Displaying items by tag: Mayo
#MARINE WARNING - The latest Marine Notices from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) advise mariners to keep a look-out for rock placement off north Co Dublin and buoy placements off Co Mayo and Co Clare.
Operations were due to commence on Saturday 8 September at North Beach in Rush, Co Dublin for the placement of rocks offshore and in the Irish Sea for a period of 10-12 days weather permitting.
The works are being undertaken by DPFPV Tideway Rollingstone (call sign PHYR) and DPFPV Stornes (call sign PCKX) at various locations detailed in Marine Notice No 49 of 2012, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.
These vessels are operating on a 24-hour basis and will display appropriate days shapes and lights. They are also transmitting an AIS signal and will keep a listening watch on VHF Channel 16 for the duration of the works, which involve the deployment of survey ROVs and fall pipe that will restrict the vessels' movements. All mariners are instructed to give a wide berth.
Meanwhile off the west coast, ESB International has deployed two Waveroder buoys as positions near Achill Island in Co Mayo and Doonbeg in Co Clare.
The Achill buoy will be operational for a minumum of three months from now, while the Killard buoy will be operational for a minimum of 10 months having been recently relocated. Both are spherical and yellow in colour. All vessels are requested to give the buoys a wide berth.
Full details of their positions are included in Marine Notice No 50 of 2012, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.
#COASTAL NOTES - A tunnel boring machine destined for work on the Corrib Gas Field project that became stuck at a country crossroads in Co Mayo for much of last week has been removed, as The Irish Times reports.
Shell E&P Ireland apologised to the local community and any road users "who were inconvenienced by this incident" after the truck carrying the giant machine jack-knifed at the isolated road junction on Tuesday 31 July.
The truck was one of four headed to the Sruwaddacon estuary in north Mayo for construction work on what will be the longest raw gas undersea tunnel in Western Europe, used to link the Corrib pipeline to the on-shore refinery at Bellanaboy.
It was finally removed from the crossroads on Friday 3 August.
A spokesman for Rossport Solidarity Camp added that veteran anti-Corrib campaigner Maura Harrington was arrested at one of the Garda checkpoints around the stricken vehicle some 10km away at Bangor Erris.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the controversial gas field project has come under much criticism from locals, activist groups and political parties for various issues.
In March last year, former Minister for Energy Pat Carey was rebuked for granting key consents for the Corrib gas pipeline on the day of the general election, despite planning only being approved by An Bord Pleanala with 58 conditions related to the construction and management of the 8.3km pipeline.
Earlier this summer the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) claimed the Department of Energy could be in breach of the EU habitats directive for licencing a seismic survey related to the project without providing adequate protection for marine wildlife.
And in June a Scandinavian economist who met residents in north Mayo told The Irish Times that the Norwegian people have "no idea of what's being done in their name" via the role of state oil firm Statoil in the Corrib Gas Field.
The best sport on the river was on the East Mayo Anglers' water, where an impressive 179 salmon were snagged on worm, spinner and fly.
The fly catch was particularly good, with visiting anglers Michael O'Kane and John McGinn landing fish of more than 10lbs each.
It marked a second week of great fishing in the region prompted by the persistent rains since June, with the previous week's total nearing 700 on the River Moy alone - the best possible welcome for the visit by Canadian Ambassador to Ireland (and keen Atlantic salmon fly fisherman) Loyola Hearn.
Meanwhile, on the nearby Ballisadore River the fishing was almost as good, with 225 salmon caught during the week.
Topping the catch on that short stretch of water is surely the 15lb monster salmon landed by fishery manager Dermot Glennon taken with shrimp bait.
The situation is very good news in a summer that's seen some concern over salmon stocks in Ireland's rivers.
As reported on Afloat.ie just last month, it was annonced that voluntary conservation measures were being put in place on the Foyle system for the current angling season in response to a "worrying fall" in wild salmon numbers.
#ANGLING - Despite the Nor'easterly winds and rain in recent days, anglers on Co Mayo's lakes and rivers have reported good fishing, as Mayo Today reports.
Saturday 28 April was the day for the Trout Federation of Ireland's Connacht Cup on Lough Mask, which saw an impressive count of 149 trout caught by 31 anglers from seven different clubs.
Eugene Nolan of Annaghdown took the top spot with 18 trout, five more than second place finisher Martin Feerick of Partry. Third place was taken by Aidan Hodgins of Loughrea, which also took the overall team title.
Meanwhile, the River Moy had its best week of the salmon season so far, with 70 fish caught throughout the system.
Foxford Salmon Anglers member Joe Cassidy landed an enormous 16lb salmon upstream of Foxford, one of a number of catches in various parts that broke the 10lb mark.
And with water levels good thanks to the recent heavy rains, expectations have been raised for an even better catch this week.
Saturday's action saw the whitewater contest on the Clydagh River, with Limerick emerging on top, and the freestyle event on the River Clare at Tuam Wave.
Sunday closed with the long distance event at Lough Lannagh, which clinched the weekend for UL's kayakers.
Mayo also hosted the Irish Intervarsity Sailing Championships in Rosmoney last week, which attracting 200 students to the Westport area.
Two Mayo fishermen stranded at sea after their boat capsized were not assisted after they used flares, a Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) report has found.
