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Shell to Sea Update from Erris – Shell Nets and Boats at Glengad

category mayo | environment | news report author Tuesday March 31, 2009 17:07author by d - Rossport Solidarity Campauthor phone 085 1141170 Report this post to the editors

Shell has returned to Glengad beach to install nets over the cliff face.
Net over cliff at Glengad
Net over cliff at Glengad

Shell has returned to Glengad beach to install nets over the cliff face. This cliff is a sand martin nesting area, and the sand martin nesting season is beginning this month. Birds have been spotted in the area, and although there are some sections of cliff not covered by the nets, the nesting area is severely restricted. The surface of the cliff face is markedly different from years past, after being destroyed last fall during Shell's failed attempt to bring their raw gas pipeline onshore. For a report on the destruction done to the beach last fall, you can read the Solidarity Camp's November update here on Indymedia.

The following pictures and video were taken yesterday and today, March 30 and 31, 2009.

Two boats were present in Broadhaven Bay today from at least 10am until 4pm. The larger boat moved all around the bay, while the smaller boat mostly stayed close to the green buoy. It is possible that they are carrying out survey works to prepare for the offshore pipe laying. According to Shell's Environmental Management Plan, Shell may be planning to begin offshore pipe laying in May of this year, using an alternative “wet start” option. From the Environmental Management Plan:

"Alternative "wet start" option
If the dredging of the trench for the nearshore section of the pipeline has not been completed and the pipelay vessel is available to start work an alternative sequence of installation maybe undertaken.
The pipelay vessel will install a marine anchor on the pipeline route in approximately 20 to 25m of water. A wire between this anchor and the leading end of the pipeline will maintain tension in the pipeline and the vessel will start to lay pipe towards the Corrib Field as outlined previously.
Depending upon the progress of the dredging operation, the pipelay vessel may continue and lay all of the line to Corrib. Alternatively, it may suspend its operations part way and return to Broadhaven Bay to complete the pull-in of the landfall section and then pick up the previously laid section before continuing to the field.
If a "wet start" is undertaken, it will be necessary to join the two sections of pipeline together within Broadhaven Bay by lifting the pipe ends above water and welding them together, or completing the weld on the seabed using divers."

As expected, Shell seems to be gearing up for another attempt at forcing their project ahead without community consent again in 2009. The struggle against Shell continues, following a spirited weekend in Dublin outside Mountjoy Prison in solidarity with Maura Harrington. Maura has been imprisoned for 20 days and has another 8 days yet to serve in her sentence. Another People's Forum will take place this weekend, with talks on the upcoming US case against Shell's actions Nigeria, Climate Change, and Corrib Gas Permissions.

The Forum will take place in the Inver Community Center on Saturday, April 4th from 10.30am – 3.30pm. As always, the Solidarity Camp is open to anyone who wants to visit Erris to support the campaign. Contact the Rossport Solidarity Camp: 085 1141170 rossportsolidaritycamp at gmail dot com

Net at Glengad
Net at Glengad

Net over cliff
Net over cliff

Sand Martin at Glengad
Sand Martin at Glengad

Sand Martins at Glengad
Sand Martins at Glengad

author by d - Rossport Solidarity Camppublication date Tue Mar 31, 2009 17:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

More photos of nets over Sand Martin nests at Glengad beach in County Mayo. Boats in Broadhaven Bay. YouTube video of Sand Martins at Glengad.

Cliff at Glengad
Cliff at Glengad

Bird's nests at Glengad
Bird's nests at Glengad

Glengad Beach
Glengad Beach

Boat in Broadhaven Bay
Boat in Broadhaven Bay

Small Boat, Green Buoy, Bigger Boat
Small Boat, Green Buoy, Bigger Boat

Caption: Embedded video Youtube Video


author by Margaretpublication date Tue Mar 31, 2009 21:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Typical of SHELL,STATOIL&MARATHON pretending to care for wild life and at the same time putting the pressure on those who believe they are sincere in THEIR "FORUM" TALKS.

Who gave permission to put those nets on the cliff face of a PUBLIC BEACH?
Sand martins will get caught and die in those nets,like last year.

author by A McCabepublication date Tue Mar 31, 2009 21:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This netting is surely immoral, and probably illegal, on a Special Area of Conservation - it should be removed immediately to allow the sand martins to breed. What the have Parks and Wildlife Service to say about it, if Shell has not shut their mouths?

author by Jimpublication date Tue Mar 31, 2009 22:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

.....the use of nets in Glengad is as old as the project (just for the bandwagoners) and is the best way to protect birds to ensure they do not nest in a very small part of the cliff face that is to be excavated, which I expect will have been agreed/directed by National Parks and Wildlife (after all they are the "experts" here... not the people surmising). The nets are also almost always interfered with and removed (and some times been burnt off) in an attempt to get the birds to nest there to prevent the works going ahead.... which is more responsible?

author by Seamuspublication date Tue Mar 31, 2009 23:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The nets foul the birds and cause them to die. Local people, who are the true "experts" on the habitat, remove the nets safely. More power to them.

Which would you prefer in your neighbourhood- sandmartins, or a high pressure production pipeline operated by a company with an appalling safety and human rights record?

author by spirals - spiralspublication date Wed Apr 01, 2009 14:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Anything that will slow down or stop $hell and keep the gas in the sea bed is acceptable. As for the goons from the "Parks and Wild Life destruction brigade how can they know anything since they are being ordered by a Government in Shells pocket, can be the only explanation why they were allowed to damage "protected" nesting sites last year, now permitted to rig "nets of death" this year. So much for birds being "protected". I guess only if they are not in the way of the fat cat $hell, same old story as Nigeria! Keep up the protests. $hell into the Sea and out of Ireland finish!!!

author by James Kellypublication date Wed Apr 01, 2009 16:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

State/Corporate media is a key player in all of this. We have a populace who are woefully ill informed about the situation.

Lack of real information, systematic misinformation, and Isolation, is the name of the game for any oppressor and boy are they playing the game the right way for themselves.

Advertising the websites on a mass scale should be seriously considered, other wise we keep awareness of the position within the domain of the activists and out of awareness of as broad a population as possible.

author by Stevo - Galway shell To seapublication date Wed Apr 01, 2009 20:24author email Galwayshelltosea at gmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

What was the sign that Shell stuck on the railings they erected next to that cliff face last year? Can't remember wording but from what i recall they were claiming to protect the nesting area as part of their environmental policy.
Couldn't believe the cheek of it when I read it.
Anybody remember what it actually said?

author by Billy idlepublication date Wed Apr 01, 2009 21:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yet again Shell appear to be able to flagrantly disregard a host of EU and national legislation on nesting birds. Notably the 79' birds directive.

author by ESB pole.publication date Wed Apr 01, 2009 21:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"What was the sign that Shell stuck on the railings they erected next to that cliff face last year? Can't remember wording but from what i recall they were claiming to protect the nesting area as part of their environmental policy.
Couldn't believe the cheek of it when I read it.
Anybody remember what it actually said?"

If that is the level of "observance" then Shell has already won.

The Irish people can easily take over the pipeline after it is built.

The locals are just a bit shy of modernity.

(They all have sky dishes on their houses I note.)

AND GAS GUZZLING 4x4 CARS.
.

author by Kittiwake.publication date Wed Apr 01, 2009 21:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Birds have survived for 100 million years on the west coast of Ireland.
Even while Plate Tectonics rearranged the very ground and mountains around them.

(Humans are here in Ireland for a mere 10,000 years max.)

The notion that a small pipe will bother the gannets or nature is preposterous.

The pipe is less bothersome to nature than the road from Leenane to Westport.
Or the road to from Louisburgh to Ballina.

The Kittiwakes will still screech over Mayo long after Shell have won the battle.

And long after humans have disappeared off this planet.

.

author by Sipublication date Wed Apr 01, 2009 22:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"What was the sign that Shell stuck on the railings they erected next to that cliff face last year?
Anybody remember what it actually said?"

