The MV Shingle

Plans to sink trawler to create Mayo marine reek before council

PLANS to sink a trawler in Killala Bay to create an artificial marine reef are before Mayo County Council for approval.

The 60-metre MV Shingle was offered by the Revenue Commissioners for the project after being confiscated as part of a tobacco smuggling operation.

Killala Bay Ship 2 Reef Ltd. has lodged a planning application with the council for the project which involves the preparation, transportation, positioning and placement of the MV Shingle on the seabed of Killala Bay, to create an artificial reef.

Councillor Michael Loftus, a keen diver himself, has been a key driver of the project, which would be a significant tourism boost for north Mayo.

The vessel will create an artificial marine reef to greatly enhance and improve marine biodiversity, marine ecosystem and tourism opportunities, documentation submitted to council planners sets out.

The creation of an artificial reef by repurposing the decommissioned vessel would provide a new habitat for marine organisms to colonise and thrive, enhancing biodiversity and habitat in the region.

In addition, diving, fishing and marine research would provide additional tourism opportunities.

Fáilte Ireland is among the bodies who have voiced support for the project, saying it has the potential to create a niche marine tourism market.

They are currently development the North Mayo Destination and Experience Development Plan and if progressed, this project would have the potential to be included as a catalyst project, creating a unique tourism experience.

A decision on the planning application is due before the end of July.