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Displaying items by tag: Inland Fisheries Ireland

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) says it would welcome a review of turbine operations at the Ardnacrusha power plant around the peak time for eel migrations.

The statement comes following the publication of its investigation into a report of a fish kill in the lower Shannon last December, allegedly resulting from eels passing through the hydroelectric turbines during Storm Barra.

IFI says a report was received from a member of the public on its confidential hotline late on 8 December, which relayed information seen on social media.

Fisheries officers undertook a detailed investigation during daylight over the next two days, with only one dead eel recovered.

“However, finding only one dead eel may have been due to a variety of reasons,” it says. “For example, there was a time lag between the incident and the reporting of the incident…. Therefore, dead eels may have been taken by predators or are very likely to have been swept further downstream.”

IFI notes the “well-established fact” that the use of hydroelectric turbines such as those used in the ESB plant at Ardnacrusha “results in significant mortalities of eels moving downstream to sea”.

It adds: “In fact, the operation of the turbines at the Ardnacrusha hydroelectric station is estimated to kill over 21% of the total run of down-migrating eels.”

The fisheries body emphasises that it does not have a statutory role in regulating operations at Ardnacrusha, and that fisheries on the River Shannon are owned by the ESB.

“However, Inland Fisheries Ireland would welcome a review of the flow and turbine operations around the time of peak silver eels’ migration. This would improve eel survival rates in the future and improve fish passage generally via the old River Shannon channel,” it says.

The report into this incident can be downloaded below.

Published in Angling

The deadline to enter the second online lottery for ‘brown tags’ for wild salmon angling on the Lower River Lee is midnight on Friday 8 April.

A further 38 brown tags will be issued on Monday 11 April, following the first lottery for 38 tags on 31 January, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Under brown tag regulations, an angler who wishes to ‘harvest’ a wild salmon and keep it must attach a brown tag as well as a standard blue tag to the fish.

To help conserve stocks of wild salmon within the Lower River Lee, No 5 or Cork District, a total of 152 brown tags will be available for the season and will be distributed to anglers with a 2022 rod licence through a series of online lotteries.

Anglers interested in entering the second draw are being asked to email their request to Inland Fisheries Ireland at [email protected] between now and midnight on Friday 8 April only.

Within this email, anglers must provide their name, contact address and telephone number and they must also quote their 2022 Salmon Licence number. Only one entry is permitted per licence holder into the draw.

Anglers with a 2022 rod licence who are not allocated a brown tag are only permitted to fish for salmon on a ‘catch and release’ basis on the Lower River Lee, where the salmon is returned safely to the same waterbody.

Further details are available from the Inland Fisheries Ireland’s website or by phoning its Macroom office on (026) 41221.

Published in Angling

In accordance with the Control of Fishing for Salmon Order 2022, Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) invites applications for commercial salmon fishing licences (draft net and snap net).

Application forms may be obtained from your local IFI office listed below:

  • IFI Dublin, Tel: 01 884 2600
  • IFI Clonmel, Tel: 052 618 0055
  • IFI Macroom, Tel: 026 41221
  • IFI Limerick, Tel: 061 300 238
  • IFI Galway, Tel: 091 563 118
  • IFI Ballina, Tel: 096 22788
  • IFI Ballyshannon, Tel: 071 985 1435

The statutory closing date for receipt of completed applications to the relevant IFI office is Friday 8 April. Applications received after this date cannot be accepted.

Published in Fishing

Traditional Irish salmon flies, commissioned 120 years ago for the Cork International Exhibition in 1902, are set to feature in a new historical picture book to mark World Book Day on Thursday 3 March.

Fly tying involves the ‘dressing’ of a fishing hook to create an artificial fly, which is then used by anglers at the end of a rod and line to catch fish.

It’s a little-known part of Ireland’s heritage but many angling shops in Ireland in the late 1800s and early 1900s employed ‘fly dressers’. Some were considered masters of their craft, thanks to their skills, creativity and the traditional methods that they used.

In recognition of the cultural importance of this craft and to record examples, a collection of traditional fly dressings was commissioned in 1902, with specific sets of flies collected for each of the 20 fishery districts throughout the country.

The current custodians of this important collection, Inland Fisheries Ireland, is publishing the 1902 Cork Collection of Salmon Flies picture book online this week, making it freely available to new generations around the world.

“This new book offers a unique glimpse into Ireland’s past, showcasing the detail and beauty of traditional Irish salmon flies and the wide range of materials and techniques used by Irish fly dressers at the time,” said Shane O’Reilly, manager of the project for Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).

“Many of those fly dressers are now revered around the world for the quality of their craft, so this collection is of significant cultural importance too, and is now available for the next generation to discover.”

Over a hundred years after the Cork International Exhibition took place, interest in the collection was reignited by angling author, the late EJ ‘Ted’ Malone, who described the collection as a “long lost treasure of Irish angling”.

