Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

afloat headers enivronment

Latest Environment Stories
Warning Over Wave Energy Quota
Coastal Notes
Government targets on wave energy provision will be "missed" unless significant changes are made to the offshore licensing and lease system, according to the new national body representing wave and tide energy reports Lorna Siggins in this morning's Irish Times…
Roll On/Roll Off Services for Árainn Mhór
Coastal Notes
Éamon Ó Cuív TD, Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, has announced that a roll on/roll off contract for Árainn Mhór, Co Donegal, for the period of the 1 September 2009 to 31 August 2014 has been agreed between…
€20,000 for Slipway at Poll an Mhadaidh Beach in Co. Donegal
Coastal Notes
Éamon Ó Cuív T.D., Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, has announced that he has sanctioned a grant of €20,000 to finish works on the slipway at Poll an Mhadaidh Beach on Árainn Mhór in Co.  Donegal. Work began…
State’s Seabed Mapping Programme to Generate €275m in Revenue
Coastal Notes
Delegates at an international conference of marine scientists, SEABED 10, in Dublin next week will hear how an independent study has valued the benefits of the state’s marine mapping programme at €275 million. This is more than four times what…
Ministers Announce Support for Rural Development Organisation
Coastal Notes
Éamon Ó Cuív T.D., Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and Minister of State, John Curran T.D., confirmed today that funding would be made available to support the creation of a single representative organisation for all rural and local…
ISA Slams 'Loss' of Sea Area Forecast
Weather
A Sailing body claims RTE is set to drop 'the most widely used sea area forecast' without any prior warning. The statement from the Irish Sailing Association's training manager says the forecast broadcast each afternoon at 4.50pm plays a critical…
Roaringwater Bay to Get Freight Service
Coastal Notes
Éamon Ó Cuív TD, Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, has sanctioned a grant of €35,000 for Sherkin Island Development Society to provide a freight service for Oileán Cléire, Long Island, Sherkin Island and Hare Island. This funding will…
The Sounds of Life Under Water
Marine Science
We now know that Jacques Cousteau wasn't quite accurate when he called the the sea the 'silent world', but to be fair to the French underwater explorer, that was before advances in acoustic technology allowed us listen in to the…
Winter Sun Sailing Breaks
Aquatic Tourism
If you've no plans for a break during the summer itself, Damien Ward of Globe Yachting and Aaron O'Grady of Leaders Charter in Westport have put their heads together and came up with a plan for Aaron's Luxury Charter Yacht,…
RTÉ Provide New Marine Weather Outlook Service
Weather
RTÉ and Met Éireann have joined forces for a new weekly Marine Outlook weather broadcast on RTÉ television. Friday night is the timeslot, after the Late News on RTÉ 1 and will be useful to the recreational boating community 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.

Featured Clubs

DBSC
nyc sidebutton flag

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Chandlery

chmarine sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
BSB sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating