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Latest Environment Stories
The 1903 shipwreck SS Manchester Merchant located in Dingle Bay, Co. Kerry surveyed in 2019 by INFOMAR’s RV Keary
The annual INFOMAR Seminar is a celebration of the year’s work by Ireland’s national seabed mapping programme. INFOMAR is funded by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and is jointly managed and operated by Geological Survey Ireland and…
 A four horned crab in red seaweed dress discovered at Geeha on Galway bay
Coastwatch is appealing for volunteers over the Spring tide period to participate in its annual coastal survey which has been extended to October 21st writes Lorna Siggins Recent stormy weather and heavy rain have curtailed this year’s effort, and Coastwatch coordinator…
Dr Peter Heffernan
Dr Heffernan has served as the CEO of the Marine Institute since 1993 and has held a highly successful role in building and leading the organisation. The semi-state agency has grown from a staff of one to 230, which now…
Dredging and Quay Wall Construction Works at Smooth Point, Killybegs Fishery Harbour Centre, Co. Donegal
Dredging and quay construction works will be underway at Smooth Point, Killybegs Fishery Harbour Centre from late October 2019 until July 2020. Plant on site shall include the Capall Mara Backhoe Dredger (Callsign: MBSF3), modular pontoon dredgers, split hopper barges,…
At the 2014 Ocean Wealth conference were (from left) Simon Coveney, TD then Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine with Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO, Marine Institute, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, TD, Miguel Margues of sponsor PricewaterhouseCooper and John Killeen, Chairman, Marine Institute
Tánaiste Simon Coveney has paid tribute to outgoing Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan for the “phenomenal impact” he has had on Irish and international scientific research writes Lorna Siggins. Dr Heffernan has been a “trailblazer, demanding political attention”,…
Artist’s interpretation of Carboniferous tetrapod from Scotland by Rachel Carr, copyright National Museums Scotland. Inset: Fossil amphibian bone from County Clare.
The fossilized bones of a tiny amphibian-like creature that scurried around the shores of County Clare 325 million years ago have been discovered by Dr Eamon Doyle, a geologist for the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark and…
Marine Minister Michael Creed
In the budget, Marine Minister Michael Creed has made provision for the Department’s Seafood Programme to increase by €5 million, to a total of €137.8 million. The provision, says Creed, will help fund vital investment in our fishery harbours, most…
Brown Trout
If there is one species to survive climate breakdown or transfer to a new planet, it is very likely to be the wild brown trout. Humans may think they have “superpowers”, but the trout (Salmo Trutta) beats us all, according…
Damian Foxall (left) with marine biologists Lucy Hunt and Niall McAllister
Two centuries after the “white continent” was recorded officially for the first time by an expedition led by Irishman Edward Bransfield, Kerry round-the-world offshore racer Damian Foxall plans to explore Antarctica by sail. Kerry-born Foxall will be accompanied on his…
New CEO - Dr Paul Connolly
Dr Paul Connolly has been announced as the Chief Executive Officer of the Marine Institute, Ireland’s state agency for marine research, technology development and innovation. The appointment follows the upcoming retirement of Dr Peter Heffernan after 27 years as CEO…
GMIT-Led Research Team Launches World’s First Shellfish Traceability Tool
Studies carried out by a research team led by Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) have resulted in the development of the world's first scientific-based shellfish traceability tool. This unique tool used ‘trace elemental fingerprinting’ of shellfish soft tissues and shells…
New Book On Clare Island ‘Shines Spotlight On Its Richness Of Life’
One hundred years ago, Irish naturalist Robert Lloyd Praeger led a survey of the natural history and cultural heritage of Clare Island in Co Mayo at a level of detail greater than any area of comparable size at that time.…
The cetacean spotted at Dublin Port this afternoon
Update Friday 4 October: RTÉ News is now reporting that the whale, now identified as a 25ft fin whale and believed to be a juvenile, was found dead in Dublin Port this morning. RTÉ News reports on a suspected whale sighting…
The predicted track of Hurricane Lorenzo as of Monday morning
Met Éireann says the progress of Hurricane Lorenzo this week and any potential impacts for Ireland “are being closely monitored”. The powerful weather system, which is currently threatening the Azores in the mid-Atlantic, was recently the most easterly Category 5…
UK shipyard Cammell Laird located on Merseyside is where the newbuild RRS Sir David Attenborough is to be named at 2pm today. WATCH LIVE Link see below.
In the UK, the newest polar research ship is to be formally named the RRS Sir David Attenborough today by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The royals will follow tradition by smashing a bottle of champagne against the hull…
The ROV Holland 1 ready to be deployed at dawn from the RV Celtic Explorer
An Irish-led, international team of marine scientists on board the RV Celtic Explorer recently completed the third and final leg of an extensive offshore reef study using the Marine Institute’s remote operated vehicle (ROV) Holland 1. The 21-day expedition investigating…

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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