Stevo, pic of the sign on this link:

Related Link: http://preview.tinyurl.com/d6kncn
author by Eamonn O'Coilea'in - Republic of Irelandpublication date Wed Apr 01, 2009 22:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

NOT $HELL PIPES, What matters now is that the people that live in the here an now and their children, grandchildren do not give consent an never will. As so as $hell realize this fact then the sooner it can move to a site or to sea, away from people and their drinking water. No PR SPIN or jailing will make the local people back down to this 8 year nightmare:: shell have NOT won; ask Eamon Ryan whats the real story with the pipe, and how many more people to suffer shells nightmare ?

author by Arm-a-Geddenpublication date Wed Apr 01, 2009 23:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Mayo long after Shell have won the battle.

Shell is knocking around Mayo now for quite some time and have won nothing, except the hearts, and wallets, of a few traitors.

They May win the Battle but they will NOT win the War.

A bit of a presupposition does not always bring the results that one would like to hold dearly to their bosum.

author by d - Rossport Solidarity Camppublication date Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The netting over the cliff face at Glengad was taken down yesterday by two members of Pobal Chill Chomain, in the presence of a NPWS manager.

Attempts are being made by Belcross contractors this morning (Thursday, 11am) to put the nets back up. They are currently being prevented from finishing this work.

Sand martins and Brent geese are present on the beach.

Two boats, possibly survey boats, are in Broadhaven Bay.

Beautiful day on the beach!

author by MacEpublication date Thu Apr 02, 2009 13:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fair play to the Pobal! Direct action all the way!

author by Niallpublication date Thu Apr 02, 2009 17:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Shell have tried to put up the net twice this week and today, for the second time, local residents have taken it down.

And rightly so since no minister or any state authority (authority????????, authority for what?) is willing or capable to defend these 'specially protected' 'priority habitats' within this 'special area of conservation'.

Instead, they pump for Shell, as always.

Local people, as usual, are forced continually into the position of taking direct action to protect their environment, and face criminalisation because Ministers Gormley & O'Cuiv, Mayo County Council, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, The Environmental Protection Agency (that's a laugh) and An Garda Siochana are derelict in their duty to simply ... do the right thing. And Judge Mary Devins, in complicity, is doing a great job in making matters even worse. What a curse of a predicament to deal with. But we will.

More later.

1.jpg

2.jpg

3.jpg

4.jpg

Caption: Embedded video Youtube Video


author by Patpublication date Thu Apr 02, 2009 19:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There are no nests in the the netted cliff face. It is an offense to disturb "nesting" sand martins. The birds will nest as the have done for years to the north east of the cliff excavation. All this disruption caused by people who are doing this for ulterior motives may actually discourage the birds for nesting here this year. Shame on you...

author by JP, Dublinpublication date Thu Apr 02, 2009 20:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I have been following with interest the issues regarding Sand Martins at Glengad. I am a longtime member of Birdwatch Ireland with 30 years of experience of ornithology. The netting is all kosher, legally installed to dissuade any birds from nesting in an area that would prove dangerous as it is too close to the landfall works. It takes a fair old investment of energy for these birds to excavate a new burrow and that is why many are re-used year after year. The 'cliff' that has been netted as I see in the photos is reinstated earthen embankment due to be removed again when the works recommence. The Sand Martins nest in an adjoining area and also further along the cliffs. I was myself in Erris last year and saw another small colony across the water near Rinroe pier. There is no shortage of nesting habitat for this species and anyone that had the slightest knowledge about the bird could tell you this. No doubt many of you raising a fuss about the netting and issues about conservation are well meaning. However, I agree with some other voices here in saying that I suspect that there are also those amongst you using this issue as a means to an end and their actions in removing the netting etc. are not to be applauded. Are any of you really telling me that removing the netting is really motivated by a desire to improve the prospects of nesting Sand Martin? If your fight is with a developer or a corporation then don't hide behind selfish and/or misguided actions that will only serve to damage your cause and make people with a love and real knowledge of wildlife think you are completely disingenuous.

author by lulupublication date Thu Apr 02, 2009 22:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

People are opposing Shell & their contractors in the interests of all the living creatures of Erris, including humans. Glengad is a breeding-ground for sand-martins, wheatears, & ringed plovers, among others, & cetaceans visit Broadhaven Bay. Did you not see the picture of a sand-martin killed in the netting last year?

author by Fearbolg - S2Spublication date Fri Apr 03, 2009 00:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi, J.P,

You're a man with 30 years of experience in ornithology, so you should be able to help here. You say the nets are 'legally' in place at

Glengad. Can you explain the legality of these nets to me, as someone with no background in these matters. You see, this is exactly

what Willie Corduff was talking about on local radio today when he asked to be shown the piece of paper which makes this netting

activity legal. You seem to be sure of your ground here, so can you quote the relevant legislation which allows Shell to erect these nets.

