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Latest Environment Stories
UK Heritage excursion vessel, Balmoral began today coastal cruises that include calls to locations along the north Wales coast between Anglesey and Liverpool.
Coastal Notes
#coastalnotes - Coastal excursions off the stunning scenery of north Wales began today and exclusively up to 19 September by one of the most travelled on UK inshore vessels the iconic Balmoral, writes Jehan Ashmore. From various small ports on…
Seabird activity can tell sailors a lot
Tom MacSweeney

Sailors & Seabirds

6th September 2017
Seabirds and sailors have a long history together. They are reputed to have guided lost sailors to land, led fishermen to catch fish and the sight of them has encouraged many a despairing sailor to realise that land is nearby.…
Well steered, sir! A traditional Achill yawl negotiates the narrow passage through Achill’s seldom-opened bridge at the special opening on Sunday
Island News
The Michael Davitt Bridge that connects Achill Island to the mainland was officially opened by leading Irish land reformer Michael Davitt on 31st August 1887, making 2017 its 130th anniversary. Construction began on a replacement Michael Davitt Bridge in 1948,…
Cllr Emmett O'Brien after rowing from Ringmoylan to Labasheeda
Shannon Estuary
Leisure rowers and adventure tourists could be enjoying the delights and challenges of the Shannon Estuary if a new wave of eco-adventure tourism is realised, writes Andrew Carey in Limerick. That is according to Emmett O'Brien, the Pallaskenry native and…
This year’s Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Island Voices series opens on Friday 22nd September with an hour-long lecture by Professor Dan Bradley from Trinity College, Dublin who will deliver ‘A Tale of Two Islands: Ireland, Iceland and Viking genetic legacy’
Coastal Notes
#Lectures - Derry City and Strabane District Council’s lunchtime lecture series Island Voices returns to the Tower Museum this autumn to explore the ancient genetic, cultural and linguistic links which exist between Ireland and Scandinavia. ‘Northern Confluence: Where Celtic and…
Blue whales like this one will be among the subjects in the upcoming RTÉ series Ireland’s Deep Atlantic
Maritime TV
#OnTV - Ireland’s Deep Atlantic is a new three-part TV documentary exploring the fascinating sights in the waters west of this island. The series will be broadcast as part of RTÉ’s recently announced autumn schedule, according to TheJournal.ie, and comprises…
Dr Andy Wheeler of UCC, artist Louise Manifold, Joanna McGlynn of Tulca, Cushla Dromgool-Regan of the Marine Institute and Denise McDonagh welcoming the nomination in the Allianz Business to Arts Awards for Cregmore National School's fourth-class project Build Your Own Unknown
Marine Science
#MarineScience - Build Your Own Unknown, a marine science and art project by fourth-class pupils at Cregmore National School in Co Galway, has been shortlisted for the Allianz Business to Arts Awards. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Cregmore pupils…
150 Years Of The Shipping Forecast
Weather
#ShippingForecast - Do you know your Dogger from your Fisher? If so, it’s likely you know the Shipping Forecast, the 150th anniversary of which was marked last Thursday 24 August. But do you know how the specialised weather broadcast came…
Dr. Jimmy Murphy, General Manager of LIR National Ocean Test Facility with Climate Action Minister Denis Naughten  T.D. and Georgina Foley, Commercial Manager at LIR National Ocean Test Facility demonstrating the world class wave and ocean testing capabilities at LIR on the Minister's first visit to the facility.  LIR is incorporated in the MaREI Centre at the €20.5 million purpose built Beaufort building in Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork
Power From the Sea
Lir National Ocean Test facility is key to the development of Ireland’s offshore renewable energy industry. Incorporated in the MaREI Centre and located in the €20.5m purpose-built Beaufort Building, Lir provides world class testing capacity together with the most experienced…
Trump International Golf Links & Hotel at Doonbeg, Co Clare
Coastal Notes
#Doonbeg - Clare County Council’s decision on the controversial rock wall planned for the Trump golf resort in Doonbeg has been delayed till early next year, as the Clare Champion reports. It follows the granting of a three-month extension requested…
Dead crayfish in the River Suir
Marine Wildlife
#Crayfish - All water users are being urged to take precautions to stop the spread of crayfish plague after confirmation of an outbreak on the Lorrha River in North Tipperary, close to Lough Derg and the River Shannon. Numbers of…
Wreckage from the Spanish Armada ships visible on the beach at Streedagh
Coastal Notes
#SpanishArmada - A Sligo-based group dedicated to promoting the northwest coastal area’s links with the historic Spanish Armada has been honoured by the King of Spain in a special ceremony this week, as RTÉ News reports. The Plate of the…
The tug Husky manoeuvring the ‘Spud’ barge Beluga out of Shoreham Harbour on the UK Sussex coast
Ports & Shipping
#ports&shipping  - Wicklow based Alpha Marine are carrying out a dredging project off the UK south coast for an offshore windfarm project, writes Jehan Ashmore. The vessel support and marine services company deployed the Husky, a twin screw shallow draft tug…
Whale watchers at Galley Head in West Cork
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - 2017’s All–Ireland Whale Watch Day is scheduled for Saturday 26 August between 2pm and 5pm as part of Heritage Week. Join the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) at any of 20 land-based whale watches across Ireland to…
An artist's impression of how the Maritime Museum will look when completed
Coastal Notes
#coastalnotes - The political stalemate in Northern Ireland at Stormont writes The Derry Journal is delaying efforts to secure funding to start work on Derry’s planned new Maritime Museum. Derry City & Strabane District Council has confirmed that several million…
Chief scientist Ciaran O’Donnell, Marine Institute provides the BBC One Show film crew a briefing of the survey route planned for the WESPAS survey.
Marine Science
#marinescience - The Marine Institute recently led an acoustic survey of herring and boarfish in the oceans to the north, west and south of Ireland to determine the distribution, abundance, health and maturity of the herring and boarfish stocks in…

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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