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Latest Environment Stories
The buoy will be a stepping stone between tank testing and more exposed open sea sites
Power From the Sea
The Irish Wave Energy Developers Association (IWEDA) has deployed a Wave Rider data buoy in Blacksod Bay as a first step toward establishing a Wave Energy Test site at a location near Blacksod pier on the Erris peninsula, Co Mayo.…
Caribbean or the Channel Islands? Can you tell the difference? Research reveals 80% of Brits can’t
Ferry
#WhichIslands - If this photo reminds you of a tropical escape, you’re not alone! Research has revealed that, on average, almost 80% of Brits mistook photographs of the Channel Islands for the Caribbean, New Zealand and other exotic destinations around…
Deployment Of Sampling Nets At Bertraghboy Bay In Connemara
Marine Science
#MarineScience - The Marine Institute has begun deployment of bag nets for a scientific sampling of Bertraghboy Bay and surrounding waters in Connemara. The nets — checked daily, weather permitting — will extend outward from the coast for some 30…
NEWCOMER: Doolin Express is the newest and fastest addition on services between Co. Clare and the Aran Islands
Ferry
#NewFastFerry- The newest and largest fastferry between Doolin and the Aran Islands has recently begun operations with reduced sailings times by half, writes Jehan Ashmore. Introduction of Doolin Express is a major advancement in the upgrade of the fleet for…
John Breslin of SmartBay Ireland with Francis Flannery of SonarSIM in preparation for this year’s Digital Ocean event at NUI Galway
Marine Science
#BlueTech - Enabling a connected ocean presents enormous opportunities for the Irish marine sector, with this country fast becoming a global hub for the Blue Internet of Things — the collective term for sea-related connected devices. The growing market opportunities…
Fourth class pupils from Cregmore NS at the RV Celtic Explorer in Galway Docks
Maritime Festivals
#SeaFest - Students from fourth class at Cregmore NS recently visited the RV Celtic Explorer in Galway Docks as part of their marine science and art project building up to SeaFest, Ireland’s national maritime festival. Afloat.ie previously reported on the project, which…
Dunmore East Harbour Master Harry McLoughlin in his control centre atop the new Harbour Services Building, with the busy new Visitors Pontoon beyond
Coastal Notes
Time was when Dunmore East was known among the cruising fraternity as The Glue Pot writes W M Nixon. In a time now barely within living memory, it was a picturesque little port which was at its busiest with the…
Angling Bye-Law For Trout Conservation In Shannon Basin
Angling
#Angling - A new bye-law to help conserve brown trout has been introduced in for the Shannon River Basin District. Seén Kyne, Minister of State with responsibility for Inland Fisheries, introduced the Conservation of Trout (No.8 or Limerick District) Bye-Law…
The custom-built Spirit of Rathlin has finally entered service on the route linking Church Bay,Rathlin Island to Ballycastle, Co. Antrim,
Island News
#EntersService – The new custom-built car ferry Spirit of Rathlin has finally entered service with a first scheduled sailing today on the Rathlin Island link with Ballycastle on the Antrim mainland, writes Jehan Ashmore. Spirit of Rathlin built by Arklow…
The exhibition Cold Recall is based on images from the original lantern slides that Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen used in public lectures about his expeditions through the Northwest Passage and to the South Pole
News Update
#Amundsen - A unique exhibition on Roald Amundsen’s expedition to the South Pole was officially opened at NUI Galway by Seán Kyne TD, Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resources, on World Oceans Day (Thursday 8 June). A…
Decorated US diver Greg Louganis is the new sports director of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series
Island News
#CliffDiving - World famous Olympic diver Greg Louganis will attend the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series event in the Aran Islands later this month as the competition’s new sports director, as Galway Bay FM reports. The five-time world champion…
Swimming is prohibited at Dollymount (above) and Sandymount pending the results of water quality tests
Coastal Notes
#Pollution - The beaches at Dollymount and Sandymount on Dublin Bay have been closed to swimmers after a sewage spill in the Liffey caused by heavy rain on Thursday (8 June). According to BreakingNews.ie, swimming is banned at both of…
Jim Kennedy of Atlantic Sea Kayaks, Monica Buckley and Peter Shanahan of The Fresh Fish Deli in Rosscarbery, Marine Minister Michael Creed, BIM chief Jim O'Toole and Finian O'Sullivan, chair of FLAG South pictured at Ballycotton Harbour at the announcement of a €3.6 million Fisheries Local Area Action Group (FLAG) fund for Ireland’s seven coastal regions
Fishing
#Fishing - Marine Minister visited Ballycotton Harbour in Co Cork yesterday (Thursday 8 June) to announce a range of successful projects that will deliver a total investment of €3.6 million covering 153 projects under the Fisheries Local Area Action Group…
Bunagee Pier Safe Haven Set For Official Opening Tomorrow
Irish Marinas
#Marinas - Minister of State Joe McHugh will officially open the new €1.3 million Bunagee Marine Development on the Inishowen Peninsula tomorrow afternoon (Friday 9 June). The new safe haven for coastal cruisers, including a breakwater and pontoons to accommodate…
As the Arklow-built Belfast registered car-ferry Spirit of Rathlin has yet to enter service off the Antrim coast, Afloat also takes this opportunity to reveal another scene of the small ship taken in Greystones earlier this year. The newbuild became the first ever car-ferry to call to the redeveloped Co. Wicklow harbour that was completed in recent years. In the immediate foreground is the circular top of the East Pierhead, close to original harbour footprint where the damaged base of the Kish Lighthouse had occupied.
Ferry
#Newbuild - A new customer for Mooney Boats of Killybegs, Spirit of Rathlin in which Afloat previously reported calling to the yard for work can now be further revealed, writes Jehan Ashmore. The 6 vehicle / 140 passenger ferry Spirit…
Inland Fisheries Ireland staff electrofishing on the River Barrow as part of the research
Angling
#Angling - New research from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has revealed the state of fish stock levels and the different species present within the River Barrow catchment. The River Barrow is Ireland’s second longest river after the River Shannon, and…

