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Latest Environment Stories
Rising Sea Levels: A pilot cutter in rough seas off the Irish coast which have risen 7cms alone since early 1990's. The next 5-15 years are critical to act if we are to stop 'permanent' damage to the planet
Weather
#RisingSeaLevels - Rising sea levels around Ireland due to climate change are almost 7cm since the early 1990s. The Irish Examiner writes that this is due to the rising temperature of the planet, greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and the melting…
The restored 6-pounder Hotchkiss gun from the wreck of HMS Guide Me II off Dalkey Island. The exhibit was recently remounted in the grounds of the maritime museum
Coastal Notes
#WW1gun - A World War 1 gun retrieved from a wreck off Dalkey Island in Dublin Bay has recently gone on display at the National Maritime Museum in Dun Laoghaire, writes Jehan Ashmore. The restored 6-pounder Hotchkiss gun is from…
A photo–montage of the project will include an iconic boardwalk around the southern side of Acres Lake
Inland Waterways
Minister Ring T.D. has awarded €500,000 to Waterways Ireland for the completion of the Shannon Blueway between Leitrim Village and Drumshanbo town. The project will include an iconic boardwalk around the southern side of Acres Lake. The attractive new walkway…
A new plan setting out Ireland's Marine Research and Innovation Strategy for the period 2016-2021 is available for public consultation until Tuesday 22 November
Marine Science
#MarineScience - A new plan setting out Ireland's Marine Research and Innovation Strategy for the period 2016-2021 is now available for public consultation until Tuesday 22 November. The draft strategy, prepared by the Marine Institute, provides a unified view of…
Marine Minister Michael Creed and BIM CEO Tara McCarthy (centre) with representatives from the new Fisheries Local Action Groups
Fishing
#Fishing - Marine Minister Michael Creed has announced €12 million funding under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) Operational Programme for seven Fisheries Local Action Groups (FLAGs) to fund local development initiatives in Ireland’s coastal communities. The seven new…
Kilronan Harbour on Inismor, the largest of the Aran Islands. Ireland's offshore islands are a huge part of our national culture, history and maritime tradition
Island Nation
I have a great respect for those who live on our offshore islands…They are a huge part of our national culture, history and maritime tradition. To maintain island life they deserve support from all those who interact with them, both…
Former Royal Navy ice patrol survey ship, HMS Endurance (named in honour of Sir Ernest Shackleton's 1914-1918 Antarctic expedition ship) departing Portsmouth under tow to Turkish ship-breakers
Marine Science
#ShackletonShips - The Ross Sea announced as the World’s largest marine park in the Antarctic is where ice patrol survey ship HMS Endurance nearly sank in the south Atlantic in 2008. Since then the ship has remained laid up, however in recent…
Dolphins accompany Howth's Coastguard RIB
Coastguard
The Howth–based Coast Guard boat “Sean A Dunne” was joined by some unexpected visitors today in the form of a school of Bottlenose Dolphins. The Coast Guard crew of four from Howth station were on routine exercise in the Irish…
Dr. Austin O’Carroll will give a talk: "The Road to Rio Paralympic Sailing" next Thursday 3 November at 20:00 in Poolbeg Y&BC Ringsend, Dublin
Coastal Notes
#Lecture - Glenua & Friends presents the lecture: The Road to Rio Paralympic Sailing The talk by Dr. Austin O’Carroll takes place next Thursday 3 November at 20:00 in Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club Ringsend, Dublin. Entry €5 (in aid of…
Easkey Britton giving her TEDxDublin talk in 2013
Surfing
#Adventure - Pioneering Irish surfer Easkey Britton was keynote speaker at the fifth annual International Adventure Conference in Tralee last week, as The Kerryman reports. The event attracted experts from as far afield as New Zealand for three days of…
Aquaholics Dive Centre’s new catamaran
Diving
#Diving - A new commercial catamaran is part of a Portstewart-based diving firm’s efforts to compete with popular dive tourism destinations abroad, as the News Letter reports. Diving is ‘big business’ for the Aquaholics Dive Centre, which provides services for…
This photo taken in the Ross Sea, Antarctica yesterday from the Antarctic Ocean Alliance shows a adelie penguin on pack ice
Marine Science
#AntarcticPark - The European Union and 24 countries yesterday agreed to create the world’s largest marine park in the Antarctic Ocean, covering a massive 1.55 million square km (600,000 square miles) of ocean. The Irish Times writes the Commission for…
Cape Verde Humpback Whales Doc On TG4 This Weekend
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - Irish-made documentary The Humpback Whales of Cape Verde will be broadcast this Saturday 29 October at 7.15pm on TG4. Narrated by Liam Ó Maonlaí and shot in Cape Verde, Ireland and Malta, the film follows Dr Simon Berrow…
The torpedo-shaped object found on a beach in Liscannor contained 75kg of cocaine
Coastal Notes
#CoastalNotes - A whopping 75kg of cocaine has been seized by the Revenue Commissioners from a torpedo-like capsule on a beach in Liscannor, Co Clare, as Independent.ie reports. The “suspicious item” containing the drugs, thought to have a value of…
Bobby Kerr tries paddle boarding at Grand Canal Dock in the first episode of UTV Ireland’s Along Home Shores
Maritime TV
#OnTV - The first episode of Bobby Kerr-fronted UTV Ireland series Along Home Shores comes this Thursday 27 October at 7.30pm and explores Dublin’s waterways, with a visit to the famous wallabies of Lambay Island. Afloat.ie reported last month on…
Skellig Michael
Aquatic Tourism
#SkelligRing - The Skellig Ring in Co Kerry features in Lonely Planet’s top 10 regions for globetrotters to explore on 2017. “Ireland’s most charismatically wild and emerald stretch of coastline,” as the popular travel guide’s Best in Travel report puts…

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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