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Marine Environment, Science, wildlife, weather & Ocean energy
The Floating LiDAR Buoy ready to be deployed from the Anchor Handling Vessel BB Ocean off the east coast of Scotland. The buoy is designed to operate autonomously at sea and uses laser technology to profile the speed of winds at heights of up to 300m. It also delivers data on waves, ocean currents and water quality. The data captured is sent back to shore, where a team of specialists can interpret it at Green Rebel’s dedicated MetOcean base in Limerick
A floating offshore wind farm project off the east coast of Scotland has reached a major milestone with the deployment of technology to collect data about wind speeds, wave heights, and ocean currents at the proposed site. Green Rebel, a…
Solutions to climate issues on sea and land is the theme of the Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) competition 2023
Budding young journalists interested in climate issues affecting the marine environment are urged to participate in a contest run by An Taisce. Solutions to climate issues on sea and land is the theme of the Young Reporters for the Environment…
Aran island fishing family John Conneely and Mary-Frances Beatty - facing an uncertain future after Brexit
The Oscar-nominated film The Banshees of Inisherin has given tourism on the Aran island of Inis Mór and Mayo’s Achill island a boost, but such good fortune doesn’t extend to the island’s fishing vessels. As The Examiner reports, third-generation Aran…
Spectacular view over Lower Lough Erne in the Fermanagh Lakelands
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council has established a new tourism partnership which will work to enhance and strengthen local tourism through the delivery of the Visitor Experience Development Plan (VEDP) for Fermanagh Lakelands, Omagh and the Sperrins. The partnership met…
Mayo’s Clare island
Mayo’s Clare island has been hit with a “boil water” notice after the detection of cryptosporidium in the public water supply. The “boil water” notice takes immediate effect, Uisce Éireann (Irish Water) and Mayo Council have said. This follows consultation…
Long Island’s private residence is surrounded by 12 acres of woodland and comes with its own private marina and jetty
For less than the price of a modest Dublin home, you might get to own your very own private island on Lough Erne, as BelfastLive reports. Long Island — which lies just minutes by boat from Lough Erne Yacht Club…
Darren Rice says that various mooring system alternatives are being explored to find the best fit for Strangford Lough
A pilot scheme on Strangford Lough, which is trying to stimulate seagrass growth on the seabed by testing alternative mooring systems, has been reported by BBC News NI. Last April, Afloat highlighted a project initiated by the Strangford and Lecale…
The Dutch Pearl
The Department of Transport has been advised by Kish Offshore Wind Ltd and Bray Offshore Wind Ltd that geotechnical investigations will be conducted on the Dublin Array offshore wind farm project site off the coast of counties Dublin and Wicklow. The…
Marine Institute's Research Facility in Furnace, Newport, Co Mayo
The Marine Institute's Research Facility in Furnace, Newport, Co Mayo, will open its doors to primary school students this month, and hold an Open Day for all on Sunday, 2nd April 2023, from 11 am to 4 pm. Pupils from…
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group weekend will start with a humpback whale film/ presentation on Friday evening
The Centre of Excellence for Climate Action & Sustainability at Myross Wood House in Leap is the location for this year’s WHALE TALES. West Cork is a good location for the event, which will start on Friday evening and continue…
The Angelshark is now a critically endangered species in Irish waters
“Jaws” it ain’t – the Angelshark has more in common with the skate and ray but is now an endangered species. The squat flat shark, appropriately named Squatina squatina, once lived in abundance on sandy and muddy seabed areas on…
A bluefin tuna caught, tagged and released in the Atlantic in September last year as part of 2022’s Tuna CHART programme
Ireland’s Tuna CHART bluefin tuna sea angling survey programme for 2023 has opened for charter skippers to apply. Anglers in Ireland will once again have the opportunity to catch and release bluefin tuna in 2023 through the continuation of the…
Kerry Education and Training Board (Kerry ETB) has been named the Talent and Skills Development Award winner at the Irish Wind Energy Awards. The award was presented in recognition of Kerry ETB's innovative approach to developing talent and skills in the renewable energy sector and pictured (left to right) are Ioseph Nestor - Assistant Manager - Kerry College, Kasia Loiko, national apprenticeship co-ordinator and Andy Keane, wind turbine instructor
Kerry Education and Training Board (Kerry ETB) has been named the Talent and Skills Development Award winner at the recent Irish Wind Energy Awards. The award was presented in recognition of Kerry ETB's innovative approach to developing talent and skills…
The FV Margiris dockside
Fishers in Ireland and conservation groups are keeping a close eye on the supertrawler Margiris, which is currently fishing off Ireland’s West Coast. According to GalwayBeo, the controversial factory ship has been labelled a “vacuum cleaner of the sea” for…
David McInerney, ElectroRoute category sponsor presenting the Excellence in Project Delivery award to Kieran Ivers, CEO, Green Rebel
An Irish data company that provides site investigation services to the offshore wind sector has been recognised at the Irish Wind Industry Awards. Green Rebel was shortlisted in two categories and was named as winner of both at a gala…
The UNESCO world heritage site known as Sceilg Mhichíl is to become part of the “Preserving Legacies” project
Skellig Michael has been selected to join a new global initiative to safeguard sites of cultural significance from the impact of climate change. The UNESCO world heritage site known as Sceilg Mhichíl is to become part of the “Preserving Legacies”…

