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Displaying items by tag: tourism

#Shannon - The Shannon Foynes Port Company has launched its master plan for the development of port infrastructure and services along the Shannon Estuary.

RTÉ News reports on the 30-year plan, titled Vision 2041, which will involve the construction of a new deepwater birth at Foynes, the development of warehousing and facilities across 300 acres of additional land - and the potential reopening of the Foynes-Limerick railway line, which has lain dormant since 2001.

As one of the deepest waterways in Europe, the estuary is also in prime position to take advantage of the new 'post-panamax' supertanker shipping era, and talks on securing future foreign direct investment as a priority.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, submissions for the accompanying strategic plan for the development and management of marine-related industry and tourism in the Shannon Estuary region closed last week.

The Draft Strategic Integrated Framework Plan (SIFP) for the Shannon Estuary, the first of its type to be developed in Ireland, identifies a number of strategic sites along the estuary for future possible development in the areas of industry, tourism, energy, fishing and aquaculture and marine-related industry.

Published in Shannon Estuary

#IrishHarbours - Funding of €7.4 million for urgent remedial works at six regional harbours has been announced by Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar.

The funding will pay for repairs and safety works on essential harbour infrastructure, and is likely to benefit the local economy, promote leisure activities and support the fishing industry.

“This funding will allow essential works at these regional harbours on piers, walls and harbour structures," said the minister. "This work is necessary as part of their transfer from central Government to local authority control.

“Harbours play an important role in their communities in terms of fishing, cargo and leisure and play an increasingly important role in tourism and watersports."

Minister Varadkar added: "The large-scale safety or construction projects planned for Kinsale, and for Baltimore & Skibbereen Harbour this year will be able to go ahead thanks to this funding. Smaller scale projects at other harbours can also proceed, including essential works at Arklow Harbour.”

The funding has been allocated to the following harbours:
 
Arklow - €3,588,000
Baltimore & Skibbereen - €1,165,000
Bantry Bay - €100,000
Kinsale - €1,467,000
Tralee & Fenit - €750,000
Wexford - €329,500
 
The funding has been concentrated on remedial works to ensure that the harbours are in a fit condition during their transfer to local authority control.

Twelve of the 13 regional harbours have transferred to date, with 11 being taken over by local authorities, and one designated a fisheries harbour.

Published in Irish Harbours

#Howth - A new website has been set up outlining opposition by local traders and stakeholders to proposals to charge for parking in Howth Harbour.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Dublin North East TD Tommy Broughan slammed the proposals by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine as "crazy" and potentially devastating for Howth's marine and tourism businesses.

Some 500 parking space are available in Howth village, which Minister of State Jimmy Deenihan has argued are being predominantly used by park-and-ride commuters.

In response to a question from Deputy Broughan in late December, Marine Minister Simon Coveney added that "the volumes of traffic currently parking at the fishery harbour, both during the working week and at weekends, are creating significant health and safety risks, to the extent that on some occasions access for emergency service vehicles is compromised."

At a meeting called by the Howth Chamber of Commerce on Monday 28 January, Howth Yacht Club Commodore Breda Dillon rejected that assessment, claiming that overcrowding was not an issue, and that on normal days there was only 10% occupancy of parking spaces on the middle pier.

Her sentiments were echoed by the majority in attendance, with area TDs and representatives of local business all referencing the potentially damaging effects that parking charges would have on the village economy. Click HERE for more on the story.

Published in Irish Harbours

#Howth - "Disastrous" could be the effect for Howth's economy if car parking charges proposed by Government are introduced, as The Irish Times reports.

Tommy Broughan, Labour TD for Dublin North East, hit out at plans to charge for parking in the harbour area of the North Dublin fishing village, describing them as "crazy" and potentially devastating for Howth's marine and tourism industries.

He also criticised the failure of Marine Minister Simon Coveney and his department to consult with local stakeholders before pressing forward with the plans.

However, Minister of State Dinny McGinley argued that the vast majority of the 500 spaces available in Howth village were being used by park-and-ride commuters, and that only a small number of users involved in the fishing industry were effectively funding the service for all.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay

#Tourism - How's this for a unique winter break in Ireland - a visit to a century-old seaweed bathhouse in Sligo, anyone?

That's what Guardian writer Nick Fisher did recently when he and his family spent a week in the north-west to partake of Kilcullen's Seaweed Baths, right next to the shore at Enniscrone beach.

Angling is the big tourism draw for the region, now that the salmon season is well underway, with the River Moy providing all the sport a caster could want at any level.

But it's the seaweed baths - fed with water and fresh seaweed from Enniscrone Bay - that put a unique stamp on the whole experience, according to Fisher.

"People with skin conditions... as well as sportsmen and women love these baths," he writes. "Many of the local pensioners have season tickets ('To warm their old bones in the winters') and I'm told it is a very popular hangover cure.

"After the hot silky seaweed soak, the stinging, cleansing, pins-and-needles of the cold seawater shower leaves a bather feeling newly minted."

The Guardian has more on the story HERE.

Published in Aquatic Tourism

#Angling - The Minister of State for Natural Resources has said the unchanged cost of fishing licences this year should encourage angling tourism in Ireland.

Commenting Thursday on his approval of the new regulations and by-laws for Ireland's wild salmon fishery which came into force on 1 January, Minister Fergus O'Dowd said: "Last year I lowered the cost of fishing licences and I have decided to maintain that price cut for 2013.

"I am anxious that lower costs will encourage sales of annual licences and incentivise angling tourists to avail of the Ireland’s first-class angling product."

