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Latest Environment Stories
Read Today's Irish Sailing & Boating E–News from Afloat.ie
News Update
Read Afloat's e–news below with all the latest sailing and boating highlights featuring: Star(fish) attractions: Why village sea centre & All-Ireland trail are shining bright; Txt for Spinal Injuries’ RIB; & save date for Ilen baa-rty Sign up for a…
Wicklow Head lighthouse is one of 12 Great Lighthouse of Ireland to win a silver prize at the Responsible Tourism Awards
Aquatic Tourism
Maritime tourism operators featured at the 2016 Irish Responsible Tourism Awards announced at a ceremony yesterday in Dublin. In the best for Natural Heritage Tourism category, a silver award went to Sea Synergy Marine Awareness & Activity Centre (Co. Kerry). The marine interpretive…
Skellig Michael
Island News
#SkelligMichael - The Department of Heritage has approved a film shoot by drone at Skellig Michael, despite the use of drones being prohibited on the island. According to The Irish Times, a guide on the Unesco world heritage site has…
Mauve jellyfish on the beach at Fanore on Friday 30 September
Marine Wildlife
#Jellyfish - Mauve jellyfish have stranded in what could be record numbers in Co Clare. Thousands of the species Pelagia noctiluca, also known as the mauve stinger, have beached at Fanore since last Friday (30 September) as photographed by local…
The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre
News Update
#CliffsOfMoher - As much as €20,000 in cash is believed to have been taken in a sophisticated burglary at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre yesterday morning (Monday 3 October). According to The Irish Times, the building’s security system was…
Ballycotton's inshore lifeboat shepherds the young dolphin into deeper waters
RNLI Lifeboats
#RNLI - Ballycotton RNLI launched around 1pm yesterday afternoon (Thursday 29 September) to aid a dolphin stranded in shallow water on Silver Strand beach near the East Cork village. A member of the public who was on scene had tried…
Clean Coasts’ Ocean Hero Awards Are Open for Nominations
Coastal Notes
2016 marks the 10th Anniversary of An Taisce’s Clean Coasts programme’s ‘Ocean Hero Awards’. The awards, originally called the ‘Clean Coasts’ Merit Awards’, were conceived in 2006 to honour the invaluable contribution Ireland’s coastal communities have made towards conserving our…
A Portuguese man o’ war beached in the Bahamas
Marine Wildlife
Irish Water Safety (IWS) is alerting the public to exercise caution on our south, west and northwest coastline over the next few days due to jellyfish arriving on our shores, as previously reported by Afloat.ie.  IWS says Ireland has experienced tropical…
Skerries Sailing Club looking very trim, as befits the new SuperValu TidyTown status, with GP 14s preparing to go out to the race area
Coastal Notes
Anyone involved in assessing national sailing contests such as the Mitsubishi Motors “Club of the Year” or the Afloat.ie “Sailor of the Month” awards will be able to tell you it’s much better to do such work by stealth if…
Dr Peter Heffernan, Dr Margaret Rae, EU Commissioner Karmenu Vella and Dr John Killeen at the Atlantic Stakeholders Conference in Croke Park on Tuesday 27 September
Marine Science
#MarineScience - The Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Co-ordination and Support Action (AORA-CSA) has received the first Atlantic Project Award for International Cooperation. The Marine Institute-led project was presented with the accolade yesterday (Tuesday 27 September) during the Atlantic Stakeholders Conference…
A Portuguese man o’ war beached in the Bahamas
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - Sightings of the deadly Portuguese man o’ war along the West Coast have prompted calls for caution among coastal users, especially surfers and other beachgoers. TheJournal.ie yesterday reported that as many as 15 of the toxic sea organisms…
Bull Island is an especially sensitive area, unique also as host to both species of Irish seals, hauling out, feeding and breeding within the boundaries of the Capital city
Marine Wildlife
The Irish Seal sanctuary (ISS) is calling on the public to be vigilant and keep dogs away from seals on Bull Island. Bull Island and Dublin Bay is a biosphere reserve unique to the capital city and is home to both…
Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed with Minister of State Joe McHugh at the launch of the Small Craft Harbour in Killybegs, Co Donegal
Coastal Notes
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed TD today launched two new major marine projects in Killybegs, Co. Donegal. The first of these was the redevelopment of the United Fish Industries (UFI) fishmeal plant which has just been…
Design and testing of the boat will take about 18 months, the team will start building it in 2018
Marine Science
Members of the public will be able to see their name etched into history when ambitious plans to build a multi-million pound robot boat to mark the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower out of Plymouth take another…
Pilot whales are regularly spotted off the Irish coast
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - A young pilot whale was saved by a group of quick-thinking Wexford men after stranding on a beach at Kilmore Quay, as the New Ross Standard reports. When Neil Bates spotted the 3m whale at Ballyteige Burrow and…
The Cliffs of Moher in Co Clare
Coastal Notes
#Aarhus - Environment Minister Denis Naughten has launched the public consultation for a second implementation under the UN's Aarhus Convention on community participation in environmental issues. Ratified in June 2012 after a long call by environmental and coastal community campaigners,…

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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