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Marine Environment, Science, wildlife, weather & Ocean energy
Oceans in Transformation commissioned by TBA21-Academy.  Multibeam sonar sounding of Reykjanes Ridge in the Atlantic Ocean
Combined impacts of sea-level rise, intensification of maritime transport, depletion of coastal ecosystems and deep-sea mining are the theme of a new exhibition planned for the Italian city of Venice which aims to change the conversation about the ocean environment…
Status Yellow Marine Warning In Place After Storm Atiyah’s Passage
A Status Yellow gale warning remains in place for all Irish coastal waters after Storm Atiyah brought high winds across the country yesterday (Sunday 8 December). Northwesterly gales were expected for a time on waters from Malin Head to Howth…
Econowind's system tested on DFDS Lys-Line container and side-port loading vessel Lysbris Seaways. Afloat adds a sister, Lysvik Seaways is due to Belfast Harbour next week as part of its logistics network connecting Norway with the UK and mainland Europe. The pair transport containers, paper products and refuse-derived fuel among other things.
An interesting take on wind-power made by Econowind has now been installed on DFDS container/side-port loader vessel Lysbris Seaways following recent tests in the Netherlands. A metal sail in a box is a novel concept, but it could be a solution…
Andy Jones, Chief Executive at the Port of Milford Haven, and Sam Leighton, Managing Director of Bombora Wave Power, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
At the Welsh Port of Milford Haven, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed this week with Bombora, to highlight their commitment to the marine energy industry in Pembrokeshire. Originating in Australia, Bombora opened offices in Pembroke Dock in 2017…
New Online Resources Bring ‘Ireland’s Deep Atlantic’ Into The Classroom
TV documentary Ireland’s Deep Atlantic will feature in new online classroom resources for Junior Cert students, it has been announced. Ireland’s Deep Atlantic — produced by Sea Fever Productions and supported by the Marine Institute, BAI and the Environmental Protection…
Fishing activities may be omitted from the long-awaited Marine Planning and Development Management Bill
A Government plan to streamline marine planning and consent has been stymied by refusal of one key department to become involved writes Lorna Siggins A new “one stop permit shop” for offshore wind farms, ocean energy and other marine activities…
Shellfish beds at Killary Harbour
A postgraduate researcher is investigating the biotoxin production potential of Azadinium and related species in Irish waters, particularly in estuaries used for shellfish aquaculture such as Killary Harbour and Bantry Bay. Stephen McGirr — a PhD candidate at the Institute…
Greta Thunberg at the European Parliament this past April
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has arrived in Portugal after sailing across the Atlantic in a catamaran for the past three weeks. The 16-year-old originally sailed to the United States to attend UN climate talks this past August — travelling…
Seal pup Pine was found in Portally Cove on Wednesday
A seal pup found entangled in fishing netting in Co Waterford yesterday (Wednesday 27 November) is now recovering, as Waterford Live reports. Nicknamed Pine, the young seal is now in the care of Seal Rescue Ireland in Courtown, Co Wexford…
The houseboat was spotted at Cross Beach on the Mullet Peninsula in November 2016
The original owner of a mystery houseboat that washed up on the Mayo coast three years ago has been traced to western Canada, as RTÉ News reports. The wooden vessel, which was fitted with solar panels, was recovered for restoration…
Portaferry RNLI lifeboat
Portaferry RNLI came to the aid of three people stranded on Trasnagh Island near Whiterock at Killinchy on the western shore of Strangford Lough this afternoon, as the weather deteriorated. Portaferry’s volunteer crew launched promptly at 1.26 pm and made…
Inis Oírr in the Aran Islands
The Aran Islands were this week among six offshore communities across the European Union to publish their plans to transition to clean energy, as TheJournal.ie reports. Comharchumann Fuinneamh Oileáin Árann Teo (CFOAT) helped develop the transition plan that was published…
The harbour on Inishturk
Two islands off Galway and Mayo face the prospect of no local doctor with the pending retirement of a mainland-based GP. As the Connacht Tribune reports, Dr Ciarán McLoughlin will end his services to the community on Inishbofin and Inishturk…
Marine Institute CEO Dr Paul Connolly (left) presents Marine Minister Michael Creed (centre) with this year’s Stock Book
Marine Minister Michael Creed took receipt of the 2019 Marine Institute Annual Stock Book yesterday, Thursday 21 November. One of the institute’s primary annual publications since 1993, the Stock Book provides scientific advice on commercial fish stocks of interest to…
Ariel and Merida at Exploris Aquarium before their release back into the wild at the weekend
Two juvenile seals named Ariel and Merida after the Disney princesses are part of a novel marine research project using the latest technology to record and understand harbour seals’ behaviour. In a first for Northern Ireland, the Exploris Aquarium in…
Laochra na Mara is launched in the Azores
The Marine Institute’s marine glider has been deployed in the North Atlantic as part of a deep ocean marine science research project. Laochra na Mara can reach depths of 1,000m and collects oceanographic data on conductivity, temperature, depth, fluorescence, turbidity…

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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