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Latest Environment Stories
Marine Institute opens its doors to the public in Aid of Galway Lifeboat
Marine Science
The Marine Institute is having a Summer Fête – Family Fun Pirate Day at its headquarters, Rinville, Oranmore on Sunday 11th July from 1.00 pm to 5.30 pm in aid of Galway Lifeboat. Admission is free.The fun day offers a…
Energetic Atlantic Dolphins are Fussy Eaters
Marine Wildlife
Atlantic Dolphins choose to eat high-energy fish to suit their energetic lifestyles, scientists have found. A study of dolphins off the French coast shows that dolphins shy away from less calorie-dense prey in favour of high-energy food. This dispels a…
Warm Water Species on the Increase Around Ireland’s Coasts
Marine Wildlife
Mr. Sean Connick, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, today (June 29th) launched a milestone report on the effects of climate change on Ireland’s marine ecosystems. The document - Irish Ocean Climate and Ecosystem…
Marine Institute Seeks Ship-Time Programmes
Marine Science
The Marine Institute invites applications for grant-aid towards the cost of ship-time on-board the national research vessels (R.V. Celtic Explorer and R.V. Celtic Voyager) during 2011. Grant-aid will be provided for ship-time to carry out ship-based research activity within defined thematic…
Clyde's Rhu Marina Gets £1.4 Million Investment
Coastal Notes
The Crown Estate is pleased to announce that it is making a significant financial investment of £1.4 million in Rhu marina on the Firth of Clyde, Scotland. By early 2011 the sailing community will benefit from a safer and all year…
Belfast Firm Wins Wind Power Station Contract
Power From the Sea
A Belfast firm has won a contract to build a major power station to cope with electricity generated by Irish Sea wind turbines.  Powerteam Electrical Services will build a substation linked to a 51-turbine wind farm off the Lancashire coast.…
Ireland’s Deep Oceans Offer New Opportunities
Marine Science
A team of scientists has just returned from a research mission to sample habitats on the edge of the continental shelf using the Marine Institute’s vessel, the RV Celtic Explorer, and the deep water remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Holland I.…
New European Atlas of the Seas
Marine Science
The European Commission has recently launched a pilot version of a new European Atlas of the Seas – a dynamic online atlas where users will be able to learn more about Europe's seas, its maritime sectors, the interaction between them…
Satellite-Linked Tagging of Porbeagle Sharks
Marine Wildlife
Scientists at the Marine Institute, Galway, are working with anglers around Ireland to study the migration and diving behaviour of porbeagle sharks (Latin name - Lamna nasus) in the northeast Atlantic. Porbeagle sharks are one of the top marine predators…
Father Ted Wreck Celebrated
Coastal Notes
The wreck made famous in the opening credits of the TV series Father Ted hs beign feted this weekend, the 50th anniversary of its demise on the rocks. Irish Times marine correspondent Lorna Siggins writes of the celebrations on Inisheer…
Algal Bloom Heads for Ireland
Marine Wildlife
A NASA satellite has spotted an enormous algal bloom off the south-west corner of Ireland, heading for the coast via the Gulf Stream. The agency said that while volcanic deposits of silt on the water can encourage these blooms, this…
Old Gaffers Hit the Liffey
Coastal Notes
The first opening of the Samuel Beckett Bridge to accommodate a flotilla of sailing craft dressed overall will be the highlight of water activity on the River Liffey in the coming weekend. Organised by the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association…
Ew, what's that smell?
Marine Wildlife
Cruiser Racer visitors to Dublin for this weekend's Cruiser Nationals aren't the only ones to be put off by Dublin's Bay foul smells it appears. Residents in Dublin have in recent days reported sewage like odours in the north and…
Light Winds Forecast for Weekend
Weather
As thoughts turn towards weekend boating fixtures, it looks like winds – or the lack of them – will be the deciding factor for sailing events. On Dublin Bay forecasters are holding out the prospect of afternoon sea breezes for…
€7.5 million in EU grant-aid for Irish marine food research
Marine Science
The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mr. Brendan Smith TD, speaking at a workshop organised by his Department on 29th April, said that Ireland had secured over €7.5 million to date in research funding under the FP7 Food, Agriculture,…
New Cruising Website lists Marinas & Moorings
Aquatic Tourism
A new website has been launched to accompany Brian Keane's  book Cruising Ireland - A Guide to Marinas and Mooring Buoys. The book lists details of more than 70 ports and anchorages around Ireland and the website matches the information…

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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