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Marine Environment, Science, wildlife, weather & Ocean energy
Port Of Waterford Highlights ‘Huge Potential’ To Service Offshore Wind Energy
The Port of Waterford is highlighting a new report which identifies Belview Port on the River Suir as ideally places to serve Ireland’s growing offshore wind energy sector. And it says strategic investment of €42 billion over the next 10…
Bottlenose dolphin in Irish waters
Marine scientists have published landmark advice to the European Commission for urgent action to protect dolphins and porpoise in European waters. According to EU Reporter, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) is advocating for ‘emergency measures’…
Marine scientist working in a residue lab
The Marine Institute has announced a call for proposals from academic institutions to host Cullen Scholars and provide research training opportunities for scientists in marine and related disciplines leading to the acquisition of a doctorate. The Cullen Scholars will be…
Forty Foot on Dublin Bay was classified as excellent. Also above Afloat adds is the backdrop of Dun Loaghaire Harbour's East Pier lighthouse.
Beaches and the quality of bathing waters in Ireland is continuing to improve, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. EPA director Dr Micheál Lehane said local authorities must remain vigilant to ensure public health was protected and continue to identify…
Mainstream Renewable Power founder Eddie O'Connor
Offshore wind power off the west coast alone could generate annual revenues of €21bn a year from 75,000 megawatts of installed capacity, according to Airtricity and Mainstream Renewable Power founder Eddie O'Connor. Speaking to the Sunday Independent newspaper, the renewable…
Angel sharks are among the species believed to use the nursery hidden under Tralee Bay
Tralee Bay is a “major nursery” for sharks and rays in Irish waters, says a local marine wildlife expert. And Kevin Flannery insists the important breeding ground for the likes of angel sharks and porbeagle sharks needs protection. Marine biologist…
My Explorers Seashore Guide Work Book Published on International Biological Diversity Day
Celebrating the United Nations International Day for biological diversity (22nd May), the Marine Institute's Explorers Education Programme has published My Explorers Seashore Guide Work Book with support from the National Biodiversity Data Centre's Explore Your Shore! project, to raise awareness…
Orca Whales in Strangford Lough - Robbie Gilmore also saw them ten years earlier as a schoolboy
As sailors, if we want to preserve our playgrounds, or at least slow their destruction, we have to talk to others writes Strangford Lough's Robbie Gilmore While I was at school, I gave a speech about a voyage my Dad…
Ireland Marine Sector Collaborates to Celebrate European Maritime Day Virtually
In recognition of European Maritime Day on 20th May and World Oceans Day on 8th June, the Marine Institute and partners will celebrate our seas, our world’s shared ocean and our connection to the sea through our Oceans of Learning…
Zenith’s oil terminal in Bantry Bay
A small oil terminal in Bantry Bay has become an unlikely magnet for US tankers searching for places to store crude as supply outstrips demand in the coronavirus pandemic. In the last month, as gCaptain reports via Bloomberg, the terminal…
One of the humpback whales spotted on the IWDG’s Iceland expedition in May 2018
A new hour-long documentary following the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) on a unique research expedition to the Arctic Circle is now available to rent and watch on demand. On The Trail Of The Humpback Whale tells the story…
SEMRU has launched a new report valuing domestic coastal and marine tourism and leisure activities in the Republic of Ireland - downloadable below
Domestic coastal and marine tourism could help to “reboot” a sector which has been badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, a new report by NUI Galway (NUIG) finds. “Marine-active” holidaymakers tend to stay longer and spend more than the average…
Kilronan Pier on Inis Mor, the largest of the Aran Islands
The Aran islanders may have a ban on visitors, but they are already critically short of drinking water.  Irish Water and Galway County Council have introduced restrictions on water use lasting 17 hours a day on both the largest island…
An SSE Renewable Wind Park in the North Sea
SSE Renewables has welcomes the publication today by the Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Damien English, T.D, and the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton, T.D. of those seven offshore renewable energy projects in the Irish…
The offshore wind projects would further the objectives of the Climate Action Plan
Seven offshore renewable energy projects have been designated as ‘Relevant Projects’ by the Ministers for Urban Development and Climate Action and approved for transition to the upcoming new marine planing regime. These are offshore wind projects that either applied for…
Kinsale Harbour is one of 58 harbours and slipways that will benefit from the new package for local authority works
Marine Michael Creed has today (Tuesday 19 May) announced details of a €3.1m package to assist 10 coastal local authorities in 58 development and repair projects on harbours and slipways owned by them. The package provides funding for maintenance and…

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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