Marine Craft has been told of ‘serious security risks’ around planned Russian military exercises off the coast of Cork
The Department for Transport’s latest maritime advisory says there are ‘serious risks to the safety of ‘ships’ over plans by the Russian military to conduct live-fire exercises off the Cork coast from next week.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, concerns have been raised over what has been described as a “major” military exercise by the Russian Navy and Air Force in international Atlantic waters, around 240 km off Co Cork but within Ireland’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
Maritime Notice No. 06 of 2022 – which is attached below – provides the coordinates of the area where the naval maneuvers will be carried out between Thursday 3 and Tuesday 8 February.
“The Russian Federation has indicated that the exercises will include the use of naval artillery and the launching of rockets,” the notice said.
“Given the nature of the planned exercises and the presence of naval forces, vessels and crew are made aware of serious security risks in the operational area. Captains must navigate their vessel to ensure safety at all times .
The notice comes as Ireland’s fishing fleet has been assured that its fishing grounds will not be affected by the military exercise.
As the Irish Examiner reports, representatives of the fishing industry met Russian Ambassador Yury Filatov at his invitation to discuss planned naval and air exercises and it was agreed that there would be a “buffer zone “between Russian vessels and fishing trawlers, pending approval. From Moscow.
Brendan Byrne, from the Irish Fish Processors and Exporters Association, said after the meeting: “It was a very good day for the Irish fishing industry.”
Patrick Murphy, head of Ireland’s Southern and Western Fish Producers Organisation, added that it was up to fishing trawlers to decide whether they would fish in the affected areas, which open on February 1.
Concerns have also been raised about the potential impact on marine wildlife in the area, including vulnerable species of deep-sea whales. Afloat.ie has more HERE.