Malone worked alongside Peter Kealey and Peter Dunne — all fly-tying experts — to meticulously examine, photograph and record the various fly dressings. Sadly, Ted Malone passed away in 2017 and the book is dedicated to his memory.

Over 380 individual salmon flies have been catalogued for this project, representing 20 fishery districts such as Galway, Ballina, Killarney, Dublin, Ballyshannon and Lismore. These flies were often ‘dressed’ for use on specific rivers or lakes, with subtle differences in hue and colour to reflect what was believed to be the best pattern on that fishery, at a particular time of year.

IFI says it is exploring ways of putting the original collection on display once more and members of the public are being encouraged to contact the state agency with any suggestions they may have.

The 1902 Cork Collection of Salmon Flies is available to view and download from Issuu HERE.

Published in Angling

Fifth and sixth class pupils around the country are being asked to design a poster that encourages greater conservation of Ireland’s native fish.

Organised by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) in conjunction with Blackrock Education Centre, the national poster competition is part of the Something Fishy educational programme and officially kicks off this month.

The winning posters will be used as part of an awareness campaign to promote the ‘catch, photo and release’ (CPR) method of angling in Ireland.

Under the CPR approach, a fish that is caught with a rod by an angler is quickly photographed and then returned safely back into the same water to swim away.

As a result, greater numbers of fish can be conserved in rivers, lakes and around coastlines, putting less pressure on fish populations and boosting biodiversity.

To enter, primary school students are being asked to create a poster with the ‘catch, photo and release’ message, take a photograph of it and then submit it by email before the closing date of Friday 15 April.

The winning students in the fifth and sixth class categories will receive a tablet to the value of €500 and will have their work featured in an awareness campaign.

In 2021, IFI and the Blackrock Education Centre ran a national poetry competition, with two young poets from Tipperary and Carlow scooping the top prizes.

To enter the 2022 competition, parents, guardians or teachers are asked to email original entries to [email protected] before Friday 15 April. Only one entry is allowed per pupil and all winners will be announced in early June.

Free resources with further details about the competition are available from www.somethingfishy.ie

Published in Angling

The 2022 EIFAAC Symposium will be hosted by Inland Fisheries Ireland and the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications at Randles Hotel in Killarney on 20-21 June.

The rubric for the 31st symposium of the European Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture Advisory Commission — the first since Dresden, Germany in September 2019 — is ‘Advances in Technology, Stock Assessment and Citizen Science in an Era of Climate Change’.

Four themes have been identified for the symposium relating to inland fish stock assessment, developments in freshwater fish monitoring technologies, assessing the impacts of climate change on freshwater fish and their habitats and the role of citizen science. The fifth theme will focus on the pros and cons of traditional vs recirculation aquaculture systems.

Abstract submission is open for presenters until this Friday 18 February. Notification of acceptance letters all be sent on 25 March and presenting authors will have until 28 March to register. The deadline for submission of manuscripts/presentations is 13 June, one week before the symposium.

For those wishing to attend, early-bird registration is now open at €120 (students €80) until 1 April. Payment made after this date will incur an extra administration charge of €20.

For more details on attending the conference, see the IFI website HERE.

Published in Aquaculture

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is seeking submissions from interested parties in respect of a proposed new angling bye-law which would set a minimum length and bag limit for trout caught and retained from Lough Lene.

At present there is no minimum length size for any trout caught and retained by rod and line on Lough Lene in Collinstown, Co Westmeath — nor is there any bag limit for trout.

The draft bye-law aims to assist with the sustainable management of the fishery by limiting the numbers of trout, of all sizes, being taken from the lake.

It aims to set a minimum length of 36cm (14 inches) a bag limit of not more than two per day for trout caught and retained on the waters of Lough Lene.

All submissions must be received in writing. Please be aware that all submissions received by IFI will be published on its website.

In addition, IFI is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 1997 and therefore has to consider any request made to it under that act.

If you consider that any part of your submission would be subject to any of the statutory exclusions under that act, this should be indicated in your submission, specifying under which exemption you believe the content should be excluded.

IFI will make every effort to comply fully with the Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003 and the EU Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC

Submissions should be clearly marked ‘ERBD Byelaw Consultation’ and sent by post to the Director, Inland Fisheries Ireland Dublin, 3044 Lake Drive, Citywest, Dublin 24 or alternatively by email to [email protected]

The public consultation period opened earlier this week and the closing date for receipt of submissions is 5pm on Tuesday 22 February.

Published in Angling

A Kilrush man has been convicted of threatening to kill or cause serious harm to a fisheries officer following an incident on the Shannon Estuary in the summer of 2020.

