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Latest Environment Stories
SEAFOOD FESTIVAL: Of course the prawns! are the star of the Dublin Bay Prawn Festival held in Howth this St. Patrick's Weekend.
Coastal Notes
#SeaFoodFest - Linking in the St Patrick's Weekend is the Dublin Bay Prawn Festival (17-19 March) which offers three days filled to the brim with fun, food and delights to suit all. The festival located in the apt setting of…
Humpback whales and dolphins were among the wildlife filmed by Eoin Warner and his team for the TG4 two-parter Éire Fhiáin
Maritime TV
#OnTV - A documentary on the wildlife of Ireland’s West Coast that’s wowed TV viewers during Seachtain na Gaeilge is now available to watch online. As Independent.ie reports, the two-part Éire Fhiáin has been compared to Blue Planet for its…
Tar balls like this one have been found by walkers on Keel Beach since Wednesday
Coastal Notes
#CoastalNotes - Achill Island has been blemished by ‘tar balls’ that washed up on its Blue-Flagged Keel Beach during the week, as The Irish Times reports. Appearing as black stones from a distance, the blobs of crude oil are soft…
The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series’ most recent Irish visit was in June 2014
Island News
#CliffDiving - The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series returns to Poll na Péist this summer, as the Offaly Express reports. Also known at the Serpent’s Lair, the spectacular blowhole in the Aran Islands last hosted cliff diving’s top flight…
Entries Open for Marine Industry Awards
Ports & Shipping
#MarineAwards - The Marine Industry Awards are Ireland's premier event to showcase on a national scale excellence and innovation within our marine sector. Now in the third year, the Awards are a significant event which will be held during SeaFest…
The Marine Environment & Food Safety Services team worked with the TY students on a number of experiments in chemical oceanography, food safety and monitoring contamination
Marine Science
#MarineScience - Over 20 Transition Year students participated in a wide range of activities at the Marine Institute as part of Engineering Week this past week from Monday 27 February to Friday 3 March. For the third annual TY training…
Bray in North Co Wicklow
Coastal Notes
#Pollution - An old landfill site in Bray continues to leak hazardous waste into the Irish Sea, according to TheJournal.ie. Broken asbestos tiles and potassium deposits are among the pollutants leaching into the water due to coastal erosion at the…
An exhibition on the history of Irish Lights is on display in Dublin Castle until April. The same exhibition has also been touring the county, where Wexford County Council HQ have been hosting for several weeks but ends tomorrow Sunday, 5 March.
Lighthouses
#Exhibition – An exhibition that captures the history of The Commissioners of Irish Lights is on display in Dublin and concurrently in Wexford County Council HQ as previously reported on Afloat (but ends tomorrow, Sunday 5 March). The exhibitions are…
The first in a series of nine seminar phases of 'Transit Gateway- A Deep Mapping of Dublin Port' begins next week in the capital. Each specific seminar is dedicated to charting the evolving changes of the historic port over the centuries to the present day.
Dublin Port
#TransitGateway – The introductory seminar phase of 'Transit Gateway- A Deep Mapping of Dublin Port' organised by Silvia Loeffler is to take place next week in the capital. The project is part of “Dublin Port Perspectives 2017” that documents the…
A free exhibition and lectures organised by the Dublin Dock Workers Preservation Society take place this March at EPIC - The Emigrant Irish Emigration Museum housed in the chq Custom House Quay. Above: A bygone era as Guinness ships and barges line the Liffey.
Dublin Port
#Exhibition – On this first day of Spring marks the launch of The Dublin Dock Workers Preservation Society's free exhibition hosted at EPIC, The Irish Emigration Museum located in the chq, Custom House Quay. The society is dedicated to preserving…
Banna Strand on Tralee Bay is TripAdvisor users’ favourite Irish beach of 2017
Aquatic Tourism
#TopBeaches - Banna Strand in Co Kerry has topped TripAdvisor’s list of Ireland’s best beaches. The stretch of sand on Tralee Bay takes the top spot in the annual table from second-placed Inchydoney in Co Cork, which had been the…
Lough Derg’s new canoe trail will be part of the ’slow tourism’ initiative for walking, cycling and boating routes in the Midlands
Aquatic Tourism
#Tourism - Boating in the Midlands’ waterways will be the focus of a major tourism push this year, as The Irish Times reports. Fáilte Ireland’s new ‘slow tourism’ initiative will concentrate on promoting existing walking and cycling greenways and ‘blueway’…
Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan with Norwegian Ambassador to Ireland Else Berit Eikeland on Thursday 23 February
Marine Science
#Research - A recent visit to the Marine Institute by the Norwegian Ambassador to Ireland Else Berit Eikeland was an opportunity to discuss marine research collaborations with a North Atlantic partner. That’s according to Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter…
Jeanie Johnston is 'open' for tours though not at the above berth of Custom House Quay. Instead the barque is at temporary southside berth beyond the Samuel Beckett bridge (also pictured) along Sir John Rogersons Quay.
Tall Ships
#ShiftingBerths – One of Dublin’s floating tourist visitor attractions on the Liffey, tallship Jeanie Johnston which reopened after a historic drydocking, has still yet to return to her customary city-centre berth, writes Jehan Ashmore. Jeanie Johnston a replica of a…
Sperm whales are not commonly found off Ireland’s East Coast
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - The carcass of an 11-tonne sperm whale has washed up at Carnsore Point in Co Wexford, as the Gorey Guardian reports. The 8.5m whale — discovered by local man Davie Rea on the rocky shore at the end…
The first low-velocity tidal energy project in the world is of a commercial power plant array installed in Holyhead Deep off north-west Wales. Holyhead Deep is the name of a large depression in the seabed, located west of the the South Stack Lighthouse, Anglesey where the ferryport of Holyhead is owned by Stena Line. They and Minesto are joint owners of the offshore energy project.
Power From the Sea
#HolyheadDeep -  Two Swedish-based companies have engaged in a joint project to invest in Wales’ transition to renewable energy. Minesto and Stena Line will build an assembly hall in the Port of Holyhead, which Minesto will utilise in their upcoming…

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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