If you can't, then we'll have to assume you're another Shell apologist. And a birdbrained one, at that.

author by JMpublication date Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Last July, prior to the resumed destruction of Glengad Beach (part of the Glenamoy Bog Complex Special Area of Conservation and Sruwaddacon Bay SPA) three NPWS officials met with members of Pobal Chill Chomain to explain their involvement in the project. They went to great lengths to point out that they are not an authorising body on Corrib, only an advisory body to the Departments of Ryan and Gormley.

Shell made a statement earlier this week that the nets were erected "in consultation with NPWS" but this alone is not sufficient permission for the "works" ... the Environmental Management Plan submitted to Eamon Ryan has, according to the minister himself two weeks ago in Dublin, not yet been approved.

Either NPWS has misled Shell by issuing a permission they cannot give, Shell are pretending they have some sort of permission from NPWS, or Ryan has secretly approved further works right in the middle of sensitive exploratory talks.

In addition, the partial collapse of a portion of the adjacent Sandmartin nests was this week brought to the attention of NPWS, just metres from the nets and extensive rock-breaking carried out last year. It remains to be seen what action NPWS advises on this degradation of a "protected" habitat.

author by JP, Dublinpublication date Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

First of all I am not an apologist for anyone and I am entitled to my own opinion even if it is contrary to your own Fear Bolg! I gather from my brief reading at the site that it is a common approach to question the motives of all involved in the process, NPWS, government, local authority and of course Shell. Fair enough. Is that reasoned debate? However, you raise questions also and as I understand it from a search online and an acquaintance with a similar measure at a site here in Dublin the netting is included in an environmental management plan for the site. This management plan would need to be approved by Parks & Wildlife and perhaps Ministerial Order. So I turn around the question what claim have you on the legality and wisdom of removing the netting other than simply obstructing the site works? If that is the aim then be honest enough to come out and say it and don't claim to be motivated by a desire to conserve wildlife!
I read from another of the contributors that there are no burrows covered by netting. Of course not, this netting is there to make sure that Sand Martins waste effort in excavating burrows in areas of reinstated cliff that will be removed the siteworks. That is sensible. Again, it will have had to have been approved by NPWS who are charged to implement the Wildlife Act. It is facile to claim that NPWS and every other national agency is operating at the behest of some multinational conspiracy. Save us from the conspiracy theories and self-appointed guardians of our wildlife. My interest is with the wildlife and I maintain that it is completely counterproductive to keep tearing the netting down or increasing the footfall in the area during the days after the return of the birds when they will be actively choosing a nesting site - this will nearly always involve using an existing burrow following some Spring cleaning. As several contributors claim to have the best interests of the birds at heart then I urge you to research the topic (I am not going to ask anyone to take my word for it as I am sure I will be again attacked for taking a contrary view) and ask someone with a real knowledge of ornithology about whether the netting is a good or bad idea. Don't just claim its all born of a desire to hurt the birds.

author by lulupublication date Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dear JP, when you call for 'reasoned debate', people living in the Rossport/Glengad area know from long experience how this struggle has been handled by authority, & that is, however Shell want it. Did you see how they smashed down the trees opposite the refinery site two years ago, IN THE NESTING SEASON? Their works are not about 'a desire to hurt birds', it's simply that they care nothing for life & environment, merely for profit; take a look at their record in Nigeria & elsewhere on environment & human rights.
Put aside any preconceptions on protestors, respectable business & governments, & judge them by their works.

author by Chrissiepublication date Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It may seem facile without deeper consideration but big companies buy the co-operation of governments in a few countries.

author by Eoin - RSCpublication date Fri Apr 03, 2009 14:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

JP, I'll repost photos that I've posted previously. These were taken in 2007.