At a sitting in Ennis of Kilrush District Court on Tuesday 8 February, John Linnane was convicted under Section 5 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act over the incident occurred during an investigation by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) into illegal fishing for wild salmon on 1 June 2020.

At Kilrush District Court, Judge Larkin imposed a two-month suspended sentence and 100 hours of community service on Linnane, pending on the outcome of a probation report.

At an earlier court sitting in November 2021, Linnane pleaded guilty to illegal fishing for wild salmon on the same date (1 June 2020) on the Shannon Estuary in Co Clare. Linnane is awaiting sentencing for this conviction.

Speaking after this week’s conviction, David McInerney, director of the Shannon River Basin District, said: “Threatening to kill or cause serious harm to an officer of the State is a very serious issue and Inland Fisheries Ireland would like to thank An Garda Síochána for their help in bringing this case before the courts.

“Fisheries officers are charged with the protection of valuable and often threatened fish stocks and this work is essential to ensure the protection of Ireland’s native fish species.

“We have to remember that the River Shannon is closed to salmon fishing because salmon stocks are significantly below levels that maintain a healthy, sustainable population.”

To report suspicions of illegal fishing, members of the public are encouraged to call IFI’s new confidential hotline number on 0818 34 74 24, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is launching its recruitment drive to hire 49 seasonal fisheries officers.

The six-month posts are divided across seven River Basin Districts, covering 16 counties with recruitment getting underway immediately.

Seasonal fisheries officers will join teams over the summer months to help protect, conserve and develop fisheries resources working in and around Ireland’s lakes, rivers and coastlines.

The State agency responsible for the protection, conservation, development and promotion of freshwater fish, habitats and sea angling is looking for candidates for both protection and development roles, and they will play a crucial part in the agency’s plans for 2022, according to IFI’s chief executive Francis O’Donnell.

Launching the recruitment drive today, Thursday 10 February, O’Donnell said: “Our new seasonal fisheries officers will be joining us on the frontlines, helping to protect, maintain and conserve this country’s natural resources.

“As an environmental agency, enforcement, protection and development are a big focus for us. For example, our teams undertake over 30,000 patrols around the clock every year, including patrols by foot, e-bike, vehicle and boat.

“At the same time, our development teams ensure the sustainability of fisheries habitat, enabling access for this generation and for future generations.”

IFI’s HR director Róisín Bradley says the roles would particularly appeal to those who enjoy working outdoors.

“Our officers working in protection will spend a lot of their time patrolling lakes, rivers and coastlines, while officers working in development will also spend a lot of their time around lakes and rivers, as they build, repair and maintain structures.

“Those that enjoy being close to nature and working outdoors, in all types of weather, are likely to find these roles very appealing and rewarding.”

The agency plans to launch a second recruitment drive later in the year for seasonal research assistants.

Those interested in applying for a six-month seasonal fisheries officer role can apply online at www.fisheriesireland.ie/careers before the deadline of Monday 21 February.

Published in Angling

Experienced charter skippers can now apply for Ireland’s 2022 bluefin tuna scientific survey programme, as scientists confirm that over 1,100 of the largest tuna in the world have been successfully tagged and released through the programme in the last three years.

Building on the successes of the Tuna CHART (CatcH And Release Tagging) programmes of 2019-2021, this scientific data collection catch and release fishery for Ireland will operate again this year, subject to Covid-19 restrictions.

A maximum of 25 authorisations may be granted to qualifying angling charter vessel skippers around the Irish coast for the fishery, which will open on 1 July and close on 12 November.

The Tuna CHART programme is a collaborative scientific programme between Inland Fisheries Ireland and the Marine Institute in partnership with the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and Department of Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC).

Between 2019 and 2021, some 1,136 Atlantic bluefin tuna were caught, tagged, measured and released off the Irish coast by authorised charter skippers. The largest tuna tagged to date in the programme was 2.75 metres, weighing an estimated 372kg.

All tuna were carefully managed in the water alongside the charter vessel, subject to strict guidelines set by the Tuna CHART programme, and all were released alive.

Data from the tagging programme have been collated by the partnership for reporting to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT).

The core aspect of the Tuna CHART programme is the welfare and successful release of the bluefin tuna. Authorised skippers will be required to have high specification rods, reels and line in advance of the open season in order to ensure that the fish is brought alongside the vessel to be measured and tagged in the water in a timely manner.

Anglers will have an opportunity to participate in this fishery and contribute to this important scientific study by chartering and fishing from authorised vessels only.

Unauthorised vessels are not permitted to target or catch Bluefin tuna and any unauthorised person found to be targeting Bluefin tuna is liable to prosecution.

Experienced charter skippers are being invited to apply to join the 2022 Tuna CHART programme between Monday 14 and Monday 28 February by filling out an application form online at www.fisheriesireland.ie/bluefin

Published in Angling
Page 4 of 37

Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.

 

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

©Afloat 2020

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