The report, released earlier this week, recounted that the 33m crabber Léim an Bhradán had set out from Porturlin in Ballina on the morning of Saturday 30 October last on a routine fishing trip to retrieve and reset crab and lobster pots some 12 to 15 miles offshore.
The vessel was manned by skipper John O’Donnell, aged 18 at the time, and crew Nathan Flannery, in his 20s, both young men but with many years of fishing experience between them.
At some time between 1pm and 1.45pm, after having successfully hauled and re-shot one tow of pots, a second tow, in the process of being hauled, was partially aboard being emptied and re-baited.
The vessel was listing slightly to starboard due to the pots being hauled over that side when a large wave broke over the starboard quarter and flooded the working deck.
This caused the vessel to list further to starboard, allowing more water over the side and causing the stacked pots and boxes to shift, increasing the angle of the list and throwing both men into the water before the boat capsized and sank rapidly.
The boat's canister-type liferaft, which was not secured to the vessel but stored in a cradle on top of the wheelhouse, floated to the surface with a life ring. O’Donnell and Flannery managed to inflate the raft and climb aboard around 2pm, after some difficulties in operating the gas inflation cannister and releasing the raft from its securing straps.
The men then opened the SOLAS B equipment pack stored on the liferaft and released two parachute flares, 20 minutes apart, with no response. At around 3pm the pair spotted an Irish Coast Guard helicopter and released an orange smoke signal, but the chopper did not respond. It later transpired that this aircraft was the Sligo-based coastguard helicopter on a training exercise.
Several hours later, the alarm was raised ashore when the Léim an Bhradán had not returned to port. A rescue helicopter and lifeboat were tasked to the scene before midnight and the liferaft was located just after 1.30am.
O’Donnell and Flannery, who had earlier donned thermal suits to protect from the cold, were picked up and brought ashore by the lifeboat. Neither was injured in the incident.
The MCIB report found that had the lifeboat been secured to the vessel, it would have been in a position to inflate correctly as per its design.
It also found that had the EPIRB emergency beacon been mounted to a 'float free' bracket outside the wheelhouse, rather than stored inside, it would have floated to the surface and activated automatically, notifying the coast guard immediately.
Neither skipper nor crew was in possession of the boat's handheld VHF set, the report noted, which hampered their ability to contact any nearby vessels for assistance.
Mayo County Council has advised it will not be possible for boats to pass through Achill Sound until further notice. The announcement came in a Marine Notice issued on December 10th. This is due to on-going works connected with the bridge at the location.
Further details are available from Mayo County Council at telephone +353 (0)98 41169. A new Marine Notice will issue once passage through Achill Sound becomes possible again.
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) reports that a killer whale was found stranded in Tullaghan Bay, Co Mayo earlier this month.
A post morten was carried out on the carcass of the female killer whale by Conor Ryan and Alessandro Pierini of the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. The good condition of the carcass also allowed the team an opportunity to examine its stomach contents, which did not include any foreign objects.
The killer whale, which was stranded on the beach at Doohoma, was found to be pregnant with a large near-term female calf which was oritented backwards in the birth sac, though there is no obvious connection to the cause of death.
According to the IWDG, it is only the 15th stranding of a killer whale in Ireland since records began, and the seventh in the last 40 years. A pectoral fin was removed for display at the Natural History Museum.
Launching the publication of the final report on RESCALE project, Minister Smith said that the project was a major milestone in our understanding of the effects of climate change on sensitive upland catchments in the west of Ireland. "While global climate change is a worldwide phenomenon, the research findings in this report provide information at the local level that will be invaluable to fisheries and land use managers," said the Minister. "Practical research work such as RESCALE is essential if we are to plan for the future management of our valuable agriculture, fisheries and forestry resources in the west of Ireland."
The project is studying data from an unbroken record of information on water temperature, air temperature, river discharge, rainfall and a host of other factors which exists for the catchment dating back to the 1950s for the Burrishoole river. This information collected at the Furnace facility and the neighbouring Met Eireann synoptic station, is invaluable as a resource, not only for measuring physical change over the past sixty years, but also as a proven yardstick to "ground-truth" any computer-generated models describing the likely effects of global warming. Minister Smith said "I am very impressed with the work being done here in Newport and the high level of collaboration between the Institute and the Universities on marine research and its practical application to real situations to help inform decision making into the future."
Any potential risk from the Corrib gas pipeline off Ireland's west coast has been "overstated", according to representatives from Shell.
On the final day of the An Bord Pleanála hearing into the final phase of the pipeline, the oil company's senior counsel moved to assure a concerned public that the project was designed to "the highest safety standards".
"No other Irish development proposal has been subject to such an amount of study and surveys over such a period of time,” said Esmonde Keane at the hearing in Belmullet, Co Mayo on 1 October.
The Corrib project involves the development of a gas field west of the Mullet Peninsula, including the construction of a pipeline to the mainland and a coastal processing plant. The mainland phase of the plan has attracted much concern among local residents.
Two opponents of the project, environmental consultant Peter Sweetman and Monica Muller, a local resident, walked out of the hearing in protest over Keane's closing remarks, arguing that they were intended as “a legal submission”.