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

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!


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 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.

Changing Ocean Climate

Our ocean and climate are inextricably linked - the ocean plays a crucial role in the global climate system in a number of ways. These include absorbing excess heat from the atmosphere and absorbing 30 per cent of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity. But our marine ecosystems are coming under increasing pressure due to climate change.

The Marine Institute, with its national and international partners, works to observe and understand how our ocean is changing and analyses, models and projects the impacts of our changing oceans. Advice and forecasting projections of our changing oceans and climate are essential to create effective policies and management decisions to safeguard our ocean.

Dr Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute, said, “Our ocean is fundamental to life on earth and affects so many facets of our everyday activities. One of the greatest challenges we face as a society is that of our changing climate. The strong international collaborations that the Marine Institute has built up over decades facilitates a shared focusing on our changing ocean climate and developing new and enhanced ways of monitoring it and tracking changes over time.

“Our knowledge and services help us to observe these patterns of change and identify the steps to safeguard our marine ecosystems for future generations.”

The Marine Institute’s annual ocean climate research survey, which has been running since 2004, facilitates long term monitoring of the deep water environment to the west of Ireland. This repeat survey, which takes place on board RV Celtic Explorer, enables scientists to establish baseline oceanic conditions in Irish waters that can be used as a benchmark for future changes.

Scientists collect data on temperature, salinity, water currents, oxygen and carbon dioxide in the Atlantic Ocean. This high quality oceanographic data contributes to the Atlantic Ocean Observing System. Physical oceanographic data from the survey is submitted to the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) and, in addition, the survey contributes to national research such as the VOCAB ocean acidification and biogeochemistry project, the ‘Clean Atlantic’ project on marine litter and the A4 marine climate change project.

Dr Caroline Cusack, who co-ordinates scientific activities on board the RV Celtic Explorer for the annual survey, said, “The generation of long-term series to monitor ocean climate is vital to allow us understand the likely impact of future changes in ocean climate on ecosystems and other marine resources.”

Other activities during the survey in 2019 included the deployment of oceanographic gliders, two Argo floats (Ireland’s contribution to EuroArgo) and four surface drifters (Interreg Atlantic Area Clean Atlantic project). The new Argo floats have the capacity to measure dissolved ocean and biogeochemical parameters from the ocean surface down to a depth of 2,000 metres continuously for up to four years, providing important information as to the health of our oceans.

During the 2019 survey, the RV Celtic Explorer retrieved a string of oceanographic sensors from the deep ocean at an adjacent subsurface moored station and deployed a replacement M6 weather buoy, as part of the Irish Marine Data Buoy Observation Network (IMDBON).

Funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the IMDBON is managed by the Marine Institute in collaboration with Met Éireann and is designed to improve weather forecasts and safety at sea around Ireland. The data buoys have instruments which collect weather and ocean data including wind speed and direction, pressure, air and sea surface temperature and wave statistics. This data provides vital information for weather forecasts, shipping bulletins, gale and swell warnings as well as data for general public information and research.

“It is only in the last 20 years, meteorologists and climatologists have really began to understood the pivotal role the ocean plays in determining our climate and weather,” said Evelyn Cusack, Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann. “The real-time information provided by the Irish data buoy network is particularly important for our mariners and rescue services. The M6 data buoy in the Atlantic provides vital information on swell waves generated by Atlantic storms. Even though the weather and winds may be calm around our shores, there could be some very high swells coming in from Atlantic storms.”