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Marine Environment, Science, wildlife, weather & Ocean energy
Operation by helicopter to remove barrels of waste diesel, hydraulic oil from MV Alta aground near Ballycotton east Cork
Near Ballycotton in east Cork, an operation on the coast has been undertaken to airlift around 80 barrels of waste diesel and hydraulic oil from the 80m cargo ship MV Alta which ran aground on rocks a week and a…
An Oil Spill Assessment Team convened again as of 2.00pm today, as part Cork County Council's Oil Spill Contingency Plan in response to the grounding of cargoship (Alta) in Ballycotton, Co. Cork.
Preparing to remove materials from a grounded ghost ship by helicopter on Tuesday is in the hands of Cork County Council as they could pose a pollution risk. The council according to Green News.ie, is preparing to airlift barrels of machine…
File image of the MV Madelen, which will carry out the ADCP deployment this Friday
The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport advises that University College Dublin intends to deploy an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) sub-surface installation off the Aran Islands this Friday 28 February, weather permitting. The deployment will occur around 0.6 nautical…
The Act prohibits “the manufacture or placing on the market of cosmetics and personal care products that may be washed or rinsed off with water"
Legislation aimed at reducing microplastic pollution in marine and fresh waters has been enacted by the Government, four months after the EU gave clearance for the move writes Lorna Siggins The Microbeads (Prohibition) Act 2019 (Commencement) Order 2020 was signed…
At the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s (IWDG) annual meeting held last year in Dublin, the phrase “everything is changing” summed up Ireland’s whale activity.
The skeleton of a Wexford blue whale (82ft long) named Hope has supplanted ‘Dippy’, the much loved Diplodocus, as the main attraction at Hintz Hall in the National History Museum in London, reports The Green News.ie “Look at the whale!”…
Storm Dennis whipping up at Hook Lighthouse in Co Wexford
A Status Yellow gale warning is in place for all Irish coastal waters and the Irish Sea as Storm Dennis sweeps towards Britain this weekend. Winds of up to Force 9 are expected around the coast, while counties Wexford and…
Eimear Manning from Global Action Plan Ireland dissects a squid with pupils from Virgin Mary GNS in Ballymun, North Dublin
Global Action Plan Ireland and the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School (INSS) shared their love for the ocean on Valentine’s Day with primary schools in Ballymun and Dun Laoghaire as part of the Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme. With…
Gail McAllister (right) and her fellow Blue Flag national jurors
Irish Sailing’s regional development officer Gail McAllister is among the jury for this year’s Blue Flag awards programme. The national jury met last month to consider a total of 88 sites around Ireland comprising 80 beaches and eight marinas. Their…
Marine Spatial Planning Meetings Resume This Evening In Arklow
Public meetings to discuss marine spatial planning and the Government’s draft national framework resume this evening in Arklow, with a focus on offshore renewable energy. The Arklow Bay Hotel will host the event from 6pm to 8pm, with speakers from…
Marine Institute’s 'Explorers Education Programme' Arrives in Dun Laoghaire Harbour
The children from Glenageary Killiney National School (GKNS) are participating in the Marine Institute's Pilot Explorers Education Programme™, hosted by the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School in Dun Laoghaire this Friday. The programme complements the national school curriculum, presenting…
Filming on Skellig Michael for the Star Wars saga began in 2015
Skellig Michael’s former site manager has expressed his misgivings around filming for the Star Wars movie franchise at the Unesco World Heritage site. As the Irish Examiner reports, Grellan Rourke — who recently retired from his role after 41 years…
1720 Spring sailing at Royal Cork
Racing in Dublin Bay, Kinsale Harbour, Belfast Lough, Dun Laoghaire Harbour have been cancelled today due to Storm Ciara. In fact, such was the extent of the deteriorating weather forecast many of the regatta organisers gave early notice to scrub…
 Island residents off Galway, Mayo and Donegal cast their votes in the 2020 General Election. Above Presiding officer Nancy Sharkey with a ballot box on the ferry for Gola Island off Donegal.
On islands off the coasts of Galway, Mayo and Donegal, people are casting their votes in the General Election today. It had been expected that the European and local elections held in May of last year would be the final…
The project would see seven large gas storage caverns hollowed out under Larne Lough in Co. Antrim.
The main conservation groups in Northern Ireland have come out against a plan to develop gas storage caverns underneath Larne Lough. They are opposed on environmental grounds and as BBC News NI reports, they believe the potential impact on wildlife…
Darren Craig taking a mucus sample from a basking shark off West Kerry
Basking sharks which were sampled off the west Kerry coast in early Spring have proved to be genetically different to all other such sharks tested in the north-east Atlantic, according to a newly published study writes Lorna Siggins. The study…
The forecast for Sunday on Dublin Bay
Storm Ciara's expected arrival in Ireland on Friday with southerly winds gusting to over 50 mph means a number of weekend sailing fixtures are now in doubt. Dublin Bay Sailing Club's second race of the Spring Chicken Series is scheduled…

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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