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Latest Environment Stories
One of Aran Islands Ferries Teoranta fast-ferries. The ferry service ceased in late November, and was temporarily reinstated around a week later
Island News
#AranIslands - An Oireachtas committee on Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht were addressed (yesterday) by a group of representatives from Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands as a dispute over a ferry service to the island continues.…
Black guillemots near Rathlin Island now have their own protected zone, the first of its kind in the UK
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - The RSPB has welcomed the announcement of new marine protected areas for Northern Ireland this week. “The formal designation of four new marine protected areas will help protect a range of vulnerable species and habitats - ranging from…
North Atlantic waves like those seen here in Nazaré, Portugal can reach gigantic proportions
Coastal Notes
#RecordWave - Nineteen metres is the height of what’s being called the world’s largest wave, recorded recently off the North West Coast of Ireland. Independent.ie reports on the record-breaking swell detected by a weather buoy in the North Atlantic between…
A stranded common dolphin caught in a fishing net
Fishing
#Supertrawler - An MEP for Ireland South is calling on the European Commission to investigate an alleged connection between ‘supertrawler’ activity and a spike in dolphin standings earlier this year. As the West Cork Times reports, Fine Gael’s Deirdre Clune…
Deadline Extended For Views On New Marine Research & Innovation Strategy 2021
Marine Science
#MarineScience - The public consultation on a new plan setting out Ireland's Marine Research and Innovation Strategy for the period 2016-2021 has been extended till Friday 30 December. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the draft strategy as prepared by the…
Bottlenose dolphins are a regular delight for wildlife spotters around Ireland's coast
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - The first meeting of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s (IWDG) new local group for North Kerry takes place this Friday 9 December at the Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre from 7.30pm to 9pm. All are welcome to the…
Grey seals like these, as well as common seals, are regularly found around the Irish and British coasts
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - Is cannibalism among seals to blame for deaths of the marine mammals recorded on Ireland’s shores? That’s one reason suggested by researchers in the latest report from the Irish Seal Sanctuary’s seal death database, according to the Irish…
Further talks are to resume on Friday to secure continuation of service
Island News
#AranIslands - Talks are to resume on Friday writes Galway Independent in a bid to ensure the continuation of the ferry service to Inis Mór, Aran Islands.  The Island Ferries service ceased last Wednesday and was due to remain out…
Trump International Golf Links & Hotel at Doonbeg, Co Clare
Coastal Notes
#Doonbeg - US president-elect Donald Trump has abandoned plans for a near 3km sea wall at his golf resort in Doonbeg, as The Irish Times reports. Despite local support for the scheme in the Co Clare village, the proposed coastal…
The sole winter passenger operator to the Aran Islands is to resume services to Inis Mór while talks continue to find a long term solution with regard to a year-round service.
Island News
#AranIslands - Ferry services to Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands will resume this evening, while talks continue to find a long term solution with regard to a year-round service. The Connacht Tribune writes that Island Ferries, Gaeltacht…
One of the five passenger ferries of Aran Island Ferries, the operator has ceased running a winter service over a dispute about levies with Galway County Council
Island News
#AranIslands - The use of the Irish Naval Service to provide a short-term service to residents on Inis Mór (largest of the Oileán Árann /Aran Islands) is being explored by Gaeltacht Minister Sean Kyne. As Galway Bay FM reports the…
An original caisson base to be used for the Kish Lighthouse was damaged in a storm but was aquired 50 year ago in 1966 to form part of the old Greystones Harbour in Co. Wicklow
Coastal Notes
#Greystones - The Kish Lighthouse on Dublin Bay marked its 50th anniversary a year ago this November however the original caisson base destined for the iconic structure half a century ago instead became part of the now demolished old Greystones Harbour,…
Bray Harbour in County Wicklow
Coastal Notes
Clubs and users of Bray Harbour met again last Tuesday night at Bray Head Fishing and Social Club to form the Bray Harbour Action Group to deal with the build up of sand silting up the harbour. Newly appointed chair…
Kiltybarden Lake in Ballinamore is a host venue for the World Pairs Angling Championship
Angling
#Angling - Following the announcement of an €800,000 stimulus package for economic development on Ireland’s waterways, Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has released details of Leitrim’s share to develop angling in Ballinamore. An award of €100,000 from the Department of Arts,…
Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands, now faces a winter without its ferry link to the Galway mainland
Island News
#AranIslands - Ferry services to the mainland from the largest of the Aran Islands will be suspended till March from tomorrow following a last-ditch effort to extend winter sailings. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Inis Mór residents were guaranteed their…
The large baleen whale spotted on Cross Beach at the weekend
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) received a report at the weekend of a large baleen whale struggling in the shallows at Cross Beach in north-west Co Mayo. The 12-metre marine mammal, thought to be a sei…

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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