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Latest Environment Stories
SeaFest runs from June 30th t July 2nd 2017 in Galway
Maritime Festivals
Galway based and globally renowned event management specialist Arcana has been appointed to stage SeaFest, Ireland's national maritime festival, this summer. Arcana, which has organised sporting, cultural and commemorative historical events across the globe, has been given the challenge of…
Port of Cork €7m site sale hopes, including the 1819-built Custom House, and bonded warehouses which are protected structures
Port of Cork
#PortBuildings - Des Cahill the Lord Mayor of Cork has said Council planners have met with potential buyers for the historic Port of Cork buildings on Custom House Quay. The site writes the Evening Echo, includes the Custom House and…
Connemara Airport at Inverin, near Rossaveal
Island News
#AranIslands - Galway Bay FM reports that a new contract for the decades-old aeroplane service to the Aran Islands has been signed. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the long-awaited PSO contract will see flights continue between the Galway Bay islands…
Departing Arklow the newbuild Spirit of Rathlin, a 6 vehicle /140 passenger capacity ferry is to enter Rathlin Island ferry service once a new £1m harbour works project is completed to accommodate the new 28m vessel.
Ferry
#FerryCompleted - Spirit of Rathlin the new £2.8m car and passenger ferry is to be operated under a new ten year contract awarded to Rathlin Island Ferry Ltd, writes Jehan Ashmore. The newbuild built by Arklow Marine Services undertook sea…
Michael Creed: committed to legislation allowing northern and southern fishing vessels reciprocal fishing rights within the island’s territorial waters.
Fishing
#TerritorialWaters - Marine minister Michael Creed writes The Irish Times faces a clash with the influential Donegal supertrawler fleet following his decision to review the share-out of the lucrative mackerel fishery. Mr Creed has also said he was committed to…
Zorg Ella – a 21 metre barge originally used to transport potatoes in eastern Netherlands was transported by ship to Dublin Port as seen lowered into the water
News Update
#EscapeRoom - The ‘escape room’ business initially an Asian craze has arrived in Ireland and appears to be booming at the moment. The latest addition to the sector was launched in Dublin yesterday afternoon – and its backers are hoping…
One of the dolphins that stranded in Dungarvan on Friday 13 January
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group reports on the stranding of three common dolphins in Dungarvan at the weekend. Two of the three dolphins were still alive when found on Friday (13 January), though they were in “poor…
Fergal McLoughlin, An Taisce and Susan McDonnell from the Bulloch Harbour Preservation Association at a public meeting on the proposed development at Bulloch Harbour Dalkey.
Dublin Bay
#BullochHarbour - Locals in Dalkey opposed to the building of a residential and retail development in Bulloch Harbour writes The Irish Times have been encouraged to lodge planning objections before the January 19th deadline. More than 100 people attended a…
Herring shoals attract seals and cetaceans to the South Coast in big numbers each winter
Marine Wildlife
#PairTrawling - Winter season pair trawling has been blamed for a spate of marine wildlife deaths on the Waterford coast this week, as the Irish Examiner reports. Locals in Ardmore discovered four seals and a porpoise washed up on their…
Map showing the section of the S2S due to open in March
Dublin Bay
#S2S - The latest section of the Sutton to Sandycove (S2S) cycle route around Dublin Bay will not be opened till March due to delays on water main works, as Irish Cycle reports. Once completed, the new cycle track —…
A still from the video showing the child swept off their feet by the wave at Portstewart’s promenade
Water Safety
#WaterSafety - The Irish Coast Guard has once again warned the public to stay back and say safe in coastal areas during severe weather after video emerged of a young child swept off their feet by a surprise wave. Independet.ie…
Over the years Afloat has featured the hard-working 'bunker' (fuel) tanker Mersey Spirit which is a regular caller to Irish east coast ports where all types of vessels are served. Among them Holland America Line (HAL) cruiseship Rotterdam seen last summer on a visit to Dublin Port's Alexandra Basin. This part of the port is where the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment ABR project is to take place to accommodate some of the world's largest cruiseships as well as increasing sized general cargoships.
Ports & Shipping
#BusyBunkering – Short-sea coastal ‘bunker’ tanker, Mersey Spirit now in its 21st year, has in recent days kept busy serving several ships and has almost completed a full-circle itinerary by returning to her homeport of Liverpool today, writes Jehan Ashmore.…
One stranded dolphin is lifted to safety on board Tarbert Rowing Club’s inflatable
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) reports the good news of the rescue of two live common dolphins that stranded on a Co Kerry beach at the weekend. IWDG volunteers found three dolphins at Tarbert on Sunday…
Puffins with their coloured bills and black-and-white coats – they almost looking particularly well-dressed for a formal evening out
Island Nation
Without a lot of public attention Birdwatch Ireland, the conservation organisation which protects Ireland's birds and their habitats, is engaged in an extensive survey of seabirds. Ireland is a very important country for seabirds which are, in my view, marvellous…
Poolbeg peninsula: Windmill Lane Studios founder James Morris and film producer Alan Moloney want to develop an €80 million studio complex at the new Poolbeg strategic development zone, a 34 hectare site in the city’s east end.
Dublin Port
#PortStudio - Chief executive of Dublin Port Company Eamonn O’Reilly has told Dublin City Council he “would have an open mind” on the development of a Hollywood-style film studio on the Poolbeg peninsula. As The Irish Times writes in recent weeks…
Crew on board a tender attend buoy-work which forms part of the Irish Lights Exhibition which continues to tour around our coastline. The next venue is Wexford County Offices which begins on 23 January.
Lighthouses
#Exhibition - The Commissioners of Irish Lights and the Royal Irish Academy continues to tour an exhibition around our coastline that captures the history of Irish Lights. Having first exhibited last year in Cobh as Afloat reported on the next…

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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