For all you need on the Marine Environment - covering the latest news and updates on marine science and wildlife, weather and climate, power from the sea and Ireland's coastal regions and communities - the place to be is Afloat.ie.

Coastal Notes

The Coastal Notes category covers a broad range of stories, events and developments that have an impact on Ireland's coastal regions and communities, whose lives and livelihoods are directly linked with the sea and Ireland's coastal waters.

Topics covered in Coastal Notes can be as varied as the rare finding of sea-life creatures, an historic shipwreck with secrets to tell, or even a trawler's net caught hauling much more than just fish.

Other angles focusing the attention of Coastal Notes are Ireland's maritime museums, which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of our nautical heritage, and those who harvest the sea using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety pose an issue, plying their trade along the rugged wild western seaboard.

Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied as the environment they come from, and which shape people's interaction with the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

Marine Wildlife

One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with Marine Wildlife. It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. And as boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify, even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat. Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse, it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to our location in the North Atlantic, there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe. From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals, the Marine Wildlife category documents the most interesting accounts around our shores. And we're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and video clips, too!

Also valuable is the unique perspective of all those who go afloat, from coastal sailing to sea angling to inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing, as what they encounter can be of great importance to organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG). Thanks to their work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. But as impressive as the list is, the experts believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves, keep a sharp look out!

Weather

As an island in the North Atlantic, Ireland's fate is decided by Weather more so than many other European countries. When storm-force winds race across the Irish Sea, ferry and shipping services are cut off, disrupting our economy. When swollen waves crash on our shores, communities are flooded and fishermen brace for impact - both to their vessels and to their livelihoods.

Keeping abreast of the weather, therefore, is as important to leisure cruisers and fishing crews alike - for whom a small craft warning can mean the difference between life and death - as it is to the communities lining the coast, where timely weather alerts can help protect homes and lives.

Weather affects us all, and Afloat.ie will keep you informed on the hows and the whys.

Marine Science

Perhaps it's the work of the Irish research vessels RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of Marine Science for the future growth of Ireland's emerging 'blue economy'.

From marine research to development and sustainable management, Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. Whether it's Wavebob ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration, the Marine Science category documents the work of Irish marine scientists and researchers and how they have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

Power From The Sea

The message from the experts is clear: offshore wind and wave energy is the future. And as Ireland looks towards the potential of the renewable energy sector, generating Power From The Sea will become a greater priority in the State's 'blue growth' strategy.

Developments and activities in existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector, and those of the energy exploration industry, point to the future of energy requirements for the whole world, not just in Ireland. And that's not to mention the supplementary industries that sea power projects can support in coastal communities.

Irish ports are already in a good position to capitalise on investments in offshore renewable energy services. And Power From The Sea can even be good for marine wildlife if done properly.

Aside from the green sector, our coastal waters also hold a wealth of oil and gas resources that numerous prospectors are hoping to exploit, even if people in coastal and island areas are as yet unsure of the potential benefits or pitfalls for their communities.

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