Last week Afloat.ie reported that the Irish Times' angling correspondent Derek Evans welcomed the regulation changes for the start of this year's salmon season.

In an update to previously reported figures, conservation measures for this year involve the closure of 58 rivers due to a lack of surplus fish, down from 64 closures in 2012, while 62 rivers are open for fishing in what marks a significant rise on last year.

"This will provide opportunities for commercial fishermen and anglers to share this important resource on a sustainable basis," the minister commented.

Additionally, the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme regulations are "in essence unchanged" from last year.

Published in Angling

#GALWAY FISH FARM - The board of Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has issued a statement on the proposed Aran Islands deep sea salmon farm in Galway Bay, which has been the source of some controversy in recent weeks.

The board said it agrees with the recent statement by Minister Fergus O’Dowd on offshore salmon farming, and that it welcomes the development of Ireland’s aquaculture sector "once any development complies with Ireland’s obligations under relevant EU environmental legislation, particularly the Habitats Directive, and does not adversely affect salmon and sea trout stocks."

In addition, the IFI board said it has made a submission on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prepared by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) for the proposed offshore salmon farm as part of the public consultation process, which is available on the IFI website.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the public consultation period began last month for the 500-hectare organic fish farm to be located off Inis Oirr. BIM has applied for a deep sea salmon farming licence at the site, which would be one of the largest of its kind in Europe. If approved, the operation could more than double Ireland's current farmed salmon production rate.

The IFI board's statement notes: "In the submission, concerns were raised in relation to the location and scale of the proposed salmon farm and how its development and operation could impact on wild salmon and sea trout stocks and their habitat.

"These concerns are based on scientific reports by respected authors and knowledge of the impact of existing fish farms on salmon and sea trout populations off the west coast of Ireland."

The submission also highlights "recent peer reviewed international scientific literature on the impacts of sea lice on salmonids" which poses a significant threat to wild salmon in Irish waters, as reported on Afloat.ie.

The board said it does not believe "that the corpus of peer reviewed international scientific literature which recognises the negative impacts of sea lice on salmonids have been adequately dealt with in the EIS".

While welcoming "any sustainable initiative which will provide jobs in rural coastal communities", the IFI board said it questions the figure of 500 jobs it's been reported the 15,000-tonne fish farm project would create, making comparison to a new 2,000-tonne aquaculture scheme in Scotland that's expected to create just four full-time positions.

The board members say they "have serious concerns that whatever the number of jobs created by the current proposal, they will be more than offset by the associated loss of jobs in the recreational angling and tourism sectors" if the scheme results in any negative effects on those areas.

"Ireland's reputation as a pristine wild fishery destination must be safeguarded," they added, noting that proposals for two further offshore salmon farms in Mayo and Donegal "are premature given that significant issues over the current proposal have not yet been resolved.

"No further applications should be progressed until all stakeholders are satisfied that the current proposal is sustainable and has no adverse impact on wild salmon and sea trout stocks."

Inland Fisheries Ireland is the State agency charged with the conservation, protection, development management and promotion of Ireland's inland fisheries and sea angling resource.

Published in Galway Harbour

#ANGLING - Bitterly cold weather and some hungry marine mammals kept the bass away from the inaugural Hook Bass Angling Festival in Wexford last weekend, as The Irish Times reports.

The angling went on regardless, however, with Mark Baker from Co Meath hooking a 1.5kg 'schoolie' of a flounder to take top prize of a five-day holiday at Grangecourt Holiday Homs and a day's fishing with Jim Foley.

All taking part enjoyed the weekend despite the absence of the titular fish, and promised to return next year - for which the dos and don'ts will be ironed out, according to Cathy Howlin of Hook Tourism.

Meanwhile, the weekend also featured an evening talk by Dr Ed Fahy who discussed the threat to Ireland's sea bass should the fishery be opened to commercial interests, and argued the case for bass angling tourism as a greater boon for the economy.

Published in Angling

#TITANIC - Titanic Island, the company at the head of the consortium developing Belfast's Titanic Quarter, made a pre-tax loss of £20 million (€25 million) in 2011, as BBC News reports.

Much of this has been attributed to a one-off payment of £13 million (€16.25 million) to the charitable trust that owns the new Titanic Belfast visitor centre on the shores of Belfast Lough.

The company's directors described the opening of the tourism hot-spot as the "tipping point" for the development and that "the pieces are in place" for the Titanic Quarter to become one of Ireland's most important commercial hubs.

Meanwhile, Titanic Island is in discussions with Ulster Bank about restructuring its loan support, which the firm's auditors say is essential if the development is to continue.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Titanic

#WATER SAFETY - Irish tourists headed to South Africa have been reminded of the dangers of the sea after a whale-watching vessel capsized near Cape Town at the weekend.

As BBC News reports, British tourist Peter Hyett and crewman John Roberts died when the catamaran Miroshga capsized off Hout Bay on the eastern side of the Cape Peninsula, near the popular seal colony of Duiker Island.

A number of the 39 passengers on board at the time were trapped in the vessel for almost four hours before they were freed by rescuers.

The seas off Hout Bay are a mecca for whale and seal watching, but are known to be rough, with hidden rocks below the surface. Great white sharks are also a regular sight in the waters, attracted by the seals.

But fellow skippers in the area reported fine weather and only slight swells at the time of the capsizing, according to iAfrica.com.

An investigation into the incident is being launched.

Published in Water Safety
Page 9 of 16

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