Dublin Bay’s sea life is facing wipe-out due to marine surveys that are damaging creatures in the water, local fishermen have claimed.
The surveys are currently being completed as part of an offshore wind farm project.
The wind farm companies are required to engage with the fishermen as part of the offshore licence, but there are claims that is not happening.
Paddy Macaulay told FM104 that a previous survey destroyed everything on the seabed back in 2011.
He said: “All life that we sustain our living from was gone for two and a half years and slowly it came back.”
Gerry Copeland, who has been fishing in the area for over 30 years, explained that the noise from the wind farms is damaging to sea life.
He said: “Whatever type of sound they are using it’s actually killing the ground, it’s killing the ground, these are whelks, a whelk is a sea snail.
“Fish can swim away, a whelk can’t.
“And we think that this survey, this sound they’re using on the ground is actually killing the shells.
“We are out there a long time, we see the ground, we know the ground and we think that’s what’s happening.”
Following the surveys, a construction phase will begin, which will consist of further drilling into the seabed.
The East Coast rock is very loose according to the fishermen, as it is mostly granite covered by a small layer of mud.
They say that drilling through it will cause further noise.
Meanwhile, People Before Profit’s Richard Boyd Barret said that the private companies behind these applications are taking advantage of the offshore licence and has laid the blame at the feet of the Government.
He said: “It needs to be properly regulated and the Government seems to have failed in the that.
“That allows private companies who’ve got licences to develop some of the offshore to ride roughshod over the genuine concerns of groups like fishermen and other groups who’d be concerns about biodiversity off the east coast.”
Arno Verbeek, Project Director of the Codling Wind Park project, said: “Building strong local relationships is very important to us on the Codling Wind Park project.
“We have been engaging with local fishers in relation to the project for the last year.
“At every stage of the foreshore licence process, our Fisheries Liaison Officers, together with the wider project team, have sought to share information and proactively engage with and listen to local fishers.
“As we have planned our offshore surveys over the last two months, we have sought to promote co-existence and minimise any impacts on local fishers, by narrowing the survey areas as much as possible to impact the fewest possible fishers.
“Where we are proposing to ask fishers to temporarily move their fishing gear for the duration of the surveys, we are committed to compensating them fairly.
“We recognise that we are sharing the marine environment with many other users and that we all have rights and responsibilities.
“We are committed to honouring ours and to adhering fully to the conditions of our Foreshore Investigation Licence at every stage and minimising any impact on the rights of other marine users.”
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