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Latest Environment Stories
Skellig Michael's traditional visitor season opening date of 30 March was pushed back by six weeks in 2015
Island News
#SkelligMichael - Skellig Islands boatman Sean ‘Seanie’ Murphy has brought a High Court action over limits on the visitor season at Skellig Michael, as BreakingNews.ie reports. Murphy claims the move by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport to move…
Birthday boy Hugo Johnston (7) joined Marine Minister Michael Creed to open ‘Sea Science - the Wild Atlantic’ at Galway City Museum
Marine Science
#MarineScience - Marine Minister Michael Creed fficially opened Ireland's first sea science gallery at Galway City Museum yesterday (Thursday 18 May). ‘Sea Science - the Wild Atlantic’ is Ireland’s first marine science exhibition to have audio and visual displays accessible…
Loughshinny Beach, between Skerries and Rush in North Co Dublin, has again failed to meet the EPA’s minimum standards for bathing water quality
Coastal Notes
#CoastalNotes - Three beaches in Dublin and three in Galway have failed to meet the minimum standards for bathing water quality, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Irish Times covers the latest EPA Report on Bathing Water Quality,…
A giant squid preserved in ice at Melbourne Aquarium in Australia
Marine Wildlife
#GiantSquid - A giant squid measuring nearly six metres in length has been caught off Dingle in Co Kerry — the first encounter with the rare ocean creature in Irish waters in 22 years, as TheJournal.ie reports. Fisherman Pete Flannery…
Dead Crayfish in the Suir. An appeal has been issued downstream of Clonmel to Carrick-on-Suir
Marine Wildlife
All water users are being urged to take precautions after confirmation of an outbreak of Crayfish Plague on a stretch of the River Suir downstream of Clonmel to Carrick-on-Suir. It comes after large numbers of dead freshwater crayfish were reported…
'Irish Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire' (Peter Pearson) who is one of the artists exhibiting works at a contemporary exhibition to commemorate Dun Laoghaire Harbour's bicentenary
Dublin Bay
#HarbourArt - At the end of this month the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company are to mark the 200th anniversary of the laying of the first stone of the Harbour in 1817.   This is to take place on Wednesday 31st…
Coypu are known for their large size compared to other river rodents - and their distinctively coloured teeth
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - Cork residents near the River Lee are urged to be report any sightings of coypu after one of the large rodents was seen in Cork city last week. The invasive species was released within the last two years…
The RV Celtic Voyager is part of the INFOMAR survey fleet
Marine Science
#MarineScience - The Marine Institute’s RV Celtic Voyager returned to Cork Harbour last week after the first of six INFOMAR seabed mapping surveys planned for 2017. The two-week seabed survey carried out its operations in the Celtic Sea south of…
Flood Relief Scheme Begins On River Bandon
Inland Waterways
#FloodRelief - The scheduled Bandon Flood Relief Scheme work programme for 2017 has now commenced on the River Bandon in Co Cork. The scheme consists of a combination of flood defences and dredging of the river bed to a level…
Salmon Farm Sea Lice Halve Wild Atlantic Salmon Runs Says New Study
Marine Wildlife
#Salmon - Wild Atlantic salmon smolts migrating to sea from Irish rivers can become infected with sea lice from West Coast salmon farms and suffer increased mortality soon after leaving the coast, cutting their numbers by half. That’s the conclusion…
The sixgill shark (Hexanchus griseus), one of three shark species with six gills, is usually found in the warmer waters of the Mediterranean
Angling
#Angling - A group of sea anglers off the Co Clare coast have hooked what’s thought to be the largest ever sixgill shark caught by rod and line in Europe. As BBC News reports, English angler Ben Bond struggled for…
Beaches usually take years to form via deposits from water currents, like Dollymount on Bull Island
Coastal Notes
#CoastalNotes - A beach on Achill Island lost to storms 33 years ago has returned after a freak Easter tide. And locals at Dooagh are celebrating the return of their 300-metre sandy strand that in more recent years has been…
The oldest large car ferry of the CalMac fleet, Isle of Arran on a summer crossing mid-way from Brodick, Arran on the Firth of Clyde bound for Ardrossan. The scene was taken from on board Caledonian Isles that also operates the route year-round.
Ferry
#Aran&Arran – A passenger freightship that served the Aran Islands notably from Galway and a present day car ferry running to Arran, Scotland have similarities, writes Jehan Ashmore. The custom-built Oileáin Árann (see photo) completed in 1991 at James Miller…
The Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival runs from Friday, May 26, to Sunday, June 4.
Island News
Rathlin is the only inhabited island off the Northern Ireland Coast and we think we are part of this island nation writes Tom MacSweeney. Our festival is about to happen celebrating all things Maritime and we would like as many…
Marine Institute chair Dr John Killeen with Marine Minister Michael Creed and Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan launching the Marine Equipment and Small Infrastructure Call for 2017
Marine Science
#MarineResearch - The Marine Institute has announced a €2m Marine Infrastructure Call for 2017 with awards of between €20,000 and €200,000. Applications are invited from legal entities (higher education institutes, public research institutes, small-medium enterprises, etc) on the island of…
Minister for Transport Shane Ross and local independent T.D. Michael Healy Rae recently travelled on board the ageing God Met Ons III (1963/95gt) to meet the board of directors of Valentia Island Ferries to discuss possible funding of a new ferry. Subject to Government funding, VIF are notably seeking an Irish yard to build the 18 car/95 passenger ferry.
Island News
#NewFerry - The future of the Valentia Island ferry in Co Kerry remains in doubt as God Met Ons III dating to 1963, easily the country’s oldest domestic ferry, will no longer meets marine safety requirements, writes Jehan Ashmore. The…

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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