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Latest Environment Stories
Save the date!... as this Sunday 9th April is the All Ireland Chowder Cook-Off!
Coastal Notes
#ChowderCookOff - Save the date as this Sunday 9th April is the All Ireland Chowder Cook-Off that brings 32 counties to Kinsale to compete for the title of All Ireland Chowder Champion! As reported on Afloat the small commercial port in…
A bag-net in operation
Marine Science
#MarineNotice - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) will be carrying out scientific sampling using bag-nets and sentinel cages in Killary Harbour and surrounding waters from this week. The bag-nets will start at the shore and extend into the water approximately 25…
Tomasz Szumski’s photograph ‘Micro Island - Connemara’ was runner-up in the 2017 CommBeBiz contest
Marine Photo
#MarinePhoto - A marine researcher at the Marine Institute was recently runner-up in the EU-funded CommBeBiz photography competition with the theme of ‘New Perspectives on the Bio-Economy’. Tomasz Szumski captured the prize-winning shot ‘Micro Island - Connemara’ when he provided…
Ireland's largest domestic coastal freighter, the 330 gross tonnage Bláth na Mara (during dry-docking but since completed) normally operates Galway-Aran Islands. Instead a replacement vessel is running services across Galway Bay.
Island News
#AranFreighters - Ireland’s Iargest domestic coastal cargoship that returned from hull works carried out in Co. Donegal earlier this month has yet to re-enter Galway-Aran Islands services, writes Jehan Ashmore. The 330 gross tonnage cargoship Bláth na Mara normally serves…
Map showing the ADCP frame placement points; the green line delineates the sites of two tide gauges installed on 13 & 14 March
Marine Science
#MarineNotice - TechWorks Marine are deploying three trawl-resistant bottom mounted acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) frames at three locations in Donegal Bay from this week. The frames, which will be on the sea floor between now and June, are being…
The path of the deep ocean glider SILBO as it crossed the North Atlantic Gyre
Marine Science
#MarineScience - A deep-ocean drone was recovered with the help of the Marine Institute off the coast of Baltimore in West Cork earlier this month. The SILBO autonomous glider, deployed by Teledyne Webb Research USA from Falmouth, Massachusetts in April…
Postcard from John Madden, a sailor on board the Laurentic who wrote postcards to his family while the ship stopped in Liverpool before its final voyage. This is marked the 18th of January 1917, one week before the fateful sinking.
Historic Boats
#Laurentic - History lovers on Thursday 6 April will get a closer view of some of the fascinating artefacts recovered from the tragic sinking of SS Laurentic in Lough Swilly as part of a unique workshop. The artefacts from the…
An eel caught at Lough Muckno in Co Monaghan
Fishing
#Fishing - Local eel fishermen were celebrated recently at an information day hosted by Inland Fisheries Ireland in Athlone. The fishermen, who are involved in IFI’s Scientific Eel Fisheries in different parts of the country, attended the event which aimed…
The ROV has high definition cameras, powerful lighting, robotic arms, and has been fitted with other specialist equipment to assist with the operation
Marine Science
The Marine Institute is working closely with the Coast Guard, the Air Accident Investigation Unit, Commissioners of Irish Lights, Geological Survey Ireland, P&O Maritime Services, the Navy, An Garda Síochána, and local skippers. The Marine Institute's ROV Holland 1 remotely…
Ireland’s longest Greenway officially opens in Waterford. Pictured at the official opening of the Waterford Greenway with Minister Simon Coveney TD includes in front Sean Findler from Tramore, Co. Waterford and Declan, Jessica and Cillian Long
Coastal Notes
Up to 10,000 people celebrated the official opening today, Saturday of the Waterford Greenway, the longest off-road walking and cycling experience in Ireland. Events took place at three different locations in Waterford, and on the Greenway itself, to mark the…
Pictured on the Waterford Greenway ahead of the official opening of the longest off-road walking and cycling experience in Ireland is Mayor of Waterford, Cllr Adam Wyse along with Joshua Moran-Davy (10), Leah Moran-Saunders (5) and Reuben Moran-Davy (7) from Passage East, Co Waterford
Coastal Notes
Waterford Greenway, the longest off-road walking and cycling experience in Ireland, is to officially open tomorrow, Saturday (March 25). The eagerly awaited €15 million project stretches 46km from Waterford City to Dungarvan along the former Great Southern and Western Railway…
TULCA Education co-ordinator Joanne McGlynn with Èabha, David, and Lauryn from Cregmore NS as they ‘rediscover’ the Moytirra hydrothermal vents as part of the Build Your Own Unknown art/science project
Marine Science
#MarineScience - Fourth-class pupils from Cregmore National School in Co Galway are creating a marine science and art installation and short film with artist Louise Manifold that re-enacts the 2011 discovery of the Moytirra deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Build Your Own…
The former CIE operated Aran Islands passenger/freight ferry Naomh Eanna languishes in Dublin (Grand Canal Dock Basin). A campaign is underway to return the veteran vessel to her original homeport of Galway.
Historic Boats
#NaomhEanna - The Minister for Transport is being urged to back a campaign to bring Naomh Eanna back to Galway, writes The Connacht Tribune. The ship once carried passengers (and freight) between the city and Aran Islands, before being withdrawn…
UK wave energy technology company, Wavepower Technologies, will create up to 10 advanced engineering research jobs when they establish research and development operations at The Entrepreneur Ship in the MaREI Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy in Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork.  Pictured at the announcement are Minister Simon Coveney, T.D., David Rubie-Todd, Co-Founder Wavepower Technologies Ltd and Joanna Murphy, CEO Connect Ireland
Cork Harbour
Leading UK wave energy technology company, will establish research and development operations at The Entrepreneur Ship, which is based at the MaREI Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy in Ringaskiddy, Cork Harbour. The new Wavepower site will see the creation…
Making a delivery voyage to Rathin Island this morning is Spirit of Rathlin. The £2.8m newbuild can take up to six vehicles and 140 passengers on the crossing to Ballycastle on the mainland.
Ferry
#NewFerryArrives - Residents of Rathlin Island now have an exciting addition as a brand new car ferry arrived this morning which is to serve the North’s only inhabited island, writes Jehan Ashmore. After a 20 hour delivery voyage from boatbuilders…
BREXIT: On the day that the UK announced the triggering date of Article 50 to begin leaving the EU, Prime Minister Theresa May paid a visit to Wales yesterday to sign the Swansea Bay City Deal in the Liberty Stadium, Swansea. The venue is the home ground for Swansea City F.C. and Ospreys Rugby.
Ports & Shipping
#UKpmSigns - UK and Welsh government ministers were in Swansea to witness Prime Minister Theresa May sign yesterday the Swansea Bay City Deal along with members of the Swansea Bay City Region Board. The deal is the biggest ever investment for south…

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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