Just to show that the contributors your quoting are incorrect. "I read from another of the contributors that there are no burrows covered by netting."

Since that time the nesthole that was netted has been dug out. This nesthole was declared unoccupied by Shell ecologists and I've been told that this was never independently verified by NPWS. It was pretty convenient that it happened to be unoccupied as it was on the cliff face that Shell planned to strip.

Today I tried to get in contact with 3 different people in the NPWS in Ballycroy but told all were unavailable and was given a name and number for Site Enforcement of the Dept of Environment in Dublin who dealt with issues relating to the Corrib Project. Again I was told he was unavailable.

The question is simple, do Shell have permission for what their doing in Glengad?. We been trying to get an answer for 3 days now and still are no clearer.

Sandmartin nesthole netted over in Glengad
Sandmartin nesthole netted over in Glengad

Dead Sandmartin in Shell's net
Dead Sandmartin in Shell's net

author by MacEpublication date Fri Apr 03, 2009 15:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Keep up the good work folks, great to see it!

author by cable - Shell to Sea ~ Cambridgepublication date Fri Apr 03, 2009 17:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Good work folks - victory to Shell to Sea and all their supporters!

author by Fearbolg - S2Spublication date Fri Apr 03, 2009 18:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

J.P,

'This management plan would need to be approved by Parks and Wildlife and perhaps ministerial order'

As I suspected, a response that wouldn't even stand up in the pub, never mind in a court of law.

Quote the relevant bit of legislation that covers this, or leave the bed.

author by Fearbolg - S2Spublication date Fri Apr 03, 2009 19:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And on the subject of conspiracy theory, J.P, what about this one:

What if a country which is almost bankrupt had 4 main political parties all of whom refused to even discuss the possibility of redeeming

the 500-plus billion euros worth of natural resources given away in 1987 by a Govrenment minister who was subsequently jailed for

corruption? Your'e right, we must be mad to think there's any kind of conspiracy going on. Maybe we should inform ourselves by

listening to people like you, who think that 'perhaps' ministerial consent 'might' be needed, but sure let Shell carry on anyway, because

the locals are just being disingenuous.

author by Fungipublication date Sat Apr 04, 2009 00:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"What if a country which is almost bankrupt."

You mean totally Bankrupt.

author by Skipperpublication date Sat Apr 04, 2009 01:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

During the Celtic Tiger times our leadership's highest aspiration for Ireland was to build a "Bertie Bowl" stadium.

And....... to pour millions into schools sport to win 2 pathetic medals in the Olympics.

Everyone applauded.

The vast wealth in our marine natural resources lay undisturbed.

author by Jimmypublication date Sat Apr 04, 2009 01:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That has been the experience worldwide from Russia to Nigeria to Alaska. I too am a member of Birdwatch Ireland and recognize all the great work they are doing in the Erris area, particulary on their reserve @ Termoncarragh and their adminstration/support in regards to the corncrake restoration scheme. Having lived in and enjoyed all the natural delights of Erris for most of the last decade I can see it is a place worth fighting for. Its fragile ecosystems ranging from machair grassland to salt marsh support some of the healthiest and most diverse bird populations in the country.
Shells presence as already demonstrated by their damaging operations in relation to SAC's and NHA's(including Carrowmore lake) around bellanaboy and along the proposed pipeline route towards glengad, show that the maintanance of Erris's valuable and irreplaceable biodiversity is under serious threat if the state continues to indulge this multinational of deserved ill repute.

author by Stevo - GalwayShellToSeapublication date Mon Apr 06, 2009 14:37author email Galwayshelltosea at gmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

As I thought the sign in the photo Si's URL links to does indeed make it look like Shell are protecting the nesting area of a protected bird. Seeing that in contrast to Shell's actual activity should need no highlighting of contradiction.
http://preview.tinyurl.com/d6kncn
is the link again.

I'd suggest people looked at that photo. It would tend to indicate that Shell ought to know what they're doing is wrong. To see the Sign, you need to scroll slightly to the right of where the photo first opens to.

Remembering now that my response at the time was 'classic doublethink'. As it is with most of Shell's comments about adhering to the laws they're breaking.
Have wondered if Shell actually have a concept of corners, since they seem to cut any one they come across.

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