17th December

Outdated legislation must precede approval of 145 turbine wind farm off Dublin coast Coastal Concern Alliance

Coastal Concern Alliance

The application by developers for a foreshore lease for construction of a large-scale wind farm, ‘Dublin Array’ in Dublin Bay and off Wicklow should not be assessed until the outdated legislation governing construction at sea is updated and a Marine Spatial Plan is introduced to balance competing interest in our seas.

The democratic deficit inherent in the management of our coastal waters under the Foreshore Act, 1933, has long been recognised and reform has been talked of for many years. These reforms, deemed necessary by Government, are currently under way.9.3YourView Dublin array View 1 Sandycove 80mm

Photomontage by ModelWorks Media.

The Background
The Foreshore Act, 1933, gives sole authority to one Minister to issue foreshore licences (for exploration) and leases (for construction) in Irish waters.  While the legislation requires that decisions be made ‘in the public interest’, over the past decade the absence of coastal and marine spatial planning, coupled with outdated legislation governing construction at sea, has enabled offshore wind farm developers to lay claim to large stretches of valuable near-shore Irish east coast waters without proper public scrutiny.   

Read more: Outdated legislation must precede approval of 145 turbine wind farm off Dublin coast Coastal...

PISCES project puts spotlight on stakeholder input

Sarah Twomey & Cathal O'Mahony CMRC

Life Project Increasing attention is now being given to the potential of our marine resources to provide badly needed economic stimuli; this however will throw up the familiar challenge of sustainability which involves balancing development and use of the marine environment with the safeguarding of its ecological value.

The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) sets out the environmental priorities of Europe’s maritime policy, requiring Member States to put in place a process to achieve good environmental status (GES) for their marine waters by 2020, while also calling for countries to apply the ecosystem -approach to managing human activities at sea.

Read more: PISCES project puts spotlight on stakeholder input

Harbour porpoises under threat from seismic survey in Killiney Bay

Dublin Bay has the highest harbour porpoise density in Ireland. Photo Gillian Mills/Inshore IrelandDublin Bay has the highest harbour porpoise density in Ireland. Photo Gillian Mills/Inshore Ireland

Shay Fennelly

Harbour porpoises in Dublin Bay could be significantly disturbed by a seismic survey planned later this month. Dublin Bay has the highest harbour porpoise density in Ireland (see sidebar)

A foreshore licence was granted to Providence Resources on September 27 to undertake site investigations and to drill an exploration well in the Kish Bank Basin. The site investigations include a 2D seismic survey of the Dalkey Island prospect which would take about 15 days, followed by 30-60 days of drilling from December.

The Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) submitted by Providence Resources is deficient as it did not assess the footprint of the seismic survey.

Read more: Harbour porpoises under threat from seismic survey in Killiney Bay

Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth – the journey begins!

The launch by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny on July 31 of the Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth strategy roadmap will be seen by most of Ireland’s wider maritime community as a significant achievement by this government, and a welcome first step on the road to tapping into a global market estimated to be worth €1.20bn.

The six months process leading to last month’s launch can be traced back to February when Minister Coveney posed 10 questions that he hoped would stimulate the public into providing ideas and suggestions to generate sustainable growth in a thriving maritime economy.  

Read more: Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth – the journey begins!

Conference looks to technology to get more from marine resources

Businesses and researchers developing technology solutions for the marine sector will have greater opportunities to test their innovations in an ocean environment following the launch of SmartBay Ireland – a not-for-profit company.  
8.4renewable energy conf

Photo Prof. Fiona Regan, DCU presents Dr Mike Hartnett, NUIG with the SmartBay Research Innovator Award.

Read more: Conference looks to technology to get more from marine resources

Marine biomass to play major role in supplementing world energy requirements?...

Declan Hanniffy, Research Coordinator, OceanFuel Ltd

Today around 90% of the world’s energy consumption derives from the combustion of fossil fuels, i.e. coal, oil and natural gas are in limited supply and will one day run out. As a result, the quest for renewable energies – energies generated from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, tides, etc and from industrial or urban waste and biomass – started decades ago. Induced by numerous studies and energy conferences, the 27 Member States of the EU decided in 2007 that 20% of energy should come from renewable sources by 2020 (Lisbon Treaty).

There is a need to fulfil our energy consumption in a renewable and sustainable way, and aquatic biomass could be one source of this energy. Since the available area for cultivation at sea is so much larger than on land (70% of the earth’s surface is ocean) and growth rates of macroalgae (also commonly known as seaweed) are much higher than for conventional land crops, the potential for biomass production at sea is enormous.

Read more: Marine biomass to play major role in supplementing world energy requirements?...

Spread the News