service after their current contract expires next week.

The decision means that the decades-long airplane service will now not be replaced by helicopter flights out of Carnmore, which were to be provided by the State's preferred tenderer Executive Helicopters.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, residents had expressed worry and anger over the change, with dismay over the distance between Carnmore and the ferry link at Rossaveal, and concerns over the reliability of helicopter service in often severe weather around the islands.

Only last week public meetings has been held on Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oirr to address the uncertainty over the future of the air service.

It since emerged that the Department of the Gaeltacht itself had no confirmation that Galway Airport could be used as a hub for the helicopter service - until Galway councillors passed a motion against it.

As of yesterday (Friday 25 September), Aer Arann had issued no statement over the situation under legal advice after mounting a High Court challenge to the original tender.

And Galway Bay FM adds that helicopters are expected to be eliminated as an option from any new tender contract for Aran Islands flights.

Published in Island News
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