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Displaying items by tag: Lough Neagh

#Tourism - Lough Neagh joins an exclusive list of 100 ‘sustainable destinations’ after its success in a global tourism competition this week.

As the News Letter reports, the largest inland waterway in the island of Ireland was put forward for evaluation by the Green Destinations Top 100 team, which narrowed down 150 nominees around the world to those taking sustainability most seriously for locals and tourists alike.

Eimear Kearney of the Lough Neagh Partnership was on hand to accept the prestigious designation at the Global Sustainability Competition in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

“For Lough Neagh to be named among the 100 greenest of destinations worldwide is a real achievement,” she said.

The partnership has recently launched a new scheme to improve habitats for protected bird species around the lough, according to BBC News.

The good news for Lough Neagh comes in the same week that a number of maritime tourism operators were featured at the 2016 Irish Responsible Tourism Awards, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Aquatic Tourism

#LoughNeagh - Environmentalists have branded Northern Ireland a laughing stock for its failure to stop sand dredging in Lough Neagh, as the News Letter reports.

The issue is currently before the High Court after dredging firms appealed NI Environment Minister Mark Durkan's 2015 enforcement notice against the removal of as much as 1.8 million tonnes of sand from Ireland's largest lake.

And the practice has continued unabated, despite planning permission never being granted for sand dredging on the lough, a protected area for wildlife, said Gregory Jones QC on opening the application for judicial review by Friends of the Earth.

“This issue is bringing the planning system in Northern Ireland into ridicule," the charity's counsel told the court. “This is something one would not expect of the most primitive dictatorship.”

The News Letter has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

#LoughNeagh - Drone footage of the dramatic flooding around Lough Neagh has garnered over 7,000 views on YouTube.

According to the News Letter, hundreds have been flocking to the region to see the effects of flood waters as the lough's level reached a 30-year high.

However, any potential benefits in visitor numbers are far outweighed by the severe cost to local businesses, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

And flooding around the lough will continue to be a problem for the foreseeable future due to a combination of poor water flow control and unreliable long-range weather forecasts.

That was the stark warning from Rivers Agency chief David Potter speaking to a Storming committee earlier this week, as the Belfast Telegraph reports.

"In order to reduce the lough by a foot, we need between 25 and 38 days' notice, and after about five days our level of confidence in the weather forecast is pretty shaky," he said.

"Hopefully that describes the dilemma that we are in. We can't anticipate to the extent that people believe we can."

Meanwhile, a meeting in Brussels this week has dismissed as a myth the notion that EU regulations have prevented flood relief in Co Galway, which is still suffering the effect of December's winter storms.

As Galway Bay FM reports, MEP Marian Harkin revealed that Ireland has made only one application for works of overriding public interest in the last 20 years, as the vast majority of decisions are taken at member state level.

Published in Inland Waterways

#Flooding - Water levels on Lough Neagh are at a 30-year high, and business owners in the region are counting the cost of flooding on their livelihoods, as Belfast Live reports.

A number of traders are battling to stay open despite the deluge, which came after the wettest December on record.

And the rainy trend shows no sign of letting up, with showers forecast every day till early next week.

"We're still open but nobody can get in to us," said David Cochrane of Custom Covers NI, who is keeping his new Kinnego Marina unit open despite five inches of flood waters.

"It's a bit of a mess to say the least. The financial side of it has cost me a lot."

Yesterday BBC NI weatherman Barra Best posted video of the damaging flooding at the marina on the southern end of Ireland's largest lake.

Published in Inland Waterways

#Flooding - BBC NI weatherman Barra Best has posted video to Twitter showing some of the damaging flooding at Kinnego Marina – home of Lough Neagh Sailing Club – on the southern shores of Lough Neagh near Lurgan.

And local business are braced for worse to come with further heavy rains forecast for later this evening (Wednesday 6 January), persisting overnight across Leinster and Ulster according to the latest Met Éireann forecast.

Published in Weather

#LoughNeagh - Families who have worked for generations in eel farming on Lough Neagh - putting the region on the map for its world-renowned eels – fear they are being pushed out of the industry by "unfair" policies, say campaigners.

And as Belfast Live reports, the authorities in charge of eel permits have also been accused of refusing to renew existing licences.

The Lough Neagh United Fishermen, or LNUF, says many long-time eel fishing families "grew up with the assurance that [they] would be 'looked after'".

Spokesperson Brian Wylie says his group's members also hold shares in the Lough Neagh Fishermen's Co-operative Society Ltd, which is authorised to issue permits for eel fishing.

"Our members are being ignored [by the co-operative] on a yearly basis, and can clearly see permits being handed out to people and their families never were involved in the ethos or concept," he adds.

Belfast Live has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing

#Angling - Derry chef Emmett McCourt looks forward to giving visitors to the Northern Ireland Angling Show a taste of Lough Neagh's world-renowned eels this coming June.

As the top cook tells the Londonderry Sentinel: “Lough Neagh eels are revered around the world as the best there are - but people here [in Ireland] don’t generally eat them.”

McCourt wants to make them the star of the show at the angling expo, which was first held last summer alongside the popular Irish Game Fair on the shores of Ireland's biggest lake.

The joint events are expected to highlight the wealth of local produce and artisan food, not to mention recipes reflecting the traditions of the region.

The 2015 Irish Game Fair and Northern Ireland Angling Show take place over the weekend on 27 and 28 June at Shane’s Castle in Antrim.

Published in Angling

#Seafood - Lough Neagh eels may no longer be protected by Brussels regional designation rules if a proposed free trade deal with North America goes through.

As the Belfast Telegraph reports, the lough's eels are among a number of foodstuffs in Northern Ireland that come under EU Protected Geographical Indication, which means that only products produced in a particular area – like Cornish pasties or parmesan cheese – can be named and marketed as such.

But German agriculture minister Christian Schmidt has said that such protections, which are not recognised in the United States, may have to be abandoned "if we want to take advantage of the opportunities of free trade with the huge American market".

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

#LoughNeagh - The Belfast Telegraph has posted an incredible photo of a funnel cloud that appeared over Lough Neagh last week.

Barry McGuigan, a fisherman working on the largest lake in the island of Ireland, captured the stunning image of the unusual cloud formation - often the precursor to a tornado - as it hovered over the water close to another fishing vessel.

"It was like a twister but it stayed in one place for five to 10 minutes and then it just fizzled out," he said.

It's now believed to be the most photographed and videoed weather phenomenon in Northern Ireland, with this video posted to YouTube by John McCorry just one example.

Meanwhile, the Belfast Telegraph also reports that the aristocratic owner of Lough Neagh has vowed to work with the NI Legislative Assembly on its strategic management.

The 12th and present Earl of Shaftesbury, philanthropist and endurance athlete Nick Ashley-Cooper, said he welcomed the conclusion of a long-delayed report into the future of the lough and "wholeheartedly" agrees with its findings.

It comes some months after fears that the report by a special working group would remain shelved at Stormont, and its findings never made public.

"The report indicates clearly that the estate's ownership of the bed and soil is not a barrier to any potential development and that there is no compelling argument in favour of public ownership," said Lord Shaftesbury.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways
Tagged under

#canoe – Three canoeists have been pulled from the water after getting into difficulty in Lough Neagh.

Belfast Coastguard received a call on VHF channel 16 just after 1pm yesterday afternoon reporting that three canoeists had fallen into the water between Rams Island and Sandy Bay. Conditions on the water at the time were described as choppy, with a southerly wind of force 4 (13–17 mph).

The Kinnego Coastguard Rescue Team along with the Kinnego and Ardboe Independent Rescue Boats were sent to the scene. The three, who were all wearing lifejackets, were rescued from the water by a sand barge that was close by at the time. They were then transferred to the Ardboe rescue boat, and taken ashore where they were met by Coastguard Rescue Officers and passed into the care of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.

Liam Colquhoun, Watch Manager at Belfast Coastguard, said:

"These three canoeists all had lifejackets on, but unfortunately they weren't wearing wet suits or any type of gear that would help keep them warm. They were passed into the care of paramedics showing signs of hypothermia.

"We always recommend that canoeists and kayakers are well prepared before setting out. Check weather and tides, wear a buoyancy aid, suitable clothing and carry a VHF marine band radio with you. Where there is good network coverage then it is worth carrying a mobile phone in a waterproof bag.

"Call the Coastguard if you get into difficulty, preferably via channel 16 on your radio or if not by calling 999 on your mobile and asking for the Coastguard."

Published in Coastguard